Name: Pamela Hilliard Owens
Date registered: April 4, 2010
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Yahoo! IM: phowens3
Use of the word camouflage originated in Paris in the late 19th century. It is a combination of the Italian word camuffare, which means “to disguise”, and the French word camouflet, which means “a puff of smoke”. Back in ol’ Par-ee in the 1870s, thieves would put an attractive woman in a crowd and have her blow smoke in the face of the target of the thieves in order to distract him. “Blowing smoke” (another slang term) was thought to be sexually suggestive and distracting enough to allow the thieves to snatch the wallet of their victim.
In World War I, the British came up with disguises for their soldiers and equipment to hide them from those new-fangled aeroplanes, did the word camouflage come into common military use.
Around the same time, the U.S. and British navies painted bold stripes on their ships to make it difficult to ascertain in which direction the ships were traveling; the practice was called “disruptive camouflage”.
Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2013/05/09/etymology-camouflage/
Etymology: the study of word origins.
The word “hypochondriac” originated from the Greek word hypokhondria, which means “under the breastbone”. Coming into English in the 16th century, hypochondriac meant the upper abdomen region, where it was believed, all “melancholies” resided. By the 17th century, a hypochondriac was a person thought to suffer from depression and “melancholy”.
The use of hypochondriac as a person who complains of illnesses without cause became common in the 19th century. With today’s easy Internet access, many doctors define a hypochondriac as someone who spends way too much time online.
The professional writers and editors at Writing It Right For You are not doctors, nor do we play doctors on TV. But if your writing needs some non-medical attention, give us a call. We’ll keep the aspirin (and writing instruments) handy and call you back in the morning!
Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2013/04/29/word-origins-hypochondriac/
Back in the day when we were first learning to read and write “our letters”, our parents and teachers probably taught us the difference between “big letters” and “little letters”. Today, many of us still say “capital” and “small” letters.
The proper terms for the two types of lettering is, however, “upper case” (big) and “lower case” (little).
Again back in the day when anything printed was typset by hand, printers kept their letters in two large wooden cases, stacked on top of each other for easy access. The capital letters were kept in the “upper” or top case, while the small letters were kept in the “lower” or bottom case.
And THAT is how and why the terms “upper case” and “lower case” are still used today.
Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2013/04/29/upper-caselower-case/
Many times we’ve heard people say that so-and-so motivated them, or that they were inspired to achieve something. The words “motivation” and “inspiration” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same.
Simply put, motivation is usually external, while inspiration is usually internal.
Many people are motivated to achieve a goal or finish a project because of what they will get at the end. What is gained at the end can be either positive or negative.
You can be motivated to make a job change because you will make more money or finally work in the field in which you have your degree.
You can be motivated to stick to your diet because of the fear of diabetes or other health challenges, or even fear of not fitting into your clothes.
Inspiration, on the other hand, is not so much in your control. Have you heard the phrase, “I’ll do it when the mood strikes me”? That is one way of understanding inspiration. Inspiration comes to you, often when you don’t expect it.
Dr. Wayne Dyer gives a great explanation on the difference between motivation and inspiration:
The word “inspire” originally meant being in or with a spirit or “force”. When you are inspired, all blockades and limitations seem to disappear; the “how” just appears. When you are motivated on the other hand, you have to figure out how to get the task done.
What motivates you to achieve something? When have you been so inspired that you knew you just had to do something?
Let us know in the comments section.
Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2013/04/26/motivation-or-inspiration-which-works-best/
“Literally” literally means exactly and according to the strictest sense of the word. “Figuratively” literally means as a figure of speech or in a descriptive yet metaphorically sense of the word. When you use the word “literally”, you are giving an exact description: if someone is literally six feet tall, the person is not 5’11″ or 6’1″. If what happened to you today at work “killed you”, but you’re still alive, then the work “figuratively” killed you.
Sometimes, in informal speech and writing, people use the adjective literally when they literally mean figuratively, but for formal academic and business writing and speaking, you should say what you mean and mean what you say.
Here at Writing It Right For You, we literally know that “It Matters How You Say It!” When you’re ready communicate effectively, contact us!
Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2013/03/25/figuratively-literally/