said (used with nouns, and with first- and third-person pronouns, and always placed before the subject).
Quoth “said,” despite the similar spelling, is not related to quote. While quote derives from Medieval Latin quotāre “to divide (into chapters or verses),” quoth is the past tense of the obsolete verb quethe, from Old English cwethan “to say.” The verb bequeath “to dispose of by last will” and the noun bequest “a disposition in a will” also stem from this Old English verb. Quoth has a few other cognates in modern Germanic languages, such as Icelandic kvetha “to say, chant,” but is otherwise isolated, with no other likely relatives in Ancient Greek, Latin, or Sanskrit. Quoth was first recorded in English in the late 12th century.
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore,—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
Didst thou not mark the king, what words he spake, ‘Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?’ Was it not so? …. ‘Have I no friend?’ quoth he: he spake it twice, And urged it twice together, did he not?
a rooflike shelter of canvas or other material extending over a doorway, from the top of a window, over a deck, etc., in order to provide protection, as from the sun.
Awning “a rooflike shelter of canvas extending from a building to provide protection” is a relatively common word with a relatively uncommon history. Of obscure origin, several theories persist regarding its source. One is a derivation from Middle French auvans “sloping roof” (compare modern French auvent), also of obscure origin but sometimes connected to a Celtic source, which would have been reduced to the form awn and compounded with the suffix -ing. Another theory connects awning, because of its earliest use strictly in nautical contexts, to a Low German source cognate to English haven, with the sense of “shelter.” Awning was first recorded in English in the mid-1620s in the writings of Captain John Smith, whose name you may recognize for its association with the Jamestown colony in what is now Virginia.
Up until the mid-20th century, most buildings were developed with the climate in mind. In warmer latitudes, architects incorporated transoms, cupolas, skylights, air shafts, and operable windows to promote cross ventilation and updrafts. Awnings, light-filtering screens, louvered shades, overhangs, and porches defended rooms against the sun. Ceiling fans, which use up to a thousand times less energy than a room air conditioner, were ubiquitous. But as the cachet and influence of modernist architecture—with its inoperable windows and curtain walls of aluminum and glass—spread from the U.S. and Europe around the globe, so did dependence on mechanical air-conditioning.
anything that puzzles.
The origin of conundrum “anything that puzzles” is itself a conundrum! Though it resembles Latin, conundrum likely belongs to the same family of pseudo-Latin terms as hocus-pocus. The earliest clue to conundrum’s origins is a 1645 text that connects the term to Oxford University and appears to define it as “pun, wordplay.” However, conundrum predates this instance by several decades, appearing in 1596 as a derogatory term for another person and later, in the 1620s, with the sense of “whimsical notion.” One suggestion, that conundrum is connected to the Latin verb cōnārī “to try, attempt,” with an intended meaning of “thing to be tried,” does not reflect conundrum’s earliest attested senses. As stated above, conundrum was first recorded in English in the 1590s.
It’s one of the biggest puzzles in modern astronomy: Based on multiple observations of stars and galaxies, the universe seems to be flying apart faster than our best models of the cosmos predict it should. Evidence of this conundrum has been accumulating for years, causing some researchers to call it a looming crisis in cosmology. Now a group of researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope has compiled a massive new dataset, and they’ve found a-million-to-one odds that the discrepancy is a statistical fluke. In other words, it’s looking even more likely that there’s some fundamental ingredient of the cosmos—or some unexpected effect of the known ingredients—that astronomers have yet to pin down.
It was an epidemiological whodunnit. Was the “demographic structure” of a population the real factor? Were the disparities exaggerated by undercounting, with shoddy reporting systems hiding the real toll from public-health analysts? Was government response a critical variable? Or were other, less obvious factors at play? Perhaps any analysis would prove premature …. But as I started speaking with colleagues from around the world I found that my puzzlement was widely shared. For many statisticians, virologists, and public-health experts, the regional disparities in covid-19 mortality represent the greatest conundrum of the pandemic.
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