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Words, Sept. 3



Better glamping than cramping, I suppose:

 “Welcome to the early stages of the era of ‘glamping' — glamorous camping. … Camping with trimmings — tents with heaters, eco-outhouses, showers hidden around the corner — has tremendous appeal. The business people who provide these experiences get to skip building a big hotel, and put up ‘mobile rooms' instead.”

And they'd like you to help them by using their new word. Their real goal is pramping — profitable camping.   


 A couple of readers have answered the question raised here Aug. 13 about “a word for folks who have a special interest in cemeteries or who visit them as a hobby.” Such a person is a taphophile, Carolyn Henn and Robert Retsky inform us. Taphophilia is “A fondness for funerals, graves and cemeteries.” It comes from the Greek words taphos, meaning “tomb” or “sepulcher,” and philia, meaning “attraction to, love, obsession.”


Our Aug. 6 discussion of prepositions elicited a comment from Richard Frothingham:

“When I am uncertain about the correct preposition to use with a word, I search for an entry dealing with that word in the Family Word Finder (Reader's Digest Association, c. 1975), and in its entry, I usually find a sample sentence demonstrating what preposition to use.”


“One would have thought that it was Hopjoy who had cause to kill Periam, not the other way round. Husbands are sometimes eliminated from triangles, but I don't think I can recall a case of fiancecide.”

I don't think I can recall a case of seeing the word fiancecide before, but -cide, like -phile, can be stuck on the end of just about anything — pesticide, fungicide, etc. I saw a reference to gendercide recently, and that use was serious. Fiancecide was intended to be humorous, I think.

The suffix –cide comes from Latin and is used in English to form compound words that have to do with the act of killing. The best-known of these is homicide, “the killing of one human being by another.” The hom- is from the Latin word for “man.”


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