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VOWEL DUMPS Short (3 of 4)

2010 March 11
by admin

NOTE: This post relates to the “VOWEL DUMPS Short” (Beg. 1.5) word list or note sheet (see the Word List page).

This is my 3rd post on the VOWEL DUMPS Short list.  I’m start­ing with IDEA (Word #38) – we’ll see how far I get…

ILEUM and ILIUM are the sin­gu­lar forms of ILEA and ILIA (note the UM changes to an A to form the plu­rals).  These two words have a nice clus­ter of hook words:

PILEA PILEUM, the top of a bird’s head [n]
ILEAC per­tain­ing to the ileum [adj]
ILEAL ileac (per­tain­ing to the ileum) [adj]
CILIA CILIUM, a short, hair­like pro­jec­tion [n]
MILIA MILIUM, a small, whitish lump in the skin [n]
ILIAC per­tain­ing to the ilium [adj]
ILIAD a long poem [n –S]
ILIAL iliac (per­tain­ing to the ilium) [adj]

There are four words in this list that are unre­lated to the two words in ques­tion (ILEUM and ILIUM).  Of those four, three have the same struc­ture (and their plu­rals are formed in the same way): PILEUM, CILIUM, and MILIUM.  The fourth is a com­mon work (ILIAD).  The other four words on the list are adjec­tives, formed by adding C and or L to the plural) and are fairly easy to remember.

INIA, the plural of INION, looks a lot like ONION (both are spher­i­cal, maybe?).  There are three other inter­est­ing hooks from INIA down to OHIA:

BIOTA the flora and fauna of a region [n –S]
COBIA a large game fish [n –S]
YOGEE yogi (a per­son who prac­tices yoga) [n –S]

BIOTA, in par­tic­u­lar, is a pretty neat word (can’t believe I’ve lived this long and never run into it in the wild).  There are some alter­nate spelling clus­ters between INIA and OHIA: MEOU can be spelled a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ways, and so can OBIA:

MEOU meow (to make the cry­ing sound of a cat) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
MEOW to make the cry­ing sound of a cat [v –ED, –ING, –S]
MIAOU to meow (to make the cry­ing sound of a cat) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
MIAOW to meow (to make the cry­ing sound of a cat) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
OBE obeah (a form of sor­cery of African ori­gin) [n –S]
OBEAH a form of sor­cery of African ori­gin [n –S]
OBEAHISM the use of obeah [n –S]
OBI obeah (a form of sor­cery of African ori­gin) [n –S]
OBIA obeah (a form of sor­cery of African ori­gin) [n –S]
OBIISM obeahism (the use of obeah) [n –S]

A few min­utes with this list of dif­fer­ent spellings gives quite a few pos­si­ble plays.  It helps to remem­ber that E can some­times be replaced by IA and that OU and OW are also some­times inter­change­able (not just in the word meow).  There is also a log­i­cal pro­gres­sion to OBE, OBEAH, OBI, OBIA, then with ISM added to both the “full” ver­sion and OBI (OBEAHISM, OBIISM).  Also, in the game of plu­rals, UM and ON are often replaced by A, while US and OS are often replaced by I (as in NAOS/NAOI, although in this case, the O stays).  ODEUM/ODEA is another exam­ple of the former.

The word YOGA also anchors a nice clus­ter of related words:

YOGA a Hindu phi­los­o­phy involv­ing phys­i­cal and men­tal dis­ci­plines [n –S]
YOGEE yogi (a per­son who prac­tices yoga) [n –S]
YOGI a per­son who prac­tices yoga [n –S]
YOGIC per­tain­ing to yoga (a Hindu phi­los­o­phy involv­ing phys­i­cal and men­tal dis­ci­plines) [adj]
YOGIN yogi (a per­son who prac­tices yoga) [n –S]
YOGINI a female yogi (a per­son who prac­tices yoga) [n –S]

The only inter­est­ing inner hook in this part of the list is:

LEA a meadow (a tract of grass­land) [n –S]

I really have no idea how to mem­o­rize words like IXIA or OHIA.  I real­ize that many Scrabble play­ers don’t bother with def­i­n­i­tions, but they are essen­tial mnemonic devices for me, so I get a lit­tle frus­trated by plant and tree names (because those def­i­n­i­tions don’t help me).  So, IXIA?  How about “IXIA is what you get when you cross a three-toed sloth and a greek let­ter?”  You have to assume the sloth is com­ing at the greek let­ter from right-to-left, though.  Or how about, “what do fem­i­nist want to rename Ohio?”  OHIA (get it?).

The next two words, OLEA, OLEO make a nice pair – think of them as names for the new low-fat oreo cook­ies (a male ver­sion and a female ver­sion).  Or remem­ber that OLEUM fol­lows the same pat­tern as ODEUM.  OLIO is an inner hook from FOLIO, so think of OLIO as some­thing you could put in a FOLIO.  OUZO is use­ful Z word – and it looks Greek, so that should help.

QUAY or QUAI is related to a few other words:

QUAYAGE a charge for the use of a quay [n –S]
QUAYLIKE QUAY, a wharf [adj]
QUAYSIDE the area adja­cent to a quay [n –S]

I have this recur­ring fan­tasy of play­ing QUAYLIKE or QUAYSIDE for a dou­ble TW.  Additional inter­est­ing inner hooks down to the last four-letter vowel dump, ZOEA, are (all of which you should already know):

OLE a shout of approval [n –S]
QUA in the capac­ity of [adv]
RAI a style of pop­u­lar Algerian music [n –S]

RAIA can also be spelled RAYA and RAYAH.  UNAI or UNAU are gifts from the lan­guage gods – an AI is a three-toed sloth, so a UNAI would, nat­u­rally, be a two-toed sloth (and it’s fine with me if you can spell it with a U as well).

There are a few ADJ deriv­a­tives worth mentioning:

UREAL UREA, a chem­i­cal com­pound [adj]
UVEAL UVEA, a layer of the eye [adj]
ZOEAL ZOEA, a lar­val form of cer­tain crus­taceans [adj]

And it should be noted that ZOEA can be plu­ral­ized by either adding an E or the usual S (ZOEAE or ZOEAS).  If you’ve made it this far, you have now cov­ered 68 of the 89 words on the VOWEL DUMP Short word list.

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