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John Lemke

Cynics and Cynosures - 0 views

  • cynic comes from a Greek word meaning “dog-like, currish, churlish.”
  • The word cynosure comes from a Greek word meaning “dog’s tail.” This was the name given by the Greeks to the northern constellation Ursa Minor, the “Small Bear” in whose tail is the Pole-star, also known as the North Star. Because the North Star is bright and a means of finding the direction of north, the word cynosure acquired the figurative meaning of “something that is bright and serves as a guide.”
  • In modern usage, a cynic is a person disposed to find fault with everything and to rant about it to everyone. A cynic trusts no one’s sincerity or good intentions. The adjective is cynical; the noun is cynicism.
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  • Unlike cynic, the word cynosure has positive connotations. A cynosure is someone or something that serves for guidance or direction, a “guiding star.
John Lemke

Final U in English Words - 0 views

  • “English words don’t end in u,”
  • The only two native English words that end in u are the pronouns thou and you, but they probably shouldn’t count because they really end in ou.
  • There remain 50 or so “English” words that do end in u. I put English in quotation marks because most of these u-words obviously came undigested from some other language, most from French.
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