Posted by: episystechpubs | February 26, 2016

Editor’s Corner: …And Sometimes None?

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher made a wager. She would give one hundred dollars to any student who could name a word with no vowels.

Many students tried, but none succeeded. Most of the suggested words contained vowels. My contribution, the onomatopoeia grr, was rejected as "not a real word."

Grr is an interjection (an exclamation expressing an emotion). Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary does not have an entry for grr, but it does include three other vowelless interjections:

  • hm/hmm/hmmm: used to express the action or process of thinking
  • sh: used to urge or command silence or less noise
  • tsk: used to express disapproval

The Oxford Dictionaries website includes grr ("used to express anger or annoyance"), and also the following interjections:

  • brrr: used to express someone’s reaction to feeling cold
  • mm/mmm: used to express contentment or pleasure
  • pfft: used to represent a dull abrupt sound as of a slight impact or explosion
  • psst: used to attract someone’s attention surreptitiously
  • tch: used to express irritation, annoyance or impatience

Even if we accept my teacher’s stipulation that interjections are not real words, a student could have claimed the hundred dollars with the adjective nth (as in, "to the nth degree"):

  • nth: numbered with an unspecified or indefinitely large ordinal number; extreme, utmost

The Oxford Dictionaries website also includes xlnt as an alternate spelling of excellent, to which I say pfft, grr, and tsk tsk. Even in kindergarten, I had some standards.

Ben Ritter | Technical Editor | Symitar®
8985 Balboa Avenue | San Diego, CA 92123
619-682-3391 | or ext. 763391 | www.Symitar.com

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: