September 25, 2003

What’s un-freaking-believable?

It’s a tmesis, apparently.

And did you know that syzygy is the shortest English word containing three ys?

My latest playground.

Posted by Karen at September 25, 2003 12:22 PM in writing
Comments

yes, but how do you pronounce that damn word?

Posted by: jimmy at September 26, 2003 09:12 PM

I don’t know. I suppose you could make some onomatopoetic zzt-zzy and hope to get away with it.

Posted by: Karen at September 27, 2003 08:20 PM

Once again, great links Karen. I don’t know how you find this stuff.

Anyway, you got me curious so I dug around the web to find some tmesis examples:

If on the first, how heinous e’er it be,
To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
�Shakespeare, Richard II 5.3.34-35

His income-tax return, he remarked, was the “most rigged-up marole” he’d ever seen.
—Frederic Packard

In two words, im possible.
—Samuel Goldwyn

Posted by: elijah at September 27, 2003 09:04 PM

Thanks for the examples, but I can’t figure out where the tmesi are. Duh! Esp. the Shakespeare one.

Posted by: Karen at September 28, 2003 11:10 AM

“heinous” interrupts “howe’er”:

If on the first, how heinous e’er it be,
To win thy after-love I pardon thee.

“the most rigged-up marole” (rigmarole)

Posted by: elijah at September 28, 2003 01:41 PM

hmm… an onomatopoetic variation could make it sound like scissor gee…

buzzz

Posted by: elijah at September 28, 2003 02:01 PM

syzygy is pronounced ziggy, as in stardust.

Posted by: michael at October 14, 2003 01:06 AM

Finally, an answer!

Posted by: Karen at October 14, 2003 01:17 AM

hey, karen, michael’s just kidding.

or at least i think it must be a joke.

ziggy? no way.

its pronounced sis-er-gee.

Posted by: Elijah at October 14, 2003 12:30 PM

He sounded serious. I hope he comes back to say which one of us is right.

Posted by: Karen at October 14, 2003 02:26 PM

This is embarrassing. I would have bet money that “ziggy” was the correct pronunciation. At least I was confused by something esoteric, AS Byatt’s character named Ziggy in her book Babel Tower.

“sizz-uh-gee” is the correct pronunciation, sez three or four dictionaries. Unless they pronounce it differently in Britain.

Michael

Posted by: Michael at October 15, 2003 12:01 AM

in britain, like most words, syzygy is pronounced “wanker”.

considering that they are both nouns, i guess you could say that the british pronunciation is partially correct.

Posted by: Elijah at October 15, 2003 12:00 PM

If a syzygy is a fusion, and syzygy is pronounced “wanker,” then I guess it means a two-hander.

Politely,
Michael

Posted by: Michael at October 16, 2003 03:33 AM

un-freaking-believable

personally, i feel that this is one of those situations where less is actually more… unless you’re a bloody syzygist of course.

extremely polite,
elijah

Posted by: Elijah at October 16, 2003 02:19 PM


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