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It seems possibly worth mentioning that there's a dialectal lay ... into a subterranean chamber? Is there another name for that?

I would say that a sink or sinkhole would be better defined as a place where water disappears (into the ... that is the case, then the dictionary's definition might be correct, but equating it to sinkhole looks like an error.

*The Century Dictionary,* an American dictionary of 1895 at www.century-dictionary.com , does not have the definitions which Bob found for "collect" in Webster's Third. It does have another definition, that of "collection," which it identifies as rare.
For "sink" it has the following:
(quote)
5. Same as sink-hole, 3. 6. An area (whichmay sometimes be a lake or pond, and at other
times a marsh, or even entirely dry and cov-
ered with more or less of various saline com-
binations) in which a river or several rivers
sink or disappear, because evaporation is in
excess of precipitation : as, the sink of the
Humboldt river, in the Great Basin.
In the interior there are two great systems of drainage, one leading through the Murray River to the sea, the oth- er consisting of salt lakes and sinks.
The Atlantic, LXIII, 677.
(end quote)
For the sense of "sink-hole" referenced above, it has the following:
(quote)
sink-hole

3. One of the cavities formed in limestone re-gions by the removal of the rock through the
action of rain or running water, or both. The
rock being dissolved away underneath, local sinkings of the surface occur, and these are sometimes wholly or partly filled with water, forming pools. Similar sinkings occur in districts in which rock-salt abounds. Also called swal- low-hole, or simply sink.
The caves form the natural drains of the country, all the surface draining being at once carried down into them through the innumerable sink-holes which pierce the thin stratum overlying the Carboniferous Limestone.
Nature, XLI. 507
(end quote)

I thought it interesting that the Century did not have the noun "collectible," but it did have an entry for the adjective: "collectable, collectible Capable of being collected." I see that *Merriam-Webster's Collegiate,* 11th ed., dates the adjective to 1660, and dates the noun (with, in both the adjective and the noun sense, "collectible" being encountered slightly more often than "collectable") to 1953.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
The noun "collect", meaning a short prayer, is part of the one of the answers in this week's Radio Times crossword :-)

Louisa
Essex, England, Europe
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
It seems possibly worth mentioning that there's a dialectal lay ... into a subterranean chamber? Is there another name for that?

I would say that a sink or sinkhole would be better defined as a place where water disappears (into the subterranean chamber beneath). Even whole rivers can disappear down sinkholes, to continue flowing underground. Is "karst" the other name you were thinking of?

No, "karst" is new to me. The word I was trying to think of seems vaguely associated with Florida in my mind. It may have been "pothole", but that doesn't seem to ring quite true. While "karst" seems to refer to the circulation of water after it has gone underground, the word I was looking for would pertain to a surface phenomenon, an abrupt sinking of the ground above a collapse into an underground chamber.

The thought is persistent in my mind that some people would call that a sinkhole, although I haven't found support in dictionaries for the thought.
I don't recall seeing "collect" used, but it sounds like it ought to mean something more like a rock hollow ... that is the case, then the dictionary's definition might be correct, but equating it to sinkhole looks like an error.

Yes, that sounds right. The equation of "sinkhole" to "collect" seems considerably off the mark.
"Sink" can refer to a place where things collect in ... continual resupply of paper clips while others, sinks, accumulated them.

I'd still be inclined to stay with the idea of a sink being somewhere that things disappear rather than collect. ... it does gather the heat temporarily, but it is with the aim of radiating it away out of the system.

That, too, all sounds good. I haven't seen that engineer for the past fifty years or so, but if I ever run into him I'll tell him his analogy was faulty unless he could demonstrate that the paper clips disappeared at the sink rather than being reused.
That was in a way true of my desk, in that I didn't reuse most of the paper clips, but now and then dumped a handful of them into a container in the supply cabinet on the chance that someone else might want to use them.
Even a sink where a river disappears isn't the last page in the water's history. In many cases it will probably go into an aquifer and be recovered to some extent by means of wells. In other cases it will find its way to an ocean and eventually return to the land as rain or snow.
By the way, I wonder if anyone has ever estimated how many years it takes for, say, fifty percent of the water in the world's oceans to be recirculated through the
evaporation-rain-river mechanism.
I also wonder if there is a net loss to outer space of Earth's air and water, and if so how many millions of years it will take for Earth to become another Mars.
While it was 10/1/04 1:01 am throughout the UK, Evan Kirshenbaum sprinkled little black dots on a white screen, and they fell thus:
ADdress (noun) adDRESS (verb)

