Tag Archives: dog

Willie’s Etymology Lesson! —Dunce

3 May

DunceDoesn’t Willie look so cute in that hat? Of course he does 🙂 This picture was taken in December during Willie’s first birthday party. It’s clearly a birthday hat that he’s wearing. If you thought that is a dunce cap he has on, you must not know Willie too well. He is a very smart boy. He is so smart that he taught me the etymology of the word dunce.

The modern meaning of dunce is a slow-witted person or student in particular. Well, it didn’t always have that meaning. Back in the day, John Duns Scotus was a highly influential medieval theologian and philosopher. Well he still is influential because many of his teachings are still in use today in the Catholic Church. From the middle ages up unto the beginning of the Protestant Revolution, the followers of Duns Scotus were referred to as Duns. Later in the 16th century, Protestants who opposed Duns Scotus’ way of thinking referred to Scotus’ followers in a derogatory way and the term Duns grew into a term of abuse. The Protestants felt that the Duns were closed-minded and unwilling to learn. The spelling of the word and its meaning slowly evolved into how it is used today because of John Duns Scotus and his followers.

Willie is not a dunce, or a Duns, but I think John Duns Scotus would find him adorable!

Willie teaches me to lay v. to lie

3 Nov

There are a few things that no matter how many times you tell me, I will never absorb the information: how old my dad is, daylight savings (spring ahead; fall back—what is that?), and lastly, the tenses of to lie v. to lay. Willie has inspired me to take care of that last one. He said he’ll help me figure out a way to remember the tenses. Let’s see if this works!

To Lie—to rest or recline

Image

Simple Present: Willie lies on the couch now.

Image

Simple Past: Willie lay in the shade yesterday.

Image

Past Participle: Willie should have lain under the bed because he thought it was comfortable.

To Lay—to put something down

Image

Simple Present: Willie lays his lobster toy down.

Image

Simple Past: I laid Willie down on his back.

Image

Past Participle: Willie stood next to his red, stuffed toy which he had laid there only moments before.

I think Willie was on to something. I definitely remember the differences better now! Thank you WIllie, I’ll give you a treat 🙂