Reading builds brains

Methods and means of supporting critical thinking in education
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Lance Kennedy
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Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:35 pm

Reference ; New Scientist, 3 June 2017, page 14

Dr. Michael Skeide and colleagues studies brain function before and after teaching illiterate adults in India to read in the local Hindu script. By the end of the six month learning period, the activity of the cortex of the brain had increased measurably. It appears that being literate carries rewards above and beyond simply being able to read.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:47 pm

That's a considerable result in a fairly short time period! I've always felt a brief surge of demoralization every time I've heard someone say, "I hate to read." If they only knew what they were missing, and the immeasurable impact that reading for pleasure would have on their lives.

My home is a slightly oversized two-bedroom ranch. Placed wherever they'll fit are a dozen floor-to-ceiling, mostly overflowing bookshelves. Everyone who enters my home for the first time reacts in some way. Sadly, most get a look I can best describe as a mixture of horror, fear, and revulsion before saying the obvious, "You have a lot of books!" Then, "Have you actually read all of them?" When I respond, "Yes, many of them multiple times. Actually, I read for a couple hours every night," then I get the look...lol.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:11 am

Luna

I am with you. I love reading. Being retired, that means hours every day. Apart from web surfing , and writing, scuba diving, and walking, of course.

The main difference e is that I now use ebooks. My kindle can hold 1500 books in its memory. I do not need all those damn bookshelves! I am looking forward to the new ebooks with color. Supposedly available before the end of next year.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Gord » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:13 am

Is this why dumb people cant spell rite or do grammar no good?
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:19 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:. By the end of the six month learning period, the activity of the cortex of the brain had increased measurably. .
I'm an idiot. I read your sentence twice and missed "activity" twice. I stupidly though they were claiming the cortex increased, as in size. I was about to go into attack mode, but thankfully, found and read the article.

Here it is.
:D
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... ix-months/

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:21 am

You are not an idiot, Matthew. In spite of being a lawyer, you are probably one of the smarter people on this forum, even with your propensity to get over excited about certain topics.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:29 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:. By the end of the six month learning period, the activity of the cortex of the brain had increased measurably. .
I'm an idiot. I read your sentence twice and missed "activity" twice. I stupidly though they were claiming the cortex increased, as in size. I was about to go into attack mode, but thankfully, found and read the article.

Here it is.
:D
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... ix-months/

Don't beat yourself up for misreading the sentence. That most certainly doesn't make you an idiot. I've lost count of the number of times I've misread something, taken a deep breath to blast someone into the middle of next week, and had to deflate upon rereading. LOL...it happens.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:08 am

LunaNik wrote: Don't beat yourself up for misreading the sentence.

Every exam I have sat since my High School Certificate (Australia) has had 15 minutes reading time before you are allowed to write anything. I still have not learned from that valuable lesson...... :D

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:16 am

Sensible plan! I'll admit, when I took the college prep exam, I read the reading comprehension questions first, then skimmed the prose for the answers. Not the approved way of doing things, but the exam was timed and I knew my speed-reading abilities would work better that way. Plus, I was leery of the math portion, it not being my strong suit.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:32 pm

Gord wrote:Is this why dumb people cant spell rite or do grammar no good?


Maybe - or maybe it's all that bathtub gin.
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:40 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Luna

I am with you. I love reading. Being retired, that means hours every day. Apart from web surfing , and writing, scuba diving, and walking, of course.

The main difference e is that I now use ebooks. My kindle can hold 1500 books in its memory. I do not need all those damn bookshelves! I am looking forward to the new ebooks with color. Supposedly available before the end of next year.

I know the kindle and its analogs are wonderful, especially when traveling, but I do love having the actual book in my hands. Not that I'm a Luddite, and I probably will get a kindle one of these days, but I have so many wonderful associations with actual books that I hate to give them up.

My folks, as I've probably mentioned, were academics. Toys were reserved for holidays, special occasions, and birthdays. But my brother and I were never limited on books, art supplies, and musical instruments, that last within reason. We often took day trips to new and used bookstores, and my brother and I were allowed to pick out as many books as we liked. Of course, my parents ensured that the Newbery and Caldecott winners were included. My favorite store was Johnson's Bookstore in Springfield, MA, because they had a whole floor of art supplies.

