April 15th, 2012

ever so slightly mad


Workshop is done, hooray! So maybe I can start interacting online again. Also, I managed to do a 2.5-hour tutorial that was webcast on Thursday without making a fool of myself, so that's good.

Anyway, our most interesting bit of news is that as of Saturday, we have a summer boarder! Bob (Rowe, if you know him) is moving back to Denver and needs a place to stay until September, and we've got a spare room, so he's renting it.

By the bye, I pondered a while over the right word before settling on "boarder". "Housemate" would indicate that we were renting the place together; likewise "roommate", which further connotes apartment living. "Houseguest" is arguably applicable but becomes misleading as time goes on and rent is paid, while "renter" carries an implication that we're not living here at the same time. "Tenant" is far too formal to describe the arrangement we've got. Thesaurus.com suggests "roomer" but that doesn't sound like English to me. "Lodger" is an excellent option, but is edged out by "boarder" because we'll be sharing groceries when he's not off in the field.

I worry about these kinds of things because I believe very firmly that Words Mean Things, and that fine gradations of meaning and nuance are desirable attributes of communication.

Further that interest, I have been enjoying reading through the archives on http://www.knewance.com . Many of the postings are on similar-sounding things that often get confused (and are thus boring if you know what the words mean), but it's neat to read about the differences between, say, clementines, tangerines, satsumas, and mandarin oranges.