Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Little Cigars


This is a small and terribly obvious point as soon as you think about it. We all know that a statuette is a little statue, and a kitchenette is a little kitchen; but it's somehow much less obvious that a cigarette is just a little cigar.

That's because we pronounce cigar si-GAR; but we pronounce cigarette sigar-ETTE, with the stress moved away from its home syllable. So they don't immediately suggest each other.

This is the same thing that happened with excellent, pasteurised and lousy, which I wrote about in this old post.

Also, if smoking's so bad for you, why does it cure salmon?

12 comments:

  1. Liked the fishy bit at the end.

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  2. "Also, if smoking's so bad for you, why does it cure salmon?" loved this, made me guffaw like an idiot :)

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  3. You are a dangerous man. What if modern politicians got hold of this idea ofcuring things. Every thing would be smoked over.

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  4. You are a dangerous man. What if modern politicians got hold of this idea ofcuring things. Every thing would be smoked over.

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  5. You are a dangerous man. What if modern politicians got hold of this idea ofcuring things. Every thing would be smoked over.

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  6. IKB's cigar was removed from cover of the book about him. I thought you might like this link, too: http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/the-case-of-missing-cigarettes/

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  7. There's also 'cigarillo'.

    According to Wikipedia, a cigarillo is a small cigar where the tobacco is wrapped in a whole tobacco leaf, whereas a cigarette is wrapped in paper.

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  8. I should point out that the salmon joke isn't mine, and is probably as old as the hills.

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  9. So why is it 'hills' and not mountainettes???

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  10. "The herring is a lucky fish,
    From all disease inured.
    Should he be ill when caught at sea,
    Immediately, he's cured!"
    (S. Milligan)

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  11. Oh Spike. When shall we ever see you like again?

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