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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

"What In Tarnation?"

"What in tarnation?" - An exclamation of annoyance; act of condemning or the state of being condemned. A mostly home-grown word, though its life did begin in Rome. It started out as the Latinate damnation, which did not sit well with our frontier foremothers. So, about the time damn shifted to darn, damnation went to darnation. From darnation to tarnation was no more than switching a wiggle for a puff of air. The difference between [d] and [t] in English is that we vibrate our vocal cords to pronounce [d] but not for [t] and we puff our [t]s but not our [d]s. - AlphaDictionary

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