Gideon’s Corner

mad libs announcement

Mad Libs: the classic game that has entertained millions. Your friendly neighborhood Paw Prints has decided to host a school-wide Mad Lib. We have written a secret Mad Lib script and you, yes you get to fill in the blanks.

We need:

  • 4 nouns
  • 2 plural nouns
  • 12 adjectives
  • 4 adverbs
  • 2 verbs ending in “ing”
  • 1 verb ending in “ed”
  • 1 exclamation
  • 1 male name
  • 1 female name
  • 1 country
  • 1 number
  • 1 food
  • 1 animal
  • 1 body part

Send your suggestions to our Instagram (@pawprintschs) or our Twitter (CHSPawsUp) for a chance to have your word in the blank when we post the finished Mad Lib. The submission period ends on April 12th, so make sure you send us your submission today!

Fact of the Month

May: …Bring May Flowers

This month, we bring you mini-facts about flowers.

  • Rosemary: Although the name rosemary suggests that it is a type of rose named after someone named Mary, it is neither a rose nor associated with Mary. Its confusing name actually comes from its scientific name, rosmarinus officinalis, the first part of which is Latin for “dew of the sea.” This is because rosemary was commonly thought even until relatively recently to grow best within the sound of the ocean.

april: april showers…

The famous saying, “April showers bring may flowers,” is older than you might think, first appearing in 1886 as, “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.” Coincidentally, there are forty-one people named April Showers in the United States alone.

March: A Word Can be Its Own Opposite

By Gideon Tyree

We all (hopefully) know about synonyms and antonyms. Synonyms are words with the same, or a similar, definition; antonyms are words with opposite definitions. However, few people know of the third type: contranyms.

A contranym is a word that is its own opposite. “What sorcery is this?!” you may ask. Though it sounds strange, what it actually means is that a word has two or more definitions when used in different circumstances, and those definitions are opposites of one another. For example, “to dust” can mean to remove dust from something, such as when you clean your room, but it can also mean to add dust (or some other small particle) to something, such as when a detective dusts for fingerprints.

February: Sherlock Holmes was (Kind of) a Real Person

By Gideon Tyree

A recent poll reminded me of Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective who used his amazing powers of deductions to find seemingly impossible conclusions in the smallest of clues. However, Holmes is not quite so fictional as he seems.

Although no detective named Sherlock Holmes ever existed, he was based on a real person: Dr. Joseph Bell. Bell was a professor at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, England, which was a medical school. It was there that a young Arthur Conan Doyle was impressed by Dr. Bell’s astounding ability to tell students their entire life story when first meeting them–so impressed, in fact, that he would later write a novel, A Study in Scarlet, featuring a detective based on him. The novel was unsuccessful at first, but the editor of an American magazine liked it and hired Doyle to write another. This one was more successful, and Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, went on to become household names.

Dr. Joseph Bell

Dr. Bell would often deduct the occupations of new students and also tried to teach his students to use observation and deduction to diagnose patients, though none were ever as proficient as he. However, although Sherlock Holmes owes his origin to Dr. Bell, Doyle was the real detective. Doyle would later ask his former teacher for ideas, but Bell proved make a poor detective. Arthur Conan Doyle, however, helped to solve several real world mysteries.

Sherlock Holmes, although fictional, was based on a real person. During the height of his fame, however, many people thought he was a real person. Holmes’ fictional apartment received countless letters asking for his assistance; when he retired to the country in a later book, housekeepers began applying for a job. It shows the genius of Arthur Conan Doyle that he could make a fictional character seem almost real.

January: You Breathe Fluids

By Gideon Tyree

As long time readers of Paw Prints know, our very first Holidays This Week article discussed, in part, National Maple Syrup Day. That day, of course, celebrates that time-honored liquid, maple syrup. Maple syrup is a fluid that is traditionally used on pancakes and waffles. Notice that I used fluid and liquid interchangeably. They’re the same thing, right? WRONG!

The dictionary defines a fluid as “a substance that has no fixed shape and yields easily to external pressure.” As science students know, that can apply to both liquids AND GASES! That means that, technically, all gases–even the air you breathe–are in fact fluids. Isn’t that just the most useful thing you’ve heard all day?

word of the week

april 22-26

Bardolatry: Noun. great or excessive adoration of or reverence for William Shakespeare.

Fun Fact: The word bardolatry comes from the word bard, which is a kind of travelling poet. Shakespeare is called “the Bard” because he is considered one of the greatest poets to have ever lived.

April 15-19

Phantomnation: Noun. the appearance of a phantom, illusion.