Here in Britain, both are adDRESS.
Adept (noun) aDEPT (adjective) aRITHmetic (noun) arithMETic (adjective) AUgust (noun) auGUST (adjective) COLLect (noun) coLLect (verb)

That's unusual. Are there any other words in your dialect where the stress falls on just a consonant?
DIScount (noun) disCOUNT (verb)

In the sense of "ignore", yes. In the sense of "reduce the price of", debatable.
NAtal (noun) NAtal (adjective)

What's the difference between NAtal and NAtal?
Some dialects add "cement" and "police". (Menken gives "cement" without comment.) I'd add "defense",

We have "deFENCE", not "defense" over here. And it exists only as a noun. What does it mean as a verb or adjective where you are?

Stewart.

My e-mail is valid but not my primary mailbox, aside from its being the unfortunate victim of intensive mail-bombing at the moment. Please keep replies on the 'group where everyone may benefit.
While it was 10/1/04 1:01 am throughout the UK, Evan Kirshenbaum sprinkled little black dots on a white screen, and they fell thus:

Some dialects add "cement" and "police". (Menken gives "cement" without comment.) I'd add "defense",

We have "deFENCE", not "defense" over here. And it exists only as a noun. What does it mean as a verb or adjective where you are?

The noun "defense" is pronounced in AmE with first-syllable stress primarily in sports usage (AHD: "a. Means or tactics used in trying to stop the opposition from scoring. b. The team or those players on the team attempting to stop the opposition from scoring"). The sports usage has also spawned a transitive verb form (AHD: "1. To attempt to stop (the opposition) from scoring. 2. To play defense against (an opponent); guard"). I heard a sportscaster use the verb "defense" in one of the NFL playoff games last weekend, and sure enough, he used second-syllable stress.
A recent addition to the paradigm is "embed/imbed", which gained a new sense as a noun during the invasion of Iraq (meaning "a reporter placed with a military unit"). I noted last year that American reporters and newscasters tended to pronounce the verb as (@m 'BEd) and the noun as ('Im bEd) rather than ('Em bEd) (even though the preferred spelling is "embed" rather than "imbed").
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While it was 10/1/04 1:01 am throughout the UK, Evan Kirshenbaum sprinkled little black dots on a white screen, and they fell thus:

COLLect (noun) coLLect (verb)

That's unusual. Are there any other words in your dialect where the stress falls on just a consonant?

Are you addressing me or the people who compiled the list I quoted?
Some dialects add "cement" and "police". (Menken gives "cement" without comment.) I'd add "defense",

We have "deFENCE", not "defense" over here. And it exists only as a noun. What does it mean as a verb or adjective where you are?

As a verb it is again largely confined to sports (and primarily football) and means "defend against". You talk about how well a team "defenses the pass" and such.

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"natal"; I can't even think how this can be used except as an adjective.

I've seen it meaning "relating to the nates", typically in laws prohibiting exposure of the "natal cleft".

I'm no wiser. The only time I would stress the second syllable is for that region in South Africa, but I wouldn't consider that to be an English word.

Rob Bannister
While it was 10/1/04 1:01 am throughout the UK, Evan ... it mean as a verb or adjective where you are?

The noun "defense" is pronounced in AmE with first-syllable stress primarily in sports usage

Heard this morning on Australian radio: RESpite (place where you put your old folks away while you go on holiday). Note: the second vowel was 'pite' not 'pit'. Another speaker on the same programme pronounced it REEspite.

Rob Bannister
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I've seen it meaning "relating to the nates", typically in laws prohibiting exposure of the "natal cleft".

I'm no wiser.

Reach behind you and put your hands in your pants. You will encounter two fleshy areas. These are the "nates", pronounced /'neItiz/, otherwise known as "buttocks". If you move your hands toward the midline, you will find that they are separated. This region of separation is the "natal cleft".
Lawmakers who don't think they can go on record as saying "Ya can't expose yer butt-crack", satisfy themselves by requiring that the natal cleft be covered.

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