for the windy among us verbose

forgoodorill

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi, everyone!
I read a book named The Glamour of Grammar, and I don't understand a sentence in it:

"In the beginning was the Word," says the Bible. "The word is love," sang the Beatles. Groucho Marx told his quiz-show contestants:"Say the secret word[pronounced "woid"] and win a prize" What's the word? Word up! Word to your mother. The word word derives from the Latin verbum, which give us verb, verbal, and for the windy among us verbose.

So what's the meaning of 'for the windy among us verbose', I don't understand it. And I think there're some things I don't know in this paragraph as a foreigner, especially words in bold, so please help me explain them.

Thanks in advance!
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It helps if you change the punctuation a bit: "which give us verb, verbal, and (for the windy among us) verbose." "Windy" here is a synonym for "verbose."
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    If you talk a lot, you use a lot of 'wind' (breath), so you're 'windy'.

    And oh lordy, lordy, 'word' doesn't come from verbum, I want to tear my eyes out. It's supposed to be a book about language.
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    If you talk a lot, you use a lot of 'wind' (breath), so you're 'windy'.

    And oh lordy, lordy, 'word' doesn't come from verbum, I want to tear my eyes out. It's supposed to be a book about language.
    Thanks, entangledbank! The fun fact is: I see the word 'verbum' in your signature! :D
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Thanks, Packard. I want to ask you this word just to describe someone saying too much or have a potential meaning: someone saying something nonsense too much?
    Thanks!
    It means to use far too many words to express something that could easily be expressed just as well with far fewer words.

    Perhaps Herman Melville's Moby Dick contains the most long-winded sentence of all times (it can be a challenge to read):

    “Though in many natural objects, whiteness refiningly enhances beauty, as if imparting some special virtue of its own, as in marbles, japonicas, and pearls; and though various nations have in some way recognised a certain royal preeminence in this hue; even the barbaric, grand old kings of Pegu placing the title “Lord of the White Elephants” above all their other magniloquent ascriptions of dominion; and the modern kings of Siam unfurling the same snow-white quadruped in the royal standard; and the Hanoverian flag bearing the one figure of a snow-white charger; and the great Austrian Empire, Caesarian, heir to overlording Rome, having for the imperial color the same imperial hue; and though this pre-eminence in it applies to the human race itself, giving the white man ideal mastership over every dusky tribe; and though, besides, all this, whiteness has been even made significant of gladness, for among the Romans a white stone marked a joyful day; and though in other mortal sympathies and symbolizings, this same hue is made the emblem of many touching, noble things— the innocence of brides, the benignity of age; though among the Red Men of America the giving of the white belt of wampum was the deepest pledge of honor; though in many climes, whiteness typifies the majesty of Justice in the ermine of the Judge, and contributes to the daily state of kings and queens drawn by milk-white steeds; though even in the higher mysteries of the most august religions it has been made the symbol of the divine spotlessness and power; by the Persian fire worshippers, the white forked flame being held the holiest on the altar; and in the Greek mythologies, Great Jove himself being made incarnate in a snow-white bull; and though to the noble Iroquois, the midwinter sacrifice of the sacred White Dog was by far the holiest festival of their theology, that spotless, faithful creature being held the purest envoy they could send to the Great Spirit with the annual tidings of their own fidelity; and though directly from the Latin word for white, all Christian priests derive the name of one part of their sacred vesture, the alb or tunic, worn beneath the cassock; and though among the holy pomps of the Romish faith, white is specially employed in the celebration of the Passion of our Lord; though in the Vision of St. John, white robes are given to the redeemed, and the four-and-twenty elders stand clothed in white before the great-white throne, and the Holy One that sitteth there white like wool; yet for all these accumulated associations, with whatever is sweet, and honorable, and sublime, there yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of panic to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood.”
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    It means to use far too many words to express something that could easily be expressed just as well with far fewer words.

    Perhaps Herman Melville's Moby Dick contains the most long-winded sentence of all times (it can be a challenge to read):
    That is indeed a long sentence. But it is well-constructedl, and it contains is a lot of information.

    As long sentences go, it doesn't compare with some of Faulkner's, which make up whole chapters. Apparently, however, some people have far outdone Faulkner.
    Longest English sentence - Wikipedia
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    That is indeed a long sentence. But it is well-constructedl, and it contains is a lot of information.

    As long sentences go, it doesn't compare with some of Faulkner's, which make up whole chapters. Apparently, however, some people have far outdone Faulkner.
    Longest English sentence - Wikipedia
    As a rule language learners are probably best advised to keep the sentences shorter.

    I went to Journalism school, and we were taught to keep our sentence short and direct and use simple declarative sentences where possible. It is supposed to be the most easily read and understood. Readability is a big deal for newspaper editors and to a slightly lesser amount to magazine editors. Since there appears not to be any editors at all online, the writing quality has gone kaput.

    Mostly I think I've kept to that line of thinking.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    As a rule language learners are probably best advised to keep the sentences shorter.

    I went to Journalism school, and we were taught to keep our sentence short and direct and use simple declarative sentences where possible.
    Indeed. I was not necessarily recommending Melville or Faulkner for people learning English, or as models for journalists.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi, everyone!
    I read a book named The Glamour of Grammar, and I don't understand a sentence in it:

    "In the beginning was the Word," says the Bible. "The word is love," sang the Beatles. Groucho Marx told his quiz-show contestants:"Say the secret word[pronounced "woid"] and win a prize" What's the word? Word up! Word to your mother. The word word derives from the Latin verbum, which give us verb, verbal, and for the windy among us verbose.

    So what's the meaning of 'for the windy among us verbose', I don't understand it. And I think there're some things I don't know in this paragraph as a foreigner, especially words in bold, so please help me explain them.

    Thanks in advance!
    The last sentence has been nicely explained here. The other references can be easily found by Googling the Bible, the Beatles, the Marx Brothers, and some American slang dictionaries.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Strangely (to me) Oxford calls it "archaic".
    Your link labels long-winded "archaic" only with the meaning capable of doing something for a long time without becoming breathless (which I think is fair enough).

    That said, windy meaning long-winded does seem rather old-fashioned to me.:cool:
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Your link labels long-winded "archaic" only with the meaning capable of doing something for a long time without becoming breathless (which I think is fair enough).

    That said, windy meaning long-winded does seem rather old-fashioned to me.:cool:
    "Windy" was easily understood by me, but sounded distinctly derivative of "long-winded". I would not expect to hear "windy" in the USA unless someone had a reason to avoid saying "long-winded".

    The "long-winded" is a fairly common phrase in American English.

    Note: I only read the capsule summary of Oxford's entry, and re-reading it I see that I misread the punctuation. It was perfectly clear once I clicked the actual definition.
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    "Windy" was easily understood by me, but sounded distinctly derivative of "long-winded". I would not expect to hear "windy" in the USA unless someone had a reason to avoid saying "long-winded".

    The "long-winded" is a fairly common phrase in American English.

    Note: I only read the capsule summary of Oxford's entry, and re-reading it I see that I misread the punctuation. It was perfectly clear once I clicked the actual definition.
    Thanks, Packard. These replies from you are amazingBy the way, I have that book, it really scared me now.:D
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Your link labels long-winded "archaic" only with the meaning capable of doing something for a long time without becoming breathless (which I think is fair enough).

    That said, windy meaning long-winded does seem rather old-fashioned to me.:cool:
    Thanks for your reply, Loob! You are awesome!:):thumbsup:
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
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