SINGULAR LINGUISTIC SENSATIONS

"Imponderably" And Other Unusual English Isograms!


Published on June 26, 2024


Credit: Amanda Jones

Morphology, and the study of the language in general, can easily become a fascinating field. After all, it’s filled with fascinating examples like words that fell out of use, the longest words of the English language, and even words that do not repeat a single letter. These last ones are called isograms, and the longer they are, the less we use them but the more fascinating they are.

Long, unusual isograms go against language economy. However, from time to time, using words like "adjunctively" or "beclamouring" is the only way to express our ideas with the kind of feeling only these words have.

Join us as we go through ten isograms you probably never use, but should!

1

Webliography: Navigating Digital Resources

Credit: Domenico Loia

Are you an Internet buff? This word is for you! A webliography is a curated list of online resources on a specific topic. Similar to a bibliography, but focused on digital content, it includes websites, articles, blogs, and videos.

Webliographies are valuable tools in academic research and professional projects, providing easy access to credible online information. Nowadays, we can say there are as many bibliographies as humans, or even double that amount! Modernity is quite transparent in this sense: Digital literacy and web-based resources have become paramount!

2

Gunpowderish: The Scent of Explosives

Credit: Adrien Olichon

The term "gunpowderish" describes something resembling or having gunpowder characteristics. You can already smell it, can’t you? This might refer to a strong, acrid smell similar to spent fireworks or a tense atmosphere likened to the explosive potential of gunpowder.

While not commonly used, "gunpowderish" evokes vivid sensory images and can describe situations fraught with tension or danger. It’s a word that captures the essence of volatility and the power of descriptive language. And for some, it is the smell of a fresh new year kicking in!

3

Imponderably: Beyond Comprehension

Credit: Anthony Tori

"Imponderably" refers to something that is difficult or impossible to measure or understand, nothing like this article, as you can see! This term is often used to describe abstract concepts or situations that are beyond human comprehension.

Whether it’s the vastness of the universe or the complexities of human consciousness , "imponderably" highlights the limits of our knowledge. It’s a reminder of the mysteries that still exist and the continuous quest for understanding in science and philosophy.

4

Campgrounds: Nature’s Retreat

Credit: Christopher Jolly

You may be familiar with this term if you go camping often. Campgrounds are the perfect escape for those looking to reconnect with nature. These designated areas allow you to set up tents, park RVs, or rent cabins, often surrounded by stunning natural landscapes.

Whether you’re in a national park or a private site, campgrounds offer the chance to enjoy activities like hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching. It’s a great way to unwind, share stories around the campfire, and create lasting memories with family and friends. If you’ve never visited a campground, this might be the perfect opportunity to do so! At least you’ll have the vocabulary for it!

5

Disgraceful: Actions That Tarnish Reputations

Credit: Nik

Actions speak louder than words, or so they say. But in this case, an action and this word together might be the end of a person! When someone behaves disgracefully, they engage in actions that bring about shame and a loss of respect. This word is used to describe conduct that deviates from moral standards and often leads to public humiliation.

Whether it’s a scandal involving a public figure or unethical behavior in everyday life, being labeled as disgraceful has serious consequences. It highlights the importance of integrity and the impact our actions have on our reputation and social standing.

6

Misanthropy: A Skeptical View of Humanity

Credit: Ryoji Iwata

Ah, how many human beings in this planet, and how many points of view, right? Well, misanthropy is just one of those. Not a nice one, if we might add.

Misanthropy is a term that describes a general dislike or distrust of humankind. A misanthrope often views human nature with skepticism and prefers solitude over social interaction. This deep-seated attitude can stem from personal disappointments or a critical view of societal flaws.

While it’s often seen negatively, understanding misanthropy can shed light on the complexities of human relationships and societal dynamics. It’s a reminder of the diverse perspectives that shape our worldviews. Are you a misanthrope?

7

Shedworking: The Garden Office Revolution

Credit: ergonofis

The pandemic has turned millions of people to home-office and remote working. The thing is, not every home was ready to welcome an office and that is where shedworking came into play.

Shedworking is a growing trend where people set up their workspaces in garden sheds. This concept offers a quiet and separate space from the main living area, enhancing productivity and work-life balance. Shedworking is popular among remote workers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who need a dedicated workspace without the commute.

It’s a creative solution that combines the comfort of home with the focus of an office , often surrounded by the tranquility of nature.

