ATOV: Every n years

So I came across this Category page in Wiktionary.  What caught my interest was the righthand sidebar.  It lists “Recent additions to the category” and “oldest pages ordered by last edit.”  Here is what they are now:

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 23.47.10Adoxography is definitely a word to add to our vocabularies.  It means “fine writing on a trivial or base subject”.  What an easy way to give a back-handed compliment when you want to praise the message but condemn the topic.

Anyways, the list updates.  And I found the word “quinquennial”.  It was easy enough to see what it meant, same as annual, but instead of once per year, “quinquennial” means once per five years.  But I didn’t know the word/idea had a name.  So I looked up as many of these “every n years” words I could find.  And I found this excellent list.  Somehow, I want to use “dodransbicentennial” in my everyday speech.

ATOV: Inflection, Lemma, Lexeme, Limnology

Inflection/Inflexion: “modification of a word to express different grammatical categories such as tense, mood, voice, aspect, person, number, gender and case…The inflection of verbs is also called conjugation, and the inflection of nouns, adjectives and pronouns is also called declension.”

Lemma: the canonical form of an inflected word (i.e. what’s in the dictionary).1

Lexeme: the lemma and all of its inflections.

So a lemma might be (run) and the lexeme would be (run, runs, ran, etc.).  Our vocabulary is full of lexemes; dictionaries are full of lemmas.  A lemma is a lexeme without inflection.  A lexeme is a lemma plus all possible inflections.

Limnology: study of lakes and fresh water (Greek limne means “pool of standing water, tidal pool, marsh, lake”)2

  1.  How does lemma etymologically relate to dilemma?  Prescriptively/connotatively, a dilemma is a choice between two equally negative outcomes.  Di is the Greek root for “two” and lemma means “premise, assumption.”  Somehow, the idea of “a conclusion” is added in there.
  2.  The Ancient Greek limne most likely comes from the Proto-Indo-European word that also gives us the English slime.

ATOV: “Nominative Determinism” and aptronym/aptonym

I just saw on Reddit that Amelia Earhart did an AMA.  No, it wasn’t a parody, it was a real woman named Amelia Earhart who just so happens to be an aviatrix.

As is often the case, some of the comments in this Reddit post took me on a tangent.  Particularly, user “stretchpharmstrong”‘s comment reminding me of nominative determinism struck my eye.  I forgot about this idea, because I forgot the phrase.

Aptronym/aptonym/euonym are all synonyms for this idea.

If I remember a phrase/word of an idea, I can remember the idea.  And the only way to remember phrases/words for me is to repeat them.  So I suggest it will be ATOV (added to our vocabulary).

Nominative determinism is the idea that your name (nom being the Greek/Latin root for the English word name) has an effect on what you do with your life.

Someone in the same Amelia Earhart AMA explained nominative determinism as “Why people named ‘Dennis’ are proportionally more likely than their peers to become Dentists.”   Well, apparently this isn’t true, but it is nonetheless a good example of the idea.

As far as other examples go, Buzzfeed has an excellent collection of people who were potentially nominatively determined.  Wikipedia’s page on aptronyms has an exceptionally lengthy list of examples (Apparently Doug Bowser is the current VP of Sales at Nintendo).  Guy-Sports also has a solid list, as well as other linguistic items of interest.

As for our modern day Amelia Earhart?  A Redditor asked her if she thought her name influenced her life.  She responded:

“100% yes. I am SO lucky my parents gave me this name. I used to hate it but honestly, it has set me on this course of incredible adventure and aviation opportunity. That’s why I run my foundation- to help girls that want to fly get the same chances I get.”