"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."
Sunday, 29 November 2009
A ghetto (pronounced GETT-oh) was formerly the restricted quarter of many European cities in which Jews were required to live. The first city to have named such a quarter the ghetto was Venice under the Venetian Republic in the fourteenth century and word is Venetian in origin.
Perhaps the most famous ghetto was the Warsaw Ghetto established by the Germans in 1940. It held over half a million people over the next four years and it is estimated 100,000 died of disease and malnutrition and 300,000 were killed by the Nazis on the spot during uprisings or exported to concentration camps and killed there.
Nowadays ghetto refers to any segregated mode of living or working that results from bias or stereotyping; especially a poor densely populated city district occupied by a minority ethnic group linked together by economic hardship and social restrictions.
The history of the word ghetto is one of the most damning of all humanity.
My daughter Helen commented in November 2008 in her Blog that she was now keeping a notebook of new words that she came across during her reading. "This week I bought a lovely little leather bound book to write new words in as I read them . I've added a few from "1984", but my favourite has to be persiflage (from the French persifler) which means banter." I later discovered that my older daughter, Bryony, also kept a similar notebook.
This inspired me to create a Word blog. This will include both new words, favourite words and the origins of phrases that we commonly use. A definition and some comment, perhaps even a relevant quotation, will acompany the word or phrase.
“I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me.” - Winnie the Pooh
I'm a blogger - nowadays that seems to be my main occupation and Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. I enjoy all manner of communication apart from the telephone and am constantly e-mailing, texting, writing postcards and letters and commenting on other people's blogs.
Scriptor Senex is Latin for Old Writer and my real name is John but I've almost forgotten that nowadays...
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)