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Author Topic: Wreaking and Mowing
Communication Attempt
Jingle Bell Hock


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We've all heard the phrases "mowing the lawn" and "wreaking havoc" but is it possible to mow something else than a lawn or wreak other things than havoc?I have never heard those 2 verbs used with any other nouns,and it seems weird that these verbs would be made for only one noun each.Has anyone heard those verbs in another context before?

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"I love God,he's so deliciously evil!" -Stewie,Family Guy

The fun thing about standards is that they come in so many varieties.

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Hans Off
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I can Mow someone down with my car!

(not that I will though)

Can you Wreak revenge?

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"British English speakers point to Americans adding more syllables so that they can make even more noise without actually saying anything." Llewtrah


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Don Enrico
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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http://dict.leo.org/ offers "to wreak something", meaning "to bring forth sth., to cause sth." and - as Hans off said - "to mow down".

But that is a Wiki-based online dictionary, so it's not always a reliable sorce.

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My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling, but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. - Pooh Bear

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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You can wreak bloody murder if you so chose.

As for mow? Um.... Mow better blues? [lol]

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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You can mow a field of hay too, surely? Or any field, meadow or so on?

The relevant dictionary definition says "To cut down (grass, crops etc.) with a hand implement or machine". I don't see why that's unusually specific, and at one point it would have been a much more common activity. Just because your lawn is the only thing you mow, it doesn't mean that it's the only thing that you can mow.

(It can also mean part of a barn, or be an archaic word for a grimace.)

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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One man went to mow
Went to mow a meadow...

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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Stoneage Dinosaur
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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http://www.hyperdic.net/dic/mow.htm#v2900 states that mow can also be used as a verb meaning to pout or make a sad face.

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"You learn something new every day if you're not careful" - Wilf Lunn

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Samuel Morse famously used the past tense of "wreak" in the first telegram:

"What hath God wrought?"

It was seventy-five cents collect, by the way.

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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'Wrought' isn't related to 'wreak' - wrought means 'work', the past participle of 'wreak' is 'wreaked' [Wink]

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Don't blame me, blame my Oxford English Dictionary. Wrought is also related to wright, in such words as "cartwright" (maker of carts), "wheelwright" (maker of wheels) and "you're right," meaning I read "past tense of wrecan" wrong.

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Machine guns are pretty good at mowing down lots of stuff.

There are many such words that are coupled to one or a few other words, especially if you get into specialist fields. Look in your average toolbox and you'll find several such pairs, although I can't for the life of me think of one at the moment.

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/Troberg

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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One example of coupled words is "bode". Usually you only find bode when something does not bode well. Sometimes it can bode ill, but I don't hear that much.

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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piyokochan
I Saw Three Shipments


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welllll, you could also probably mow your shaggy carpet.

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"Shakespeare and Dante divide the world between them. There is no third." - T. S. Eliot

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sweetie72
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Well my dad used to tell us that he would "mow our buts down"-that was code for run or we would have a sore bottom in about 2 seconds.

In North Dakota they mow hay. They combine crops though, which confused me. I guess it all has to do with the machine they use.

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frogpond
Jingle Sales


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Sweetie72, the way my parents put it was "Your ass is grass and I'm going to be the lawnmower!" [Big Grin]

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So many books, so little time.

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kitoboo
Deck the Malls


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Yesterday after mowing the yard I mowed the orchard. There is no grass in the orchard but it needs to be mowed a couple of times a year to prevent all the little sappling weed trees from taking over.
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rogue
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I am surprised that no baseball fans mentioned mowing down batters (striking them out...)

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"'Cause you might enjoy some madness for awile."

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Zakor2
I Saw Three Shipments


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Having grown up in Wisconsin, sometimes around farms, I can attest to the phrase "Mow the field" (hayfield) being used in the 1970s.
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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Communication Attempt:
We've all heard the phrases "mowing the lawn" and "wreaking havoc" but is it possible to mow something else than a lawn or wreak other things than havoc?I have never heard those 2 verbs used with any other nouns,and it seems weird that these verbs would be made for only one noun each.Has anyone heard those verbs in another context before?

