Sunday, August 13, 2006

I opine that they're the same

We've generated a few questions for you, in part because rumor has it that you're out of school (and that's not fair for those of us still in school), but the list is two shorter than it originally was, due to my lapse in memory:

1. Why do people not use the word opine? We always opt for the passive sentence structure when opine is such a cool word!

2. What's the difference between a motor and an engine. Most often motors are reserved for electric sources of power, but the Ford Tri-motor is an 1929 airplane. When did the word meanings begin to deviate?

3. Are Aggravation and Sorry! essentially the same game? And why is the newer version creating a generation of liars. If you're truly sorry, you should avoid the action for which you will later have to apologize. The majority of the time, such aggressive and cold-hearted actions are avoidable.

4. What's the difference between a tree and a really big bush? A mulberry bush I've been picking is really quite large and tree-like.

Thanks for doing our work for us! We anticipate the fruits of your wisdom and research!


Chaka said...

1. Opine is, as OED avers, "Now chiefly literary." I think the connotation now associated with the word is somewhat dismissive. If you say someone opined, I picture them sneeringly declaring their view without understanding opposing views. Come to think of it, why isn't the word more popular?

Chaka said...

2. I don't know what you mean by "motors are reserved for electric sources of power," since I've always thought of the noisy bits of a car as a motor. But then, I'm not an engineer. These words were both very general with different backgrounds: a motor is a mover, and an engine is the product of ingenuity. They have collapsed into each other almost entirely, though, so you could use them interchangably.

Chaka said...

3. No. One uses the ancient shape of game pieces, the other uses marbles. Next question.

Chaka said...

4. I'm sure there is a taxonomic distinction among botanists, which I would expect people who do research on the potato genome to know. As far as non-scientific distinctions go, it depends on who you ask. It's like asking what's a hill and what's a mountain.

Linus said...

appriciate = take advantage of