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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

W – Podictionary Word of the Day

It seems strange that in English we call W ‘double-U’ while in French its ‘double-V’. It’s usually written to resemble two Vs, rather than two Us. At Urbandictionary, the entry for W contains plenty of slurs against George Bush, and those who decided to have 3-Ws as the start of a web address.

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Magnet – Podictionary Word of the Day

The OED refers to two men; Pliny and Nicander—in its etymology for the word magnet. Pliny was a Roman who lived in the 1st century and wrote the ‘Natural History’. Nicander was a Greek, who lived 300 years earlier. It’s very useful in figuring out how past peoples thought of the world around them.

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Beef – Podictionary Word of the Day

A teenager I know was recently at a weekend party up at a lake. Two of the girls there had an altercation and one pushed the other off the wharf and into the water. This was reported to me in the following terms: “Suzie and Nancy really had beef.” This was a new one on me. Did they share a steak?

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