Things That Dawned on You Belatedly

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Post here things that you suddenly realized and thought you should have noticed long ago.

For a start: I only realized a few months ago that the word "birth" was a verbal noun from "to bear" when I read it spelled as "bearth" in Milton.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
I am aware that the sting of an insult does not necessarily lie in its literal meaning, but 'motherfucker' seemed particularly odd -- surely every man married to a woman who had borne a child, whether his or someone else's, would fall into that category, unless the couple had decided to abandon sex for another hobby? The implication of incest didn't occur to me.
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
I just realised that "The Bee Movie" is a pun.
 

Imperfacundus

Reprobatissimus
Not until about a month ago did I learn that in the song Knocking on Heaven's Door the lyrics go ''Knock knock knockin' on Heaven's door'' rather than ''I'm not knockin' on Heaven's door''. I suspect final consonant glottalization may be the culprit.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Similarly, it took me a good many listens to get the eighth line of the chorus in this song:


I was never sure what he was saying (I heard something like "mais je me relève" but that didn't seem to make sense and it didn't sound exactly like it, either) until it suddenly clicked.

Donc je roule, roule, roule, roule, roule
Dans les rues de ma ville
L'arme à l’œil, la boule au ventre
Je refais le monde avec des si
Oui je roule, roule, roule, roule, roule
Jusqu'au bout de la nuit
J’accélère
Majeur en l'air
En insultant ta foutue maladie
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
For years 'shuffled off this mortal coil' evoked an image of someone moving slowly along a spiral-shaped piece of metal, not a snake losing its skin. I don't think I'm alone in this, though.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
I learnt less than five minutes ago that there is no good reason to use the spelling delight -- well, apart from the fact that everyone has done so since the 16th century -- and that the word has nothing to do with light.
 

Lysandra

Canis
A few weeks ago I had this grammar question which I decided to Google and it turned out that someone had asked that same exact question on a language forum several months before! I was thrilled that I wasn't the only one who wondered about these things ... until I realised a few minutes later that I was the author of that thread. :brickwall:
 

Lysandra

Canis
I was asking whether it was better practice to spell verbs with '-ise' or '-ize' in Australian English. I've seen both in academic papers, and having grown up in several different countries I get a bit confused as to different versions of English.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
This is what Macquarie has to say on the topic. Assuming you feel you can trust a dictionary that would allow that page to stand in its present form. (Anyone want to play Find the Mistakes?)
 

Imperfacundus

Reprobatissimus
Well we have to first consider the question 'Is a brick a rock, or is it the other way around?' I'd say that if either of these must be defined as a subset of the other, it would have to be bricks in relation to rocks. I.e. a brick is a special type of rock- artificial, generally smooth-faced and prismatic. And so the only acceptable answer to the original question would be 'a brick is a domesticated rock'. Which is what my dictionary will say from now on.
 

leonhartu

Member
That point of view only makes sense if you consider that being -artificial, generally smooth-faced and prismatic- makes one domesticated. But here I propose we to analyze it more profoundly, we cannot only consider the outside, we need to also consider the essence. Would we call a dog a domesticated wolf? Certainly, having more as foundation our culture than the thing itself. It's all about one's concept of domesticated e.g. If I were born in a place where there were only bricks and went to other place and saw, for the first time, a lot of rocks I would certainly call them undomesticated bricks rather than undomesticated rocks. Your suggestion is valid if there is any basis of avaliation before, for example: your judgement of
subset, but this method wouldn't be philosophically acceptable (if anything is, hahahah).
 

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
I never realised that fástus and fás were cognate until I looked up the vowel quantities.

I realized just yesterday that a brick is just a domesticated rock.
But surely bricks are generally made of baked clay, not rocks?
 

AoM

nulli numeri
Slaughter has laughter in it.
 
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