Thursday, July 17, 2008

Taking a Maddy


In one of her recent posts titled, Existentialism in Workers, Freda Marshall used an unknown word to me in the context in which it was used: Joiners. Then in a reader's comment about the post, and Freda's response to that comment, came this bewildering phrase: Take a Maddy.

I've been flummoxed by other words in Freda's blog, What's the Story in Dalamory, where some uniquely regional phrases come into play in her writing. B
ecause, you see, she lives in Scotland. She's been so kind in responding to my questions about certain words or places she mentions, as she was last week when I asked about these new puzzlers. I hope you'll enjoy her post yourself, but for those without time or inclination right now here's her response to my query: Joiner is a carpenter, Lydia. And “taking a maddy” is having a daft turn or doing something very enthusiastically and out of character. Funny how differently we all use language.

I found Freda's blog early on. If you follow the link I think you'll see why I consider it a retreat. There is a beauty and quiet and goodness to her posts that are like none other. Plus, she has a sense of humor that sneaks up on me, like being tickled from behind! Freda's spot in the world is a wondrous place with natural beauty and family love abounding. I am so grateful that she shares her steady grace with me through her blog.

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In my Old Postcard Wednesday post yesterday I wrote about Virginia City, mentioning that I didn't have a postcard of that semi ghost town. In a real twist of blogosphere serendipity, Katie commented afterward that she does have an old postcard of Virginia City and that it was her intention to post it later that evening (July 16)! And what a postcard it is.

Katie's blog features great old postcards along with informative and witty commentary. You might call her the Silver Queen of old postcards.....(that will make sense if you look at her Virginia City post).

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I purchased a download for the coolest online Thesaurus recently. Every once in awhile, a program or a gadget comes along that is an instant new friend. Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus is one of those and I can't get enough of it. The website gives visitors a chance to try it out a limited number of times (about four words) and also offers a 14-day free trial prior to purchasing. This is a portion of the sales pitch:

What do you get?

Well, a heck of a lot. Like more than 145,000 English words, 115,000 meanings and 39,000 nouns. Like audio pronunciation, automatic spell checking and words in example sentences. You'll be able to visualize language in 2D or 3D, print posters and definitions and drag & drop words to different applications....

The best part is the VT works like your brain, not a paper-bound book. Word maps blossom with meanings and branch to related words. You'll want to explore just to see what might happen. You'll discover -- and learn -- naturally and intuitively. You'll find the right word, write more descriptively, free associate -- and gain a more precise understanding of the English language.

So why don't you take a maddy and check out the Visual Thesaurus -- which, incidentally, knows that a joiner is a woodworker. But it was stumped by the word maddy!



7 comments:

Katie said...

Can't wait to check out Freda's blog! I love the English language, and it's fun to learn new quirky words and phrases used in other English speaking countries. That thesaurus sounds like a great tool. I need to expand my vocab as I tend to use the same words a lot. Thanks for the shout-out. I'm really enjoying getting to know people through their blogs--we're all linked in so many ways that are fun to discover!

raccoonlover1963 said...

Very nice post. I hope you slept well after staying up so late, you night owl! I will have to check out Katie's post. I have never visited it before.
Have a wonderful day!
Lisa

Adam said...

Yeah, you're right. I dont think there is any way of telling when somebody adds you to your faves. But if they link to you, your blog's "authority" goes up and therefore more likely to turn up at the top in a search or a listing.

francessa said...

Thanks for the Thesaurus link! That's wonderful! One of the first words I saw was "abseil" - which is almost identical to "abseilen" in German, and means the same. There's a nice discussion going on about "beyond girlfriend and boyfriend".

I had to look up "flummoxed" ;-)

Lydia said...

Katie,
Hope you enjoy your visit at Freda's blog. It really is a wonderful thing the way blogs bring people together in friendship. Can't wait to read about your visit with the PDP group in S. California!


Lisa,
Oh, you'll love Katie's blog. It's like being on a constant vacation! Hope your day was a great one.


Adam,
Thanks for explaining more about "authority" at Technorati. Man, those people with scores up into the thousands are really something!


Francessa,
OK, now I'll have to look up "abseil." Flummoxed was a word that my mother used often, but I'd actually forgotten about it. I checked the Thesaurus for something besides "puzzled" and there it was! :)

Freda said...

Lydia, to my shame I just became blog-savvy enough to find your post linking to my blog. Thank you so much. It encourages me to continue - in fact I am in the process of re-thinking the blog as I have been becoming lazy. It is too easy when you have iffy health to make excuses and snooze too much of the day away! Every Blessing. F

Lydia said...

Freda~ How wonderful to hear from you! I will be so happy to be back in touch, and will visit your blog soon.

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