8

Multipronged: Approaching from All Angles

Credit: Jason Goodman

"Multipronged" describes a strategy that tackles a problem from several directions simultaneously . This approach is common in business, military tactics, and problem-solving. For instance, a multipronged marketing campaign might use social media, email, and influencer partnerships to reach a wider audience.

In medicine, a multipronged treatment plan could combine medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes for better results. The strength of this strategy lies in its flexibility and comprehensiveness, allowing for adjustments and increasing the likelihood of success. Multipronged approaches show the power of coordinated efforts and diverse perspectives in overcoming complex challenges. Are you up for this approach?

9

Stenography: The Art of Shorthand

Credit: M. Cooper

Does this sound familiar? You might have seen this in legal series or movies, and it was even a skill taught at school quite some time ago. Stenography is the practice of transcribing spoken words quickly using shorthand. This skill is essential in legal and governmental settings where accurate records of proceedings are required.

Stenographers use specialized machines to capture speech at high speeds, ensuring that important conversations and testimonies are documented verbatim. This profession highlights the importance of precision and the role of technology in supporting communication and documentation.

10

Misconjugated: When Verbs Go Wrong

Credit: Sincerely Media

Nobody, not even the best-spoken people, is free of mistakes. A verb can easily go wrong and that’s what this word means. Misconjugated verbs are those that aren’t formed correctly, breaking the rules of grammar. It’s a common mistake we all make, like saying "She go to the store" instead of "She goes to the store."

These errors can pop up in casual conversation, writing, or when learning a new language, causing confusion and distracting from the message. Misconjugating verbs highlights the tricky parts of language and why proper grammar is so important. It’s a reminder that getting verb forms right helps us communicate clearly and effectively. So, next time you're unsure, double-check those verbs to keep your sentences smooth and understandable!


GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME

Sports Time! Discover Ten National Sports From Around The World!


Published on June 26, 2024


Credit: Jannes Glas

Who doesn’t love sports? Well, many don’t, if indoor kids in gym classes are to be believed. And while demanding coaches might turn them into an anxiety-filled activity, sports can be a truly wonderful and rewarding experience that anyone can enjoy. They are a great way to exercise, make friends, and, on some occasions, a great source of national pride.

Cheering for your nation’s team is one of the few things that almost every citizen can agree on. However, there’s another way in which sports can make you feel proud of your country: through their very own unique national sports. We have gathered ten official and unofficial sports from all around the world that bring both joy and a sense of national identity to their respective countries. Enjoy!

1

Pato - Argentina

Credit: Rafael Hoyos Weht

Argentina is known as one of the leading countries in the sport of polo. In case you are not familiar with it, polo is a sport not dissimilar to hockey, with the main difference being that is it played on horseback. However, even though they have made their name in the world of polo, Argentina’s official national sport is another entirely different horseback game called " pato ".

Pato is a versatile sport that combines elements of basketball and polo, on which two teams on horseback compete to grab a ball and throw it through the opposing team’s goal, a hoop located on top of a poll. The sport is named after the Spanish word for "duck" since early versions of pato used a live duck instead of a ball. In 1953, this game first developed by gauchos (Argentinean cowboys)was recognized as Argentina’s national sport.

2

Capoeira - Brazil

Credit: Nigel SB Photography

Capoeira is truly hard to define: it is both an art form, a martial art, a game, and a cultural product that fills Brazilians with pride for their country. Capoeira is, after all, Brazil’s national sport, and this might be the best way to encapsulate this physical activity that seamlessly combines elements of dancing, music, acrobatics, and even spirituality.

For something as popular as Capoeira is, it is curious that its origins are still unknown . However, the first recorded mention comes from 1789. While originally conceived as a form of self-defense, Capoeira has branched into many areas: Its traditional instruments and dance moves have influenced many prominent Brazilian musicians throughout the decades, while several Capoeira combat moves are now commonly used in MMA and other fighting sports.

3

Taekwondo - South Korea

Credit: Uriel Soberanes

While "Daniel-san" and his crane kick might have made every '80s American kid want to learn karate, there are plenty of other self-defense arts that are worth our attention, and taekwondo is definitively one of them. Not only for its engaging training and health benefits but also because it might help us feel closer to South Korean culture since taekwondo is this nation’s official national martial art.

The word "taekwondo" loosely translates to "the way of kicking and punching", and it was developed between the 40s and 50s by Korean martial artists proficient in other disciplines like karate and kung fu. Practitioners of taekwondo adhere to what is known as " the Five Tenets of Taekwondo ", which are Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-control, and Indomitable spirit.

