Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just wondering....

I was thinking the other day about how many quirks the English language has. It's such a melting pot, incorporating Greek and Latin roots, foreign words adopted into English (and sometimes modified), and even acronyms and abbreviations used as words (scuba and snafu, for example). So I guess it's inevitable that oddities would creep into the language. For example:

Why is it a good thing to patronize a business (“Thank you for your patronage!”) but a bad thing to patronize a person (“Don’t patronize me!”)?

Why is a citation both a good thing and a bad thing (citation for bravery/citation for speeding)?

Why do flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?

Why are olives with the pits removed called “pitted” olives, rather than “depitted” olives? (What are olives with the pits still inside called, then?)

Just some random musings on my part. Until next time, I remain your devoted host.


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