Saturday, April 21, 2012

100 Odd Words #12 - A Sister's Authority

From age nine through age thirteen, I went to a Catholic school.  I recall Sister Margaret Thomasine (she was known as such to differentiate her from Sister Margaret Mary, the principal) asking the class for examples of words that used the prefix homo- to mean “the same.”  (Homonym being the obvious one, and the point she was trying to illustrate.)  One boy suggested, half-hesitantly, “Homosexual?”  The class laughed but Sister Margaret Thomasine merely nodded and said “That’s right.  Same sex, homosexual, what else?”  Thus I learned that homosexual was not an aberration, not a punchline but merely a descriptive.

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