'Tis that time again, readers! And not a moment too soon. I was already getting complaints about questions going unanswered by the wordsmith, when I put up my last Ask tht Wordsmith, but it simply had to be said. There are some good advice columnists, and there are some bad ones. Some of them base their answers on nothing more than fanciful notions of what they naively feel the world should be like. And on that note...
NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii... what's next? What name will nintendo come
up with for their next system.
Ever the evolutionists, the Nintendo name designers have their work cut out for them. But a little historical referencing is in order.
See, the NES was originally just named after the company. Nobody called it the NES, or the Nintendo system, they just called it the Nintendo. Then, when they released their next system, they discovered two things: people weren't keen on all the syllables involved in pronouncing Super Nintendo; and it just wasn't all that creative to add the word Super, and call it new.
So they took the hint from people talking about the Super NES (soo-per ness), and they sought to oblige the public's distaste for syllables, by producing the N(note the conspicuous lack of "intendo")64. It was only after the release of this newer, more "conveniently named" system, that they discovered their folly. Somehow, they had created a mutant name, an accident so horrifying they couldn't even understand it: they had managed to fit four syllables into a three-character name.
With their best minds devoted to solving this problem, they managed to cut the additional syllable, and even one more, but the resulting name, GameCube, was five characters longer.
This, while being a success of sorts, also demonstrated the horrible ineptitude of their naming artists, so the head of the company fired them all.
Unfortunately, this led to a crisis when it came to the release of the newest system, what with no one on the job of naming it. Not wanting to alarm anybody, the CEO just puzzled over it in his every spare moment, certain he would have the answer by the time someone asked what the system was supposed to be called. On the eve of the new system's announcement, however, he still had no answer. So while he was pushing his daughter on the swingset in their backyard, he asked her if she had any ideas. A little creative spelling later, we had the Wii.
Based on this information, and the fact that she's a little older now, the next system will probably be named the uh, the mm, or the ya.
I hope that helped, Bye.
are ostrich and ostrasize from the same root word?
Just kidding. You asked, so I'll explain.
I thought maybe it might have something to do with the ostrich's tiny head being so far away from the rest of its body, like a banished or ostracized man from society, but it turns out it's completely coincidental.
The English word, ostracize, has greek roots. The greek word ostrakizein, "to ostracize," comes from their word ostrakon, which refers to a fragment of pottery, because I guess that was the metaphor the ancient greeks used for pretty much everything.
The greek term for ostrich, however, is strouthion, a contraction of strouthos melage, meaning "big sparrow." Not alike at all, is it? That's because our word, ostrich, comes up from Latin roots.
Avis struthio, which translates directly into the name of a tall yellow Sesame Street character, grew into the Old French word ostruce, which the English got their hands on before the French dropped the s, and got snooty with the spelling of the letter o, resulting in autruche. That's where Ostrich comes from.
Now, what would you have done without the Wordsmith in this, your hour of need? It's clear that I provide a vital service, an indispensible resource, to all with such questions as haunted poor Sean's sleep.
dont you know that something is only autographed by the person that made it? ed mcmahon never made any snorkles.
Don't you know that we insert apostrophes into contractions, and capitalize people's names, as well as the beginnings of sentences? Besides, Ed McMahon's accomplishments are many. To suggest that he never made a single snorkel is to suggest that the man has limits. Why, if he only ever made one snorkel, and then autographed it, and a lucky lucky glow-in-the-dark one, besides, have you any idea how much that would be worth!? One could understand why a one-nostrilled hermaphrodite with a Flock of Seagulls haircut and only one nostril would want to get his hands on it.
Why are there 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a
day, 7 days in a weeks, um... 4 and a half-ish weeks in a month, and 12
months in a year?
Tango the Cat
Because, Tango, if we talked about everything on all scales in terms of seconds, people's heads would explode. Now I've got a question for you. Four, in fact.
Why is a cat talking to me?
Is this a hallucination or has something breached the barrier between fantasy and reality?
If it's the latter, who fantasizes about a calender-obsessed cat?
And lastly, who's been spiking my Mountain Dew!?
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