Quotations…with full definitions #1
I sometimes get chided for being too explicit in my language…using many words when fewer (or an initialism or acronym) would do as well.
Well, I’ve never seen brevity as a virtue. ;)
William Harper “Johnny” Littlejohn in the Doc Savage adventures was also known for using long words, as was the Wogglebug in the Oz series.
I thought I would take it to an absurd length, and make a game out out of it. :)
What I’m going to do is take some public domain works and quote something I think would generally identify them to many readers of this blog…but replace each of the words with the first definition shown on my (no longer sold new) Kindle Fire HDX. Note that the first definition may not be the contextually appropriate one…that’s on purpose. I also want to use this to illustrate how the dictionary might or might not help someone in understanding a text. Consider, say, an artificial intelligence system trying to understand a novel…
You can see if you can identify them. :)
I’ll separate the definitions with a pipe: |. In other words, each word in the original is represented by a definition separated from the next word with |.
If there is a proper noun, I’m going to block it as too much of a give away (and it may not have a definition).
Note that the dictionary will tend to define the root word; for example, if you look up “swinging”, it will define “swing”…look up “cats” and it define “cat”.
If you see a word all in capitals, that is how the dictionary refers to another major entry.
I’ll post the answers in the next few days.
#1 “Shine with a gleam that varies repeatedly between bright and faint, | shine with a gleam that varies repeatedly between bright and faint, | small in size, amount, or degree (often used to convey an appealing diminutiveness or express on affection or condescending attitude) | an implement with a handle and a solid surface, usually of wood, used for hitting the ball in games such as baseball, ,cricket, and table tennis! |
In what way or manner; by what means | denoting the next after H in a set of terms, categories etc. | a feeling of surprise, mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable | asking for something specifying something | used to refer to the person or people that the speaker is addressing | expressing location or arrival in a particular place or position.”
2. “Used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned | easy to mold, cut, compress, or fold; not hard or firm to the touch! | Asking for information specifying something | the natural agent that simulates sight and makes things visible | moving in one side and out the other side of (an opening, channel, or location) | at some distance in the direction indicated; over there | an opening in the wall or roof of a building or vehicle that is fitted with glass or other transparent material in a frame to admit light or air and allow people to see out | separate or cause to separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain?
The study or use of systems (esp. computers and telecommunications for storing, retrieving, and sending information | third person singular present of BE | denoting one or more people or things already mentioned or assumed to be common knowledge | the direction toward the point of the horizon here the sun rises at the equinoxes, on the right-hand side of a person facing north, or the point on the horizon itself, | used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences that are to be taken jointly | [Name] third person singular present of BE | denoting one or more people or things already mentined or assumed to be common knowledge | the star around which the earth orbits!”
3. “Denoting the next after H in a set of terms, categories etc. | 1st person singular present of BE | denoting one or more people or things already mentioned or assumed to be common knowledge | feeling or showing pleasure or contentment | an animal, as distinct from a human being | expressing the situation of something that is or appears to be enclosed or surrounded by something else | denoting one or more people or things already mentioned or assumed to be common knowledge | the earth, together with all of its countries, peoples, and natural features. | Used to express uncertainty or possibility | used to refer to a person or thing that is different or distinct from one already mentioned or known about | human beings in general or considered collectively | possess, own, or hold | past and past principle of SAY | to such a great extent | during the period of time preceding (a particular event, date, or time,) | used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned | used with an auxiliary verb or “be” to form the negative | the lowest cardinal number; half of two | accompanied by (another person or thing) | of the type previously mentioned| just behavior or treatement.”
4. “The chemical element nobellium | the lowest cardinal number; half of two | accompanied by (another person or thing) | of the type previously mentioned| past of WILL | possess, own, or hold | accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of | expressing the situation of something that is or appears to be enclosed or surrounded by something else | denoting one or more people or things already mentioned or assumed to be common knowledge | coming after all others in time or order; final | the time taken by a planet to make one revolution around the sun | expressing the relationship between a part and a whole | denoting one or more people or things already mentioned or assumed to be common knowledge | one more than eighteen; nine ore than ten; 19 | a period of one hundred years | used to identify a specific person of thing observed by the speaker | used to identify a specific person or thing close at hand or being indicated or experienced | the earth, together with all of its countries, peoples, and natural features. | Used to express uncertainty or possibility | first and third person singular past of BE | present participle of BE | look at or observe attentively, typically over a period of time | having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm | used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences that are to be taken jointly | a short distance away or apart in space or time | identifying the agent performing an action | the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills | of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average | introducing the second in a comparison | an adult human male | used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences that are to be taken jointly | up until the present or an unspecified or implied time; by now or then | used in comparisons to refer to the extent or degree of something | (of a living being, ofen in contrast to a divine being) subject to death | used in comparisons to refer to the extent or degree of something | belonging to or associated with a male person or animal previously mentioned or easily identified; used with a possessive to emphasize that someone or something belongs or relates to the person mentioned.”
That was a lot of work (I retyped all of those), but it was fun!
If I was given this challenge, I think I would be confident in getting three out of the four, and might get the fourth. I would have to treat it like a puzzle…break it down, solve certain words as a clue to the quotation…and from there, the book. You can give yourself the point on a question if you know the book…you don’t have to “translate” the entire quotation.
Hope you have fun!
Update: I forgot to mention that I was perhaps inspired by the spirit of
Allan Sherman was a brilliant musical comedian (considerably preceding Weird Al Yankovic), and you can hear a sample of the song on that page. Update: I just listened to the sample…they never get to the really funny parts! Oh, well. ;)
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