Monday, July 18, 2005

jinx

n 1: a person believed to bring bad luck to those around him [syn: jonah] 2: an evil spell; "a witch put a curse on his whole family"; "he put the whammy on me" [syn: hex, curse, whammy] v 1: cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something [syn: hex, bewitch, glamour, witch, enchant] 2: foredoom to failure; "This project is jinxed!"

Jinx was the word chosen at the end of last week. It came up because The Spaniard had been having sneezing fits every morning of that week. On Friday I (The American) observed that she only seems to have the its between 9am and noon. That afternoon, lets say around 3pm she started sneezing again. "Of course" I said, "I jinxed you."

And the whole discussion began. It started off this week with the issue of why we so often use jinx as a verb. No conclusion was reached, except we found a parallel situation in the use of "itching" as a verb. "I can't stop itching this poison ivy". Interestingly enough, this reversing of parts of speech occurs also in Columbia:

"Me esta rascando" as opposed to the correctly stated, "Me pica".