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Posts Tagged ‘tear’

Given several untimely celebrity deaths of-late, and the content of our yesterday’s blog post on the multiple definitions of words, this post is eerily related.

We saw this People Magazine news headline today, and it just reinforced the fact that our English language is complex. Many words have many meanings and perceptions can frequently transport us among those meanings …

“Quincy Jones Tears Up When Hearing Michael’s Music”

(click here for the real story)

What comes to your mind?

Here’s what came to ours:

quincy jones tears up

We are truly not trying to be irreverent here … let’s just take a look at an interesting four-letter word: tear.

1. tear.  noun. pronounced [teer]

  • a drop of the saline, watery fluid continually secreted by the lacrimal glands between the surface of the eye and the eyelid, serving to moisten and lubricate these parts and keep them clear of foreign particles.
  • this fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, esp. grief.
  • something resembling or suggesting a tear, as a drop of a liquid or a tearlike mass of a solid substance, esp. having a spherical or globular shape at one end and tapering to a point at the other.
  • Glassmaking. a decorative air bubble enclosed in a glass vessel; air bell.
  • tears, grief; sorrow.

tear. verb (used without object)

  • to fill up and overflow with tears, as the eyes.

tear. Idiom

  • in tears

2. tear. verb (used with object). pronounced [tair]

  • to pull apart or in pieces by force, esp. so as to leave ragged or irregular edges.
  • to pull or snatch violently; wrench away with force: to tear wrappings from a package; to tear a book from someone’s hands. 
  • to distress greatly: anguish that tears the heart.
  • to divide or disrupt: a country torn by civil war. 
  • to wound or injure by or as if by rending; lacerate.
  • to produce or effect by rending: to tear a hole in one’s coat. 
  • to remove by force or effort: to be unable to tear oneself from a place. 

tear. verb (used without object)

  • to become torn.
  • to make a tear or rent.
  • to move or behave with force, violent haste, or energy: The wind tore through the trees; cars tearing up and down the highway; I was tearing around all afternoon trying to find sandals for the beach. 

tear. noun the act of tearing.

  • a rent or fissure.
  • a rage or passion; violent flurry or outburst.
  • Informal. a spree.

tear. Verb phrases: tear at, tear down, tear into, tear off, tear up

tear. Idioms: tear it, tear one’s hair, tear one’s hair out

More coincidence …

Rip is a synonym for tear [tair], as in to break, split, or shred. And, R.I.P., as you likely know, stands for Rest In Peace, which is what we wish for all who have met their mortality.

Source: dictionary.com

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A few days ago, we picked up on a thread that was going around, and we made an original contribution to an existing list.

See our previous post: Logic and the English language, part 2.

Yesterday, we got an email from a friend that took this concept even further, and now it has us on a roll …

Here is more evidence that English may not be the easiest language to learn:

  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • He could  lead if he would get the lead out.
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. (Later, the farmer also taught the sow to sew.)
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

And a few additions of our own:

  • The violinist, a master with the bow, took a bow to the audience.
  • You wouldn’t want to be late for your morning latte.
  • Many decorate with holly in the holy season.
  • The judge dared to convict the convict once again.
  • The lather worked up quite a lather while cleaning the woodworking equipment.
  • Does it take a college course to learn to make a collage?
  • The august scholar was introduced in August.
  • A rebel with a cause has reason to rebel.
  • Do they eat lima beans in Lima, Peru?
  • There is a very nice city called Nice, in France.

And, several entries from our friends at fun-with-words.com:

  • Please excuse me while I think of an excuse.
  • The button was so minute that it was a minute before I found it.
  • It’s the referee’s job to record the new world record.
  • When people abuse drugs this is called drug abuse.
  • To contest the issue they held a contest.
  • John became a convert after deciding to convert to another religion.
  • If I need a duplicate I can use the copy machine to duplicate the letter.
  • The guard will permit you to pass if you show a valid permit.
  • Please put my typewriter to use because I never use it.
  • They alternate between using the alternate machine and the main one.
  • My grandfather is aged ninety-two so he is quite aged.
  • I crooked my neck to see the man with the crooked stick.
  • Extreme weather may desolate a place making it a desolate place.
  • Everything I know I learned from that learned old man.
  • The overture took years to perfect, but eventually it was perfect.
  • I want you to separate the cards into two separate piles.
  • I tried to console the controller as he stood at his console.
  • John was content that the content of the box was undamaged.
  • The drawer drew a picture of the cupboard and drawer.
  • The lavishly decorated entrance will entrance the visitors.
  • It will incense the bursar that we have spent so much on incense.
  • As my mother moped about, a man on a moped rode by.
  • I broke a number of bones in my right hand; it’s number than the left.
  • As the charity event proceeds, the proceeds keep pouring in.
  • The President will recount the events that led to a vote recount.
  • I resent the fact that the letter was lost, but I have resent it.

Now, you’ve had a loose lesson on Heteronyms. wasn’t that fun?

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