Galwegians December 2020

The Galway Hall continues to remain closed to the public due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. All events and activities at the Hall are suspended until at least the end of this year. With the coronavirus still front-and-centre in our daily lives, and with the arrival of the ‘second wave’, everyone is reminded to follow the safety protocols established by our local health units and the various levels of government. Christmas will probably be “different” to say the least. Please keep calm and establish coping strategies that will get you through this holiday season.

Perchance the chipmunks also have had enough of the year 2020. There have been no sightings of our chipmunks since the last week of October. Even in the two warm spells in November, the ‘chippies’ did not make an appearance.

Saturn has been chasing Jupiter across our southern skies for months, quite visible when our night skies are clear. There is a special celestial event on Monday, December 21st. It is known as the ‘Great Conjunction’, when Jupiter and Saturn line up perfectly when viewed from Earth. This is the closest conjunction (0.1 degree separation) of Jupiter and Saturn in our sky since 1623! Did you know that Galileo made his first telescope 14 years earlier in 1609? Coincidentally, December 21st is also the beginning of the winter solstice. Here’s hoping for a cloudless night!

If you have not yet had enough drama, uncertainty, and/or conspiracy theories in 2020, search “Great Conjunction curse” on your computer.

The final word that no longer appears in our dictionary is ‘Spermologer’ which means a ‘gossip monger’, trivia hound, or those filled with random knowledge. The final Gaelic word that has found its way into the English language is “galore”. This word dates back to 1670 and means in abundance or enough.

Speaking of words, the University of Alberta set out to find the top ten funniest words in the English language and understand why they make us laugh so much. Researchers found there are two major predictors of funniness in words: those related to the form of the word and those related to its meaning. Throughout 2021, ‘The Galwegians’ will reveal the top 12 funniest words (one word a month) added to the dictionary in 2020. The sources for the addition of these 12 new words are and the Oxford English Dictionary. Oh, by the way, the ‘Top 10’ funniest words in the English language, according to the U of A are, (in no particular order): upchuck, bubby, boff, wriggly, yaps, giggle, cooch, guffaw, puffball, and jiggly.

From our household to your household, stay safe, be well, and make the most of the opportunities that may come to you over this Christmas season. Find peace and joy and love and stay strong. Together, we shall get through this.

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