I still have my favorite YA books, including the entire set of Nancy Drew hardcovers, the entire set of oversized Oz paperbacks, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, and numerous other novels. Plus several boxes of children's books, including all Dr. Seuss' books in hardcover. Luckily, I don't plan to move. Ugh...what a nightmare that would be.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Poodle » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:40 pm

I agree with both of you. I have a huge collection of ebooks which I'm working through but, to be frank, they're mostly the stuff I'll read once and then never look at again. Then I have the real stuff, for which I built a whole-wall bookcase last year. You know what I'm going to say - and it's true - I couldn't get the last couple of books onto it.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:41 pm

Luna

The ebook thing is like so much else I life. Fully appreciated only after you get into it. I am pondering ways to get rid of my last paper books, which take up so much space. I reread my kindle books just as much as I reread paper books. I now much prefer the kindle, which is smaller and lighter and easier to use than a paper book. I can read it in full daylight, or in the dark (back lit screen). I can adjust font size. I carry a library with me in a device smaller than a paperback. Once we got color, we got it all.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:28 am

Poodle wrote:I agree with both of you. I have a huge collection of ebooks which I'm working through but, to be frank, they're mostly the stuff I'll read once and then never look at again. Then I have the real stuff, for which I built a whole-wall bookcase last year. You know what I'm going to say - and it's true - I couldn't get the last couple of books onto it.

LMAO! That figures. Your method actually sounds like the kind of reasonable compromise I could make. Paper books for those I know I'll reread multiple times, and e-books for "read once" stuff. Quite sensible.

I definitely have a bunch I can get rid of...mostly non-fiction books on outdated software, but also novels I've either outgrown or disliked. That'll make some room to ease the overcrowding.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:51 am

Why bother with paper books at all? Unless they have color illustrations?

An ebook is better in almost every way. I used to love paper books, and now I much prefer the ebook. How else can you sit in your living room, browse a book shop with several million books, using computer software to narrow down the choices, and buy what you want to read at a quarter the book shop price without getting out of your armchair?

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:31 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Why bother with paper books at all? Unless they have color illustrations?

An ebook is better in almost every way. I used to love paper books, and now I much prefer the ebook. How else can you sit in your living room, browse a book shop with several million books, using computer software to narrow down the choices, and buy what you want to read at a quarter the book shop price without getting out of your armchair?

I admit that my preference is based solely on emotional reasons. Factually, the ebook makes more sense, except for the cost factor. Given the number of books I have, replacing them would be expensive.

Question: Is the ebook industry now following the subscription model, like the software and music industries? That is to say, when you "buy" an ebook, do you own it, or are you merely renting it? I ask because I dislike the subscription model and have mostly abandoned Adobe products because of it.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:31 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Why bother with paper books at all? Unless they have color illustrations?

An ebook is better in almost every way. I used to love paper books, and now I much prefer the ebook. How else can you sit in your living room, browse a book shop with several million books, using computer software to narrow down the choices, and buy what you want to read at a quarter the book shop price without getting out of your armchair?

I admit that my preference is based solely on emotional reasons. Factually, the ebook makes more sense, except for the cost factor. Given the number of books I have, replacing them would be expensive.

Question: Is the ebook industry now following the subscription model, like the software and music industries? That is to say, when you "buy" an ebook, do you own it, or are you merely renting it? I ask because I dislike the subscription model and have mostly abandoned Adobe products because of it.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:37 pm

You have a choice, Luna. There are now ebook libraries, where you can get a book for a small fee, or for free, to read and where the software wipes it off your device after (I think) three weeks. Or you can do what I do, and buy the books to become your personal possession thereafter.

With the kindle, there is another point that I like. The Amazon computer records your purchases, and if you want to download a book a second time, it is free, since you have already paid for it. This means that if you own a second device, you can get the books you already bought without paying again. It also means you can, if you wish, delete stuff off your ebook without losing them. My wife and I each have a kindle, and we buy on a single account. Although our tastes vary somewhat, from time to time I will download a book she bought, and I get it for free.

I suggest you try the ebook system. While I appreciate that you already own lots of books, you will still want to buy more. The ebook makes those purchases cheaper and no need for bookshelves. The cost of an ebook is nothing to a true booklover, since we spend more than the cost of the ebook on books in a short time. The savings on books soon overwhelms the cost of the device. Between my wife and I, we have something approaching 1,000 books in our ebook memories. The cost of 1,000 books is massively more than the cost of our two kindles.

The cost of the book download ranges from free, to low, to perhaps $US 20. But the more expensive books will be $50 in paper form. Most of the books I buy are in the region of $1 to $9. But I do have a number of books downloaded for free. There is a free on line service called Book Bub, which gives regular recommendations of cheap ebooks according to the standards you specify.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:08 am

It sounds like a wonderful system! Paper books are so expensive now that I generally wait until new releases are either remaindered or I can get a used copy. Obviously, I prefer hardcovers because they last longer. Even paperbacks are expensive now. You've inspired me to research different ebook readers and check out their features. Thanks for the info, Lance!
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Jane OD » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:25 pm

It is important to read exactly. And now a lot of very good video courses, it gives a lot of information. I think that the system of obtaining knowledge and sources of knowledge have already changed.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby scrmbldggs » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:39 am

Things certainly are changing, but to know how to write a request is still a good skill to have. :-P
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:49 am

There is a huge selection of ebooks in the public domain. All old stuff, all the classics. I prefer paperbacks for filling time when in public and waiting in line. They don't break on dropping or get stolen. I even rip them in half to make the size more comfortable. Mostly thrillers as who can concentrate watching the wait line decrease?