4

Gaelic Games - Ireland

Credit: Adrian Payne

This entry is the first to refer to a series of sports rather than only an individual one, and that is because Ireland has created a remarkable and truly unique number of national pastimes. These various sports are collectively known under the name "Gaelic games", and have long surpassed the borders of the "Emerald Isle" and are now enjoyed all around the world.

Among the most popular Gaelic games, we can find Gaelic football, hurling, Gaelic handball, and rounders. Gaelic football and hurling share similar elements: they both involve pushing a ball onto the opposing team’s goal, whether it is carrying by hand, kicking, or bouncing. Gaelic handball involves two players bouncing a small rubber ball against a wall, while rounders could be described as a combination of cricket and baseball. Curiously, before becoming "rounders", this game was first known as "base-ball".

5

Ice Hockey & Lacrosse - Canada

Credit: Taylor Friehl

You might be surprised to learn that our "Big Neighbor to the North" has not only one but two official national sports . One of them is fairly obvious: ice hockey has been synonymous with Canada for decades now. However, ice hockey is only Canada’s winter national sport, and it shares the title with its summer counterpart, the sport of lacrosse.

The debate of which sport should be Canada’s national representative was discussed for almost three decades . For years, Canadians believed that lacrosse was the country’s official national sport until in 1964, some members of the Canadian parliament revealed that no law proclaiming this had ever been enacted. It wasn’t until 1994 that a resolution from the House of Commons declared lacrosse to be Canada’s summer national sport, and ice hockey its winter national sport.

6

Volleyball - Nepal

Credit: Paulo Henrique Macedo Dias

Did you know that volleyball was created in Massachusetts by a YMCA teacher ? William G. Morgan combined elements of baseball, handball, and tennis and, in 1895, he created a new indoor sport called Mintonette. Luckily, the name didn’t stick, and it eventually evolved into the volleyball we know and love.

Even though traditional games like dandi biyo and kabbadi were considered Nepal’s unofficial national games, volleyball became the country's national sport. Female volleyball is extremely popular in Nepal, and it is played in all 77 districts of this country.

7

Table Tennis - China

Credit: Lisa Keffer

Many consider table tennis as little more than a recreational activity, an indoor game to play on a rainy afternoon. And while definitively fun, table tennis is a full-fledged, adrenaline-fueled sport , as anyone who has seen a professional game can attest. And if there’s one country synonymous with this sport and with promoting remarkable table tennis players, it is China.

Although it was an already incredibly popular sport in the 1950s, table tennis became a staple of Chinese culture in the '60s and '70s. Since table tennis became an Olympic sport in 1988, China has produced a multitude of international superstars, amassing a massive number of gold medals in the process.

8

Sumo - Japan

Credit: Alessio Roversi

Just like Capoeira , Sumo is not just a martial art : Japanese people view it as an art form that combines tradition, history, and spirituality. The first recorded mention of sumo comes from the year 712, and it describes the fight between two gods to claim ownership over the Japanese islands. It is heavily ingrained into Japanese culture, and it showcases this nation’s proud history and identity.

To this day, sumo wrestlers adhere not only to a strict training regime but also to an entire lifestyle heavily influenced by tradition and rituals. Most wrestlers live in training stables known as heya , on which aspects of their daily lives like their meals or their clothes are rigorously dictated. Accordingly, top-tier sumo wrestlers, known as yokozuna, are extremely popular athletes and revered as the very best of this beloved sport.

9

Golf - Scotland

Credit: Ryan caven

While the exact and ancient origins of golf are still debated, we can all thank Scotland for creating the modern-day version of this iconic sport. After all, it seems only natural that a country filled with such gorgeous hills and breathtaking landscapes should be the birthplace of a sport that involves walking around lush greenery.

The first recorded mention of golf comes from a ban on the game enacted by English King James II in 1457 since he felt that it distracted his subjects from learning more useful sports like archery. His grandson, King James IV, took a liking to the sport and lifted the ban in 1502.

10

Baseball - United States

Credit: Eduardo Balderas

While the United States doesn’t have any official national sports, most Americans believe that baseball is the de facto national representative. It is one of the oldest sports played in the country, and its history is intrinsically connected to the history of America.

While the first mention of baseball in American history comes from 1752, it wasn’t until the 19th century that this sport would start gaining popularity. In 1858, the first all-star games were played in New York City, in what many believe to be the very first professional exhibitions of the sport still known to this day as "America’s favorite pastime."

Looking for an extra scoop of literary fun?

Learn more with our Word of the day

quibble

/ˈkwɪb(ə)l/