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3 comments on this post.
  1. Marie:

    Dear Word Detective,

    I would like to add a small data point to your entry on “galoot.” The word occurs repeatedly in the wonderful British series of children’s books, Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome, where a slightly bossy girl calls her younger sister “you tame galoot!” The books are set in the 1930s and have a pronounced nautical influence — the girls’ uncle is a retired Naval or merchant Marine officer, her friends are children of a serving Royal Navy captain, etc. This dovetails nicely with your reference to soldiers on board ship, although I must confess that in my ignorance, seeing the word combined with “tame,” I first assumed it to be an animal or bird…

  2. Wilson:

    Even if understandable it still seems like an unsatisfactory construction, mainly because there is rarely a good reason for using it–a time period of months/hours/minutes is not momentous. Marking your “birthday” every month would be almost as ridiculous, but at least a more elegant use of language.

  3. Seethers:

    COO could also refer to a deprotonated carboxylic acid, which is a very important functional group in your constitution. Don’t let your proteins fail you.

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