Thursday, May 15, 2008

A is for Abstemious and Its Vowels A E I O U

Not to be facetious, but whenever I come across the word abstemious I am reminded of the only two commonly used words in the English language with all five vowels in order (if one makes them into adverbs with the addition of -ly, one has six vowels in order).

Now these are not the only two words in the English language with all the vowels in order, just the only two words in common, contemporary usage. In fact, some word lovers with nothing better to do have found dozens of such words, but you and I have never heard of them. (For much more than you ever wanted to know on this subject, check out this site.)

You can even find the vowels in order in that euphonic but phony word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (with quite a few extraneous vowels thrown in, to be sure).

Abstemious derives from Latin ab- (away from) and temum (liquor). One who is abstemious is sparing or moderate in eating and drinking.

For some related sports trivia, can you identify the baseball player whose name contains all the vowels? He played for a number of teams, most notably the Detroit Tigers in the 70s. His name is Aurelio Rodriguez.

By the way, did you know that the vowels represent life? How? Well, the vowels represent breath—breath flowing freely without obstruction. (The consonants obstruct the breath with various parts of the mouth.) Since human life cannot exist without breath, vowels represent our life. "He blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the adam became a living being."

Orig: 5/15/08

3 comments:

Bonnie said...

Abstemious ... not a word I'd use to label myself ! In any way, shape or form !

And ... Bonnie Suzanne ... contains all the vowels if you count both names.

cKc--aka Kathy said...

well, I just blew my first comment to bla-la land.......so if it finds itself and posts I may have two comments. Here's what I already said, though! Very interesting that abstemious means moderation; it connotes negatively in my minds eye. Does it mean that if I decline seconds at dinner that I'm being abstemious? Or if I refuse a second glass of wine because I have to drive home I'm abstemious? And it only applies to food and drink? You can't exercise abstemiously? (PS, do you like my coinage...blog la-la land?)

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