Monday, June 27, 2011

WWW: Morpheme

WWW no.1

(Wonderful Word of the Week number one)

A word which everyone who likes words should know.

Morpheme {n.}  A meaningful linguistic unit consisting of a word, such as man, or a word element, such as -ed in walked, that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts.

Fascinating.  And meaningful.

While it may sound like a hefty pain-killer, a morpheme is so very technically linguistic.  It brings me right back to my battles with grammar.
Considering those battles were long, drawn out and painful, it is very brave of me to choose something like this to include in my vocabulary.

One quick Google search later reveals to me that that a morpheme is actually very boring.

The tiniest unit of expression in any language.  It can be a word, or it can make up a word.

Basic, basic, basic.  Like the logs in our wood fire, or the bricks in the base of the Statue of Liberty, or the potatoes on a plate with filet mignon, or... you get the picture.  A bit blah and boring, but very necessary.

It's so blah that I think I broke my favourite quotations-finder-website when I searched for a quote - any quote! - containing the word 'morpheme'.  Whoops.  It told me to try a more general word...

Scratch that, let's move on to something a little more unorthodox.

A2Z Word Finder!

A morpheme may not be dividable into smaller meaningful parts, but I am about break the rules of grammar, or linguistics, or whatever we are dealing with here.

*evil laughter*

Behold, the word morpheme is being broken into smaller morphemes.

Hmm, let's see, there is hemp, rheme, home, hope, moper, hop, heme, memo, hero, mope, perm, poem, prom, romp, here, mop, her, hoe, more, peer, pore, and rope.


Now, look out world!  I'm armed and ready to point out your morphemes with my morphemes!

(Confession: I really think that I still don't fully grasp the definition of this word about words.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wonderful Words

In my first ever post on this blog (not counting my random tester posts which were promptly deleted) I indulged my love for interesting words and phrases.

Do you know what I mean by blackberry winter?  Probably only if you read that first post.

But don't bother - it has distorted pictures.  I have no idea what happened to them, because I have a really good camera which takes really good photos for all my other posts.  I am constantly trying for better photos.  I think this blog is supposed to be about that, isn't it?  *cough cough* photography section *cough*

Anyway, where was I?

My love for interesting words and phrases.

I know several people who have absolutely astonishing vocabularies.  They are usually both bookworms and homeschoolers.  I am/was both, but I think my vocabulary has suffered a little ever since I began to read at primary school.  The books were really boring and simple and unfortunately shrunk my literary horizons.  I wasn't always homeschooled.

But this isn't a depressed look into my impoverished past (I'm sure my teachers meant best when they told me what to read).  I bear the scars of a voracious reader who began be reading whatever she could lay her hands on, and was then given books suitable for her grade/year level.  Oh no!  Memories are flooding into my mind even now as I write!
Years later I can still picture those thin, oh so unsubstantial books, handed out to every student to be read after school (we even had to get our parents to sign their lives away, swearing we had finished the book).  I think I forged my mother's signature.  Not because I wasn't reading those little books, but because I was reading too many.

I even remember the series: Aussie Bites

Blah.  I see they are still producing excellent reading material for Australian students...


Marty's amazing talent takes
him into the secret, fantastic, 
highly competitive world of
World Championship Farting!

Archie Cupid is a perfect angel. Lizzie Imp is just perfectly naughty!
But when Archie gets Lizzie's spitball up his nose and Lizzie gets struck by Archie's arrow, everything changes . . .

Skeeta Anderson woke up one morning to find that his bum was gone. And not only his bum, but the bum of every single person in the town of Bugalugs.
It's up to Skeeta to catch the thief . . .

Sheesh, I'm not trying to run a smear campaign, but I wasn't even aware I was reading...this.

Where were the Three Musketeers, or Anne of Green Gables?  Famous Five anyone?  How about a little Shakespeare?

Now you know why I'm only just getting onto Austen.  Look at my beginnings!  

All well, I'm getting carried away.

