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rhyme

literary artifice used in VERSIFICATION. Continue reading rhyme

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service (adj., n., v.)

As three parts of speech and with many senses in each function, this word having to do with routine maintenance of equipment and, more generally, with providing assistance, is often badly overused, and some of its senses have pejorated as well. Continue reading service (adj., n., v.)

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Odin’s Staff

Odin's Staff
Odin’s Staff

Compare with the staff of Jupiter,
, a common sign in Rome, and also with
, the staff of Adad, the Babylonian god of thunderstorms
and the forces of weather.

Note that the Hittite hieroglyphs for lightning were also three-pronged. The structure uppermost on Odin’s staff is similar to one of the crowns in the Three Crowns, the symbol on the Swedish national coat of arms. Three is the magic number, God’s number, associated with prosperity and power.

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Staff of Poseidon

05:01
05:01

The graphic structure05:1 was used in the earliest known runic alphabet, but was usually carved 04:34. In the antiquity this structure was a graph for the staff of Poseidon (Greece) or Neptune (Rome). It is usually drawn with the addition of barbs or flukes as a fish-spear,05:6.

Continue reading Staff of Poseidon

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co- (prefix)

Three usage questions frequently arise: Continue reading co- (prefix)

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All the Three-letter Words

There are 26^3 orĀ 17,576 ways to select three items from 26. The list below is a subset of this number.

AAH AAL AAS . . . Continue reading All the Three-letter Words

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first two/two first, last three/ three last

These are idiomatic expressions, and commentators have sometimes objected to the second in each pair. Logically, they argue, the first two includes number one and number two, but the two first implies that there are two number ones. This logic chopping does not hold up when applied to natural language. All four expressions are still Standard, even if the two (three) first and the two (three) last sound a bit old-fashioned.

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accent

in speech, emphasis given a particular sound, called prosodic systems in linguistics. There are three basic accentual methods: stress, tone, and length. Continue reading accent