Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ving, Vang, Vong

In an editorial subtitled "The Pleasures of a New Vocabulary," Verlyn Klinkenborg beautifully describes the thrill of picking up unfamiliar words while acquiring a new skill. Who knew that "scandalize" was a sailing term? (Okay, besides sailors.) It means "to make a sail smaller," and is an alteration of "scantelize," which may have something to do with "scant."


Anonymous Daz said...

There actually was something called a "VingCard", which was a rectangular piece of brown plastic, about 1 1/2" x 2 1/2", with an irregular group of small holes in it (about 1/4" diameter).

Can you guess what its purpose was? It was used as a hotel room key, before the era of magnetic ones. I don't know how it worked.

I just googled and found that the VingCard apparently still exists by that name, though whether in a new form or not I don't know: See .

1:50 PM  

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