1.02.2008

Buy Rice. Learn Words.

I have my mother to thank for my large vocabulary. She has never been chary about using real words with us. (Thanks, Mom!) One of the terms she uses is 'casper milquetoast' to describe a person who is 'vanilla' (another favorite adjective) or someone without a lot of gumption. Until a few minutes ago, before I found the rice site, I would have sworn that 'milquetoast' was spelled 'milk toast'. Remember, I started hearing this word when I was small; when I got older, I just thought it was figurative language. After all, milk on toast is pretty bland. Alas, NO! Milquetoast is an actual word, complete with space in a real dictionary. It derives from a 1924 comic strip for the New York World called The Timid Soul. Because of the retiring qualities of the main character, Casper Milquetoast, the term 'milquetoast' came to mean 'weak and ineffectual'. I think my initial assessment of milk and toast might have been the author's inspiration for the name; just a guess.

Now on to rice: Free Rice tests your vocabulary and, for each word, you get right, 20 grains are donated to the hungry. The rice, in case you were wondering, is paid for by the advertisers who advertise on the site. The words get progressively harder as you continue, and if you get a word wrong, the site gives you an easier one the next time. It's pretty fun, and I learned a few cool words like 'mahout', which means elephant driver. Oh, and I figured out how to spell milquetoast.

1 comment:

  1. And as a result, the red room librarian is anything but milquetoast!!

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