If you go along with the premise that a good understander only needs a half a word
(or only has a half word necessary, when translated literally from the well-known Dutch proverb:
"Een goed verstaander heeft
maar een half woord nodig"),
then you'll fathom the despair I felt to-day . . . with my wife of 40 years
It is Christmas Eve, and she is working against the clock to wrap her Christmas Presents.
I am trying to concentrate on some elaborate web-pages, but felt my conscience not only urge me to prepare some transfer of funds to her brother in South Africa - by way of (1) Christmas present and (2) the Internet - but also blaming me for having left everything Christmassy to the last minute.
So I ask her (my wife, not my conscience, though they seem to be related) if she knows the whereabouts of her small sloppy address book.
No, she does not know where it is - if not in the kitchen drawer.
Do you know the address of your brother Chris? No, she never memorized that.
I try to look it up on my new computer, and in the meantime, wonder how much I should tranfer.
"Do you know how much the Rand is?", I shout over the loud blaring TV.
"Which one?" she countershouts.
"The Italian Rand!", I joke in frustration.
I then get the E-mail address of my Bank
in South Africa and find that they still have not sent me
my current account statement, although I had asked
- even begged - for it several times.
So I walk back into the living room and soothingly say
that I obviously was asking about the one and only Rand.
"Which rent", she persists, "That of Marietta Avenue, Duke Street or Garage Apartment?" -
listing our three rental properties.
"I asked for the rate of the Rand", I said patiently.
"Then you should say Rand - not rent", is her angry retort.
"Why do you keep ranting about this?" I say - just to have the last word, and to avoid
the complication that we also own a house in South Africa which we rent for Rands.(right)
autoantonyms (including "rent") - irregular verbs (including "rend") - rant (v.) 1598, from Du. randten "talk foolishly, rave," of unknown origin (cf. Ger. rantzen "to frolic, spring about").
The noun is first attested 1649, from the verb. Ranters "antinomian sect which arose in England c.1645" is attested from 1651; applied 1823 to early Methodists.