Fun Fact: Phantomantion is what is called a ghost word; it actually comes from a typo. In his translation of The Odyssey, poet Alexander Pope wrote, “all the phantom nations of the dead.” Scholar and playwright Richard Paul Jodrell, who was known for combining words together, changed “phantom nation” to “phantomnation” in his 1820 book, Philology of the English Language. Webster’s Dictionary mistakenly included the word, and phantomnation was born.

April 8-12B

Salary: Noun. a fixed compensation periodically paid to a person for regular work or services.

Fun Fact: The root word of salary is sal, Latin for salt. In ancient times, salt was worth almost as much as gold because of its ability to preserve meat, and people’s wages were often paid in salt.

Fun With Google Translate

By Gideon Tyree

Mrs. Beatty’s Spanish class taught me many things, not the least of which being that you can’t get by on Google Translate alone. Though the online translating service is useful, it is definitely flawed. A trend that has developed as of late is to translate songs, instructions, etc. into many, many, many different languages and then back into English, using only Google Translate. The results are invariably completely different and often quite hilarious. I thought that it was high time Paw Prints tried our hand — er… paw — at it, so I translated the February, 2019, Fact of the Month article.

WARNING: The following may be dangerous to your health. If you are prone to “dying laughing,” please do not read any further.

“I Imi’ia Sherk Tully, in his honor pōpoki complaint is the ultimate guide to the end of the brief. But the story would not be familiar with such like’o Tully.

Joseph Bell: In addition to the fact that the world is based on the real man, he understands that. Bell, Professor of Royden, Edinburgh, England, lived in a medical school.

She was always a doctor. We used to work new students and tried to teach students to look for and teach diagnostic patients, although no one was as intelligent as it was. However, while Sherlock Holmes was cited by Dr. Bel, Doyle was a real feeling. Doyle asked the ideas of her priest, but Bell was ill. However, Arthur Conan Doyle also provided a unique solution.

Sherlock Holmes, who entered the business home business, was in danger and named N. Gage. Arthur Conan Dell-i-burgko Director of Justice of Kunstnerren, was the only author of his fame.

It’s Who You Know

As many of you know, Paw Prints recently conducted a survey of 100 students, teachers, and staff in order to determine which fictional characters are the most recognized. The results are as follows:

Clifford the Big Red Dog: 89% Recognition
Harry Potter: 87% Recognition
Blame the elder gods!
Cthulhu: 28% Recognition
Barney: 87% Recognition
Figment: 21% Recognition
The Martian Manhunter: 27% Recognition
Ebenezer Scrooge: 72% Recognition
Jane Eyre: 31% Recognition
Percy Jackson: 82% Recognition
Popeye: 86% Recognition
Mickey Mouse: 89% Recognition
Daffy Duck: 88% Recognition
Bugs Bunny: 88% Recognition
Barbie: 88% Recognition
James Bond (a.k.a. “007”): 86% Recognition
Count Dracula: 79% Recognition
Donald Duck: 88%
Mr. Monopoly: 81% Recognition
The Invisible Man: 57% Recognition
Dr. Jekyl: 46% Recognition
(Also in picture: Mr. Hyde)
Felix the Cat: 49% Recognition
Asterix the Gaul:  8% Recognition
Tarzan: 87% Recognition
Tintin: 66% Recognition
Sherlock Holmes:  88% Recognition
Merlin: 45% Recognition
Robin Hood: 87% Recogntion
Billy the Goat: 41% Recognition
Shrek: 88% Recognition
Santa Claus: 86% Recognition
Peeves the Poltergeist: 21% Recognition
Mulan: 80% Recognition
Blue from “Blue’s Clues”:  87% Recognition

The most recognized characters, at 89%, were Mickey Mouse and Clifford, with Shrek, Sherlock Holmes, Barbie, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, and Bugs Bunny tied for second place with 88% recognition. That means that there are more people who recognize Clifford than there are who recognize Santa Claus. By contrast, Asterix the Gaul, the star of a long running comic strip and 13 movies and whose first volume was listed in a 1999 poll as the 22nd greatest book of the twentieth century , was recognized by only eight people.

Of course, it seems like with 89% recognition, Mickey Mouse is known by all, but that also means that there are eleven people who have never heard of Mickey Mouse. And while it is true that only 41% of people recognized Billy the Goat, that’s pretty good considering that he was made up for this survey. That’s right, Billy the Goat is not real. Well, none of these characters are real because they are fictional characters, but Billy the Goat isn’t even a real fictional character. Yet somehow, more people claimed to be familiar with him than there were who knew of Jane Eyre, one of the most celebrated literary heroines. If this survey is any indication, were he ever picked up by a company, Billy would already have a strong fan base.