- gamut / gauntlet / gantlet [mistaken]
- Gamut and gauntlet can fill in the blank in "run the
________," but both the words and the phrases have distinctive
meanings. Gantlet is merely a variant
spelling of one of the senses of gauntlet. Gamut means
a whole range of similar things, originally musical notes. To run the gamut, then, is to exercise the
whole range of something. Often the something is human emotions.
This phrase is the only common use of the word, and the idiom is
now a cliché best avoided. Gauntlet is
two words. One, originally spelled gantlet means a glove. This is the gauntlet that
is always being thrown down to symbolize a challenge. The other
gauntlet is an ordeal which commonly
took the form of passing between files of one's peers who
administered blows as one passed. This running the gauntlet might be an initiation or a
punishment. Running the gauntlet, then, is being exposed to a
series of trials or risks. From this gauntlet a more recent sense has emerged in which
the gauntlet is a double or single file of people such as a
receiving line or honor guard. Like gamut, gauntlet most
commonly occurs in clichés.
- `gen·der /'dZEndR/
- Genders originally
were classes of nouns. In European languages, nouns for things
which could reasonably considered to have sex tended to fall into a
gender with things of like sex, but so, too, did nouns for many
things which could not be considered to belong to any sex, and
sometimes nouns for sexual parts ended up in a gender usually
associated with the opposite sex. European languages often had the
genders masculine, feminine, and neuter, but inclusion of nouns in
the genders was often arbitrary and even when words had something
to do with sex, the classification by gender was often inconsistent
or illogical. As the study of language progressed, genders based on
size or shape or other qualities were discovered in non-European
languages, although again the assignment of nouns to genders was
often arbitrary, inconsistent, and illogical. So the loose
association of gender and sex seems to have been mostly and
accident in European languages, but English is a European language,
so it is not too surprising that English speakers came to think
that gender had something to do with sex.
- Gender has been used
as euphemism for sex for more than a century, and when used
precisely this way it is not a recent coinage in the cause of
political correctness, but was a Victorian strategy to avoid using
the offensive word "sex." In recent times, anthropologists and
other social scientists have found it useful to distinguish gender
and sex: sex being the biological condition of being (usually)
either male or female, and gender referring to the culturally
assigned characteristics or roles usually associated with sex. For
example, in some cultures, planting and harvesting is men's work
and in other cultures it is women's work. Since there is no real
issue of biological sex involved, the difference is one of gender.
This distinction seems useful in the fields in which it originated,
but it is valuable only in so far as it makes a distinction between
gender and sex, and the use of gender
as delicate euphemism when nothing other than sex is meant cannot be justified today.
- ,glos·so`la·li·a /,glAsoU'leIli@/ noun
- The speaking of apparent words and syllables
which are nonsense in all known human languages : speaking in tongues, the gift of
tongues; often taken as a sign of religious possession.
Compare: xenoglossy (usage)
xenoglossy refers to speaking an existing (or sometimes a
historic) human language (although the speaker supposedly does not
know the language) and is usually found in contexts of
spiritualism, channeling, and reincarnation; in
glossolalia the utterances cannot be identified as
belonging to any known human language and glossolalia is
usually found in contexts referring to practices of various
- `goth·ic /'gATIk/
noun or adjective
- 1 : (printing) Most lay people think gothic is an
ornate, old-fashioned type style such as Black Letter or Old
English. However, in printing gothic means nearly the opposite: a
sans serif style, usually with thick strokes. Good examples of
gothic fonts are not available in many graphical browsers. A gothic
font available in most word processors is Helvetica.
- 2 : (genre) A genre of fiction usually involving gloomy
or isolated settings; dreary, spooky old houses or castles;
mysterious, bizarre, or macabre -- possibly supernatural --
occurrences; and secretive, suspicious characters. A subgenre is
Southern gothic usually centering on a moldering Ante Bellum
mansion and featuring unexorcised evils of slavery, the Civil War,
racism, actual or suggested incest or other sexual aberrations,
insanity, and often an elderly Afro-American woman who is the
embodiment of long-suffering goodness and wisdom.
'gr@ndi/ proper noun
- (literature) a
character who never actually appears in the play Speed the
Plough by Thomas Morton (1579?-1647). Mrs. Grundy evidently
is a very priggish, judgmental person and a gossip for the
character Mrs. Ashfield often worries "What will Mrs. Grundy say?"
Mrs. Grundy has done service since in many contexts and common
expressions, and in particular as a very strict teacher of very
conventional English grammar in the writings of Edwin Newman
(1919-) and other commentators on English grammar and usage.
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