Well, I imagine that with a language as flexible as English, finding verbs with only one specific meaning is rare. But from what I remember, in languages such as Latin that was more like the norm.

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"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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wreak _____: -- chaos, -- revenge, -- terror, -- vengeance, -- damage, -- destruction...

None of these is as common as "wreak havoc", and some of them sound pretty bad, but they are in use.

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Tabbymago
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I've heard of things that bode well often, i.e., "The show retained much of its viewership despite the change in its timeslot. This bodes well for a second season."

-Tabby
the princess with claws

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If you don't appreciate the irony, the irony appreciates.

"Sappiness and medieval violence: it's a wonderful combination. Like chocolate and peanut butter for the mind." -me on my fantasy novel-in-progress

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laiskuri
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Plummetting upward?
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phenomenomenon
Ron Mexico


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I like "vagaries of fate." You rarely hear about any other vagaries, or a single vagary.

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"Time isn't made out of lines, it's made out of circles. That's why clocks are round!"

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Faith
Happy Holly Days


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Only tones ever appear to be dulcet.

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"You watched it. You can't UNWATCH it."

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Biggles
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
There are many such words that are coupled to one or a few other words, especially if you get into specialist fields. Look in your average toolbox and you'll find several such pairs, although I can't for the life of me think of one at the moment.

One that sprung to mind was the 'wreaking bar' that my builder used. I grew up referring to these bars as 'crow-bars' but I think it is one tool that attracts names - also heard of the bigger versions being called a 'F**k off bar'.

Also, when I was younger, I was sent to a hair-dresser for them to mow/shear my hair.

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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What about words that exist only with a prefix? Uncouth, comes to mind. I've never heard anyone, except my mother, refer to someone's couth (usually it was admonishing her family to show some couth), and she only did it because my dad said it wasn't a word.

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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Logoboros
We Three Blings


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According to the OED, couth was last active in the 18th century:
quote:

(1728) RAMSAY 1st Answ. to Somerville 76: "Nor will North Britain yield for fouth Of ilka thing, and fellows couth To ony but her sister South."

It re-emerged through back-formation in the twentieth century exactly in the way you mom used it, Lynda, as a deliberately awkward antonym for uncouth.

Both couth and uncouth go back to Old English.

--Logoboros

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"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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Alex Buchet
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Speaking of mowing-- the grass mowed is called the math. If there was a second harvest of grass for hay, this was called the aftermath.

I'd say that to work was the intransitive, and to wreak the transitive forms of the same verb. However, in its present tense/infinitive form, "wreak" is used only pejoratively now.

Wrought-iron, anybody?

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Penny
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by LyndaD:
What about words that exist only with a prefix?

An Aussie band named Tripod wrote a very funny song on that particular topic. (Minor language warning).

You always seemed so honest and so sidious.
I checked your phone bill - it was full of crepancies.
But I found out one evening, you'd been creet,
When you and your ex booked a motel cognito.


[Big Grin]

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Alex Buchet
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Very ept versification-- makes me feel pleasantly gruntled.
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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Biggles:
quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
There are many such words that are coupled to one or a few other words, especially if you get into specialist fields. Look in your average toolbox and you'll find several such pairs, although I can't for the life of me think of one at the moment.

One that sprung to mind was the 'wreaking bar' that my builder used. I grew up referring to these bars as 'crow-bars' but I think it is one tool that attracts names - also heard of the bigger versions being called a 'F**k off bar'.

Also, when I was younger, I was sent to a hair-dresser for them to mow/shear my hair.

"Wrecking bar" is the term I've heard -- with a short e sound, from "to wreck." "Wreak" is pronounced with a long e sound, IME and according to Dictionary.com.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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