MAGGIE’S MEOW: Fascinated with Words

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Maggie-IshinoBy MAGGIE ISHINO

Some folks like to do work with numbers, play number games, etc. I don’t particularly care to work with numbers or figure out mathematical “thought” problems, but I can tell you one thing — my checkbook and monthly bank statements balance to the penny. I also check my receipt when I go shopping and if I’m even a dime short, I’ll go back to the store and get the dime.

Oops, I’m off track again, but I am extremely fascinated with words. On the game show “Jeopardy,” the bonus question was to name two words that have the same letters — one is a structure and another is material. I got that right. ABODE is the structure and ADOBE is the material. It could be used in a sentence, such as: Her abode was made of adobe and she enjoyed living in it.

Take the word LIVE. When you read it backwards, it becomes EVIL. One often hears the expression “Live it up.”

Never assume. If the word is divided into three, it becomes ass-u-me. In other words, excuse me, but it makes an ass out of you and me when one assumes. Right!!!??? If you don’t know, it’s not a matter of life and death. Just say, “I don’t know.”

There is a word that I believe is the only word that has three sets of letters all together, and that word is BOOKKEEPING (2 O’s, 2 K’s and  2 E’s).

I went to a bookstore in Santa Clara County where there was a word in ++bold++ letters nailed to the side of the shelf, which was stocked with envelopes, writing tables, stationery in boxes and other letter-writing materials. The word was STATIONARY. I informed the saleslady that it should have been spelled STATIONERY with an “E” instead of an “A”. She told me that the sign had been there as is for 20 years and no one had ever mentioned it before. “Stationary” spelled with an “A” means remaining or not moving.

Another example of just one letter making a world of difference: PLAGUE with a “G” meaning troublesome or contagious and PLAQUE with a “Q” meaning a disk”or something “artificially decorated as for a wall decoration.” (Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary)

Many people have a problem with spelling FAMILIAR and SIMILAR. The tendency is to omit the “I” in “familiar.” My sister told me to take it apart and think, “There’s a liar in every family (fami-liar).” I chuckled when she told me this, but I will always spell the word correctly.

I cringe when people say, “Sorry about that,” “No problem,” “Exact same thing,” or “Where is it at?” My nieces and nephews know well not to say these phrases to me. If I could only convince friends?!

Words, as I have written before, can pierce the heart. There is an adage that says, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Writing words can be as damaging as the spoken words in many cases. One has to think before writing or speaking, especially when angry. One can never take back what was said or written, and the person on the receiving end will long remember what was written or said, especially if it was something hurtful.

God had a purpose and reason when creating each of us different. We are individuals. We must learn to accept and respect one another in terms of speaking and/or writing. However, let’s remember you and I are perfect!

Amen and Meow.

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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