Tripe

tripe

This word literally means the edible stomach lining of an animal like a cow. In some countries, it is regarded as a delicacy.  Can’t say I was very fond of it despite my mother’s attempts to disguise it in different recipes.

I´ll make you a lovely plate of tripe and onions.

I was not influenced however by the other use, which is negative.  Informally, tripe is rubbish or nonsense.

tripe2

The press just write loads of tripe these days on the subject of freedom of speech.

You are talking tripe Jerry, no one knows what the President took into account when he decided to promote a change in the law.

I suspect that it is losing ground to the more graphic and once offensive terms like bullshit, bull or crap.  Still, for those who are not tripe lovers, its derogatory meaning makes sense!

Advertisements

Unbeknownst

Maybe it is because I have just become addicted to online scrabble games, playing against my phone but all I seem to see these days are weird words and strange combinations of spellings as I try to outwit my phone by using top scoring letters on triple letter or word scores. One word I doubt I would have space for is unbeknownst.

It is nevertheless a very pleasing word.  The meaning is simple – that a certain person is ignorant of a fact or action.

unbeknownst

Unbeknownst to Simon, his girlfriend planned a surprise birthday party.

 Unbeknownst to the public, most of the cast had food poisoning but managed to finish the show without any major difficulties.

 Checking on internet led me to various forums with writers vehemently denying use or existence of the word and many others defending it.  I tried to recall when I first saw it and it was probably in a novel.  It’s colourful old worldly style makes it a good addition to narratives but it would tend to be found in more formal, less casual work. There is a version, unbeknown, but I have preferred to use the version with –st. Corpus data rate it as seldom used but the number of contributors online who swore they use it regularly shows that it has its fans.

unbeknownst2

Poem from: picssr.com

To mar

mar1

The game was marred by the behavior of some rowdy fans shouting and letting off fireworks in the stands.

mar

Being on the flightpath to the international airport is the only factor that mars the peace and quiet of this neighbourhood.

 When you don’t want to use the verb spoil, which itself has multiple meanings, the word mar is an effective synonym and is shorter than the somewhat ambiguous impair.  To mar doesn’t seem to be that commonly used and may be more often found in written English.

The verb is a regular verb, so the past form is marred and it derives from Old English and Saxon verbs merran and merrian which meant to hinder or to waste.

Given that el mar is the sea in Spanish and il mare in Italian, perhaps some foreign speakers of English will find it a strange choice, since it has nothing to do with marine or maritime.