The point is, I am now free from the shackles of prescribed primary reading (long free), and now is the time to rectify all wrongs.

As well as reading a lot of everything, and doing creative writing at university level, I am determined to expand my vocabulary.

I shall do it on this blog, or else it will never get done at all.

(And with the current rate of posting on this blog, it may still never get done at all)

But never say die!

Instead, say hello to an additional file within The Mouse Files: Wonderful Words

Monday, June 20, 2011



“The most beautiful thing in the world is a match well made.” Emma Woodhouse (Emma 1996)

Yes, that quote is from the movie but I personally can never think of the book without remembering the 1996 rendition.  
It probably has something to do with the fact that I saw the movie before reading the book.  Naughty, naughty, I know.

But I’ve always needed a little convincing when it comes to Austen.

I didn’t read Pride and Prejudice until just a year ago, and since then I’ve slowly got around to meeting Jane’s other heroines. 

Emma is my favourite (well, so far anyhow).  She is so silly and yet so likeable.  Short sighted but clever.  Calm and capable.
I think match-making is ridiculous and maybe Jane did too, and that’s why she wrote this book.

Since my beginnings in Austen (don’t ask me why I keep switching from ‘Jane’ to ‘Austen’ – you know who I mean) I’ve picked up a few ‘Jane Austen for Dummies’ books from the library.  I must be beyond a dummy because I can never get through all the explanations for this and that, and all the supposed ulterior meanings behind Austen’s stories.  

So I’m supposing that there are supposed meanings behind Emma because
a) clever novelists always imply more than they say (I think)
b) Jane Austen was a clever novelist because she got published in a clever way (I think)
c) sometimes I don’t even understand what is going on when characters sweep out of rooms and jump out of corners looking guilty.  Or make bitingly polite insults in each other’s faces.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m sure I have no idea what I’m talking about when I review Emma from a technical point of view, so I’m just going to keep it personal.  I hope you like it personal.

Keeping it personal means ditching all the little sections I’ve had for my other Fiction Blitz reviews.  I’m sure you have ALL read Emma over twenty times since you turned 14, or maybe had to study it for English Lit.  If not you should borrow it from the library, or pick up a copy from your local bookshop (if they don’t have it you should berate the manager for not stocking one of the most superior classics of all time). 
For some reason, in this post about the book Emma I have succeeded in mentioning nothing about the contents of the book itself – so much for a review.

Well, I wouldn't want to leave you with nothing.  Since I'm feeling a little bit trippy tonight, how about a little list.

'The Mouse's List of Obnoxious Reasons for Liking Emma'

I have a head cold.  ‘Nuff said.

1. When talking or writing about Emma one will always confuse Emma with Emma.  I could say that I enjoyed Emma but found Emma a little annoying.  Or Emma truly was the star of Emma even though the backing characters really made the story.  After reading Emma I feel that Emma will always be with me. 

2. A book full of silly characters always makes me feel better about myself.     

3. Mr Knightley is suitably awe-inspiring and wise.  He would make me feel small the way he always gets things right (Mr Elton doesn't like Harriet, Emma.  Open your eyes.)  But then he falls on his knees in the end and apologises (unnecessarily)  Go Emma!  You showed him who's boss.  Now quick!  Marry him!

4. Annoying characters who conveniently gabble on (hello Miss Bates), and in doing so enlighten a confused reader who has missed something.

5.  Frank Churchill's hair cut - the world's most random excuse.

6. This quote:  "I do not know whether it ought to be so, but certainly silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way." (Emma to Mr. Knightley) It just sums up the laughable side of Emma - both the entire book and our favourite match-maker.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Confessions: I love the circus

Break out the kazoos!

The balloon animals!  The red velvet cupcakes!  The glitter and confetti!

Streamers, safaris, saffron and sunscreen. Chocolate, chants, chatter and cheese.     

I'm celebrating! (can you tell?) 

Unfortunately to explain the celebrations I'll have to use the P-word.  
P as in...Ppppa... ppppap...ppppape...PAPERS!

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