Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Vocabulary

Not to be snooty, but it is unusual that I come across a word or usage which I have never encountered before except while reading. One's spoken vocabulary is generally much smaller than the number of word's one knows the meaning of. I frequently encounter words whose meaning I cannot remember, some of which (sanguine, phlegmatic, saturnine) I have looked up a million times but can't keep straight, although even those are mostly while reading.

So I was a bit surprised to encounter 2 words in the course of my activities in 2 days that didn't elicit even a glimmer of recognition. See if you know them

1. Mangle (not the verb but as a noun)

2. Chabad (this I saw on a sign while running, which is an even more unusual source than usual)

5 Comments:

At 12:01 AM, Blogger Editor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:03 AM, Blogger Editor said...

see www.chabad.org to learn about "Chabad".

This religious organization, known as "Chabad - Lubavitch" has houses of worship and centers aroound the world.
Most of these are called "Chabad Houses".

Stop by my blog and leave a note!

- A "Chabadnik" (look it up). :)

 
At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mangle? Like the giant laundry machine?

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Victor said...

The only uses of 'mangle' as noun that I'm aware of are (a) a clothes wringer, or (b) an alternate name for the rotary iron, a large device for ironing flat items quickly. It uses a heated surface and a firm, cotton-wrapped roller which draws fabric under the heated ironing surface. And if you don't watch out, it can mangle either the fabric or your hand.

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mangle was more commonly known before the advent of the new style washers and dryers. My family had an old-fashioned washing machine (just the agitator, no spin cycle) To extract the water, you had to run the clothes through the mangle. My job was to stand on the dry side of the mangle and guide the clothes into the basket while my mom fed them in. For all that today's washing machines are fast and easy, they cannot do laundry as quickly as the old-fashioned agitators.

 

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