Ii've got the Biography of Ulysses S Grant on Ebooks. Everything I read is great....but I can't stick with it. Dean Koontz..... kicking right along.
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:39 am

My reading habit is very, very bad. I have wasted enormous amounts of time reading hundreds of books, usually science fact or science fiction. Now I am retired, and have a kindle, my reading is totally out of control. And loving it !

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:43 am

Jane OD wrote:It is important to read exactly. And now a lot of very good video courses, it gives a lot of information. I think that the system of obtaining knowledge and sources of knowledge have already changed.


I made the mistake of practicing speed reading when I was young. It was a mistake. You simply miss things because your own ideas on what the sentence should say, replace the words, in the actual sentence you are reading. It was a false advantage. :D

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:21 pm

I have a tendency to author-binge. I recently reread Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, not from beginning to end, but by theme, which I find more interesting. So, I read all the Sam Vimes stories, then the Granny Weatherwax ones, then the Nac Mac Feegle tales, and so on.

Currently, I'm reading and rereading Larry Niven. I realized I'd never read Ringworld, so I started there. Now I have to pick up Ringworld Engineers, even though I wasn't blown away by Ringworld. I much preferred his Integral Trees duology (The Integral Trees and The Smoke Ring), because I thought the science, plot, and characterizations were better. (This series is not part of Niven's Known Space ficton.)

If you haven't read it, Niven's collaboration with Jerry Pournelle entitled Inferno is a fantastic modern take on Dante's Inferno.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:39 pm

It totally amazed me, when I read Ringworld the first time, that Larry Niven, a smart guy, failed to see the enormous technical fault in the concept. He "fixed " it in a later sequel, but the fix was clunky and a bit ridiculous. But he was already committed to error by then.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Gord » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:24 am

If reading builds brains, does writing demolish them?
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:05 am

Gord wrote:If reading builds brains, does writing demolish them?

Nope. Writing is exercising the muscles you built by reading. :wgrin:
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:10 am

I have lost the quote but some Greek said that speaking made an eloquent man, reading made an informed man, and writing made a precise man. I don't know what women did with all that.................gossip, gossip, and.........gossip?
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:42 am

Ugh. I can't stand gossip. It's worse than small talk.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:56 am

Just as an aside, the original meaning of "gossip ".

It was a name given to a woman who had the task of distracting another woman who was in pain during childbirth. Her task was to talk and listen, to keep the pregnant woman from feeling the pain too much. It was a respected and skilled task. So for a woman to be called a gossip may not be an insult. The original gossips were pretty cool dudes.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:22 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Just as an aside, the original meaning of "gossip ".

It was a name given to a woman who had the task of distracting another woman who was in pain during childbirth. Her task was to talk and listen, to keep the pregnant woman from feeling the pain too much. It was a respected and skilled task. So for a woman to be called a gossip may not be an insult. The original gossips were pretty cool dudes.

Druther have an epidural.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Gord » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:28 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Just as an aside, the original meaning of "gossip ".

It was a name given to a woman who had the task of distracting another woman who was in pain during childbirth. Her task was to talk and listen, to keep the pregnant woman from feeling the pain too much. It was a respected and skilled task. So for a woman to be called a gossip may not be an insult. The original gossips were pretty cool dudes.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gossip

gossip (n.)

Old English godsibb "sponsor, godparent," from God + sibb "relative" (see sibling). Extended in Middle English to "a familiar acquaintance, a friend, neighbor" (c. 1300), especially to woman friends invited to attend a birth, later to "anyone engaging in familiar or idle talk" (1560s). Sense extended 1811 to "trifling talk, groundless rumor." Similar formations in Old Norse guðsifja, Old Saxon guþziff.
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:37 pm

The etymological origin of the word, Gord, is not necessarily the way the word evolves in its useage.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:40 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:The etymological origin of the word, Gord, is not necessarily the way the word evolves in its useage.

Gord just provided an excellent etymology of the word gossip. Can you make any sense of what you posted in response?
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:01 pm

I said that words change their meanings over time.

Gord posted a reference from the etymology dictionary, which was correct. It did not, though, show the way the word changed its meaning.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:04 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:I said that words change their meanings over time.

Gord posted a reference from the etymology dictionary, which was correct. It did not, though, show the way the word changed its meaning.

What?======>thats EXACTLY what it did. Word went from sponsor to groundless rumor.

Whats up with you Lance?
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:19 pm

Words evolve, and change their meaning numerous times. A dictionary has not the space to show that evolution in detail.

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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:22 pm

That doodle is not responsive.

How did Gord's post not show the evolution of the word gossip?
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Re: Reading builds brains

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:32 pm

Do you not know the meaning of the word 'detail ' ?


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