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5/7/2008 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson



Here’s some English language trivia:

The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."

There are only four words in the English language which end in

"dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.

Los Angeles’ full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula."

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt."

There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, purple and silver!

Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.

The dot over the letter "i" is called a tittle.

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

Alternatively, "Go." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

The longest word in the English language is 1,909 letters long and it refers to a distinct part of DNA.

The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."

The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means "the king is dead."

Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."

The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English language.

The names of all the continents end with the same letter that they start with.

The word "lethologica" describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.

Typewriter is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of the keyboard.

The words racecar and kayak are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left.

No word in the English language rhymes with month.

The most common name in the world is Mohammed.

The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan.

The Bible has been translated into Klingon.


I just came across this exercise suggested for seniors to build muscle strength in the arms and shoulders. It seems so easy, so I thought I’d pass it on to some of my friends and family. The article suggested doing it three days a week.

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side. With a 5-lb. potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax.

Each day, you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple weeks, move up to 10-lb. potato sacks. Then 50-lb. potato sacks.

Eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb. potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.

(I’m at this level.)

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.


One day while he was at the track playing the ponies and all but losing his shirt, Mitch noticed a priest who stepped out onto the track and blessed the forehead of one of the horses lining up for the fourth race.

Lo and behold, that horse — a very long shot — won the race.

Before the next race, as the horses began lining up, Mitch watched with interest as the old priest stepped onto the track. Sure enough, as the race horses came to the starting gate the priest made a blessing on the forehead of one of the horses.

Mitch made a beeline for a betting window and placed a small bet on the horse. Again, even though it was another long shot, the horse the priest had blessed won the race.

Mitch collected his winnings and anxiously waited to see which horse the priest would bless for the sixth race. The priest again blessed a horse.

Mitch bet big on the horse and it won. Mitch was elated. As the races continued the priest kept blessing long shot horses and each one ended up coming in first.

Bye and bye, Mitch was pulling in some serious money. By the last race, he knew his wildest dreams were going to come true. He made a quick dash to the ATM, withdrew all his savings and awaited the priest’s blessing that would tell him which horse to bet on.

True to his pattern, the priest stepped onto the track for the last race and blessed the forehead of an old nag that was the longest shot of the day. Mitch also observed the priest blessing the eyes, ears and hooves of the old nag.

Mitch knew he had a winner and bet every cent he owned on the old nag. He then watched dumbfounded as the old nag come in dead last.

Mitch, in a state of shock, made his way down to the track area where the priest was. Confronting the old priest he demanded, "Father! What happened? All day long you blessed horses and they all won. Then in the last race, the horse you blessed lost by a Kentucky mile. Now, thanks to you I’ve lost every cent of my savings — all of it!"

The priest nodded wisely and with sympathy. "Son," he said, "that’s the problem with you Lutherans, you can’t tell the difference between a simple blessing and last rites."

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