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September 17, 2012


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The four cows in "Cold Comfort Farm" are called Aimless, Graceless, Pointless, and Feckless. (The bull is Big Business; the Starkadder family live in fear of Aunt Ada Doom and a character named Laura Smiling has a French maid called Riante. Stella Gibbons' character names are a major part of the fun of that book.)

Great explanation of feckless.

Semi-relatedly, another word w/the suffix -less is ruthless. I've always found this word odd. I'd imagined that the 'ruth' is related to 'wrath', but if so why would the agent associated w/that word be lacking in 'wrath,' rather than have lots of it. Perhaps then, the 'ruth' and 'wrath' aren't related, after all.

Philipsturner: Correct, the "ruth" in "ruthless" has nothing to do with wrath. It comes from an Old English word that meant "pity" and is related to "rue."

I think that in your first sentence you are using the word "iteration" in a current sense that I haven't entirely caught up with.

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