Monday, September 28, 2015

Some Words (Homonyms) and Non-synonymous Antonyms

Ever thought about words that have more than one antonym, and that those antonyms are not synonyms to each other? As an example, during a car ride, one word that I am often cognizant about is "right". The best word to confirm a traffic turn is "correct", not "right", especially if turning left.

From Merriam-Webster:

antonym
a word with a meaning that is opposite to the meaning of another word

synonym
a word that has the same meaning as another word in the same language
a word, name, or phrase that very strongly suggests a particular idea, quality, etc.

In the following 18 common words with antonym pairs, for two cases, I list "ordinary/normal" for antonyms, as those antonyms are somewhat synonymous with each other.

left
RIGHT
wrong
right
LEFT
arrived
soft
HARD
easy
fall
RISE
set
spring
FALL
rise
cold
HOT
mild
less
MORE
fewer
gain
LOSE
win
small
GREAT
horrible
stranger
FRIEND
foe
familiar
STRANGE
ordinary/normal
even
ODD
ordinary/normal
heavy
LIGHT
dark
sad
HAPPY
angry
happy
MAD
sane
tall
SHORT
long
thick
THIN
wide
coarse
FINE
ill

While I jotted down words and antonyms, a few related word ideas popped up. Because I don't foresee writing up a separate blog article for them separately or collectively, I'm including these miscellaneous thoughts here.

scan: visually skim vs. using a machine to read an image

round shape: circle (2D) vs. sphere (3D)

2D confusion—pane vs. panel

From "Re: Pane or Panel ?":
A pane is a (usually) independently scrollable subsection of a window. It's what you get, for example, if you drag the splitter bar in a Word window.

A panel is an object that is used to group controls and other objects. It is often but not always dragable, occasionally resizable or scrollable. Most toolbars, for example, consist of a panel with buttons. Panels may or may not have a visible border.
From "window pane/panel":
Example: your window is 2 meters in width. The curtains come in 0.5m panels. You will need to buy four panels to cover the window with curtains.

Panels are made of fabric. Panes are made of glass.
As a final thought, I suggest a practical colloquialism to replace "practicable"—"doable". Although "practicable" seems to have finer granularity for definitions, I myself prefer "doable". BTW, I avoided using either word in technical writing.

October 5, 2015 Update

In a discussion about this article on the Publishing and Editing Professionals LinkedIn Group, a commenter pointed out that my 18 words are actually homonyms. Sure enough, one Merriam-Webster definition is "one of two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning".

One of the other definitions is "homophone". Merriam-Webster's definition for "homophone" is "a word that is pronounced like another word but is different in meaning, origin, or spelling". Note the additional condition, "spelling". Thus, homophones are a special kind of homonym that often trips up people when they use the incorrect soundalike. And spell checkers don't even flag such words because they're real words.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pancake-mIx Baked Donuts

My recipe makes 6 baked donuts, using pancake mix, water, and decorative sprinkles. Why only 6? Coz they're quicker to consume so that fewer might get stale. Also, good way to avoid overconsuming in a short time. Besides, I have only one 6-dunut pan and haven't felt inclined to acquire a second pan. Why baked? So you don't need to use a lot of oil and have a lot of it left over. Why pancake mix? For convenience of gathering and measuring fewer ingredients.

Initially, I had spotted an intriguing Parade Magazine recipe for baked donuts. After finding the online version, I googled other baked donut recipes. The Parade recipe started to lose its appeal—requirement of 9 items (too many for my taste), one being a different kind of flour than all-purpose. Turns out that many ingredients are used in pancakes.

I started googling for baked donuts that called for pancake mix. For my recipe, I inferred some processes, using minimal items. My pixstrip shows the following image areas:
  1. Implements
  2. Ingredients
  3. Bowl and mixing utensils used, batter in 6-donut pan
  4. Batter with sprinkles
  5. Baked donuts
  6. Donuts on plate, two cut open
Implements
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Wire whip
  • Measuring cup for pancake powder
  • Measuring cup for water
  • Measuring spoons (just in case of needing any)
  • Spatula for scraping batter
  • 6-donut baking pan, available in crafts stores or online
Ingredients
  • 1 C pancake mix powder
  • 1 T sugar (Had omitted, but recommend, based on my outcome.)
  • 1/2 t vanilla (Had omitted, but recommend, based on my outcome.)
  • 2/3 C water
  • Sprinkles (nonpareils and jimmies shown)
  • Spray oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Spray pan with oil, including the donut hole "posts".
  3. Stir pancake mix and water together in bowl.
  4. Dispense the batter evenly into the pan wells, about 1+ heaping tablespoon each.
  5. With finger, clear the batter off the "posts".
    Note: Several baked donut recipes say to pour the batter into a zipper bag and pipe into the wells.
  6. Sprinkle the decorations you want. (I sprinkled nonpareils in one row and jimmies in the other row.)
  7. With finger, clear the sprinkles off the "posts".
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
  9. Note: If you're leery of raw batter spilling onto the oven, place a larger pan below the donut pan. In my case, the donuts did not spill over.
  10. Remove the donuts from the oven and let cool before using two spoons to lift and remove each from pan.
Post-recipe Thoughts
These donuts were less sweet than I expected, despite adding the sprinkles. One factor might be that I used buttermilk pancake mix instead of non-buttermilk. For future pancake-mix baked donuts, I would use non-buttermilk mix, add maybe an extra tablespoon of sugar, and add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.

As for the decorations, some nonpareils, because of their spheroid shape, tended to roll willy nilly when I didn't aim well as I shook them onto first row. I might use only jimmies for future batches, maybe measuring and stirring 2 tablespoons into the batter before dispensing into the wells.

Nutrition: Calories for each donut is about 90; sodium is about 200. Check out nutrition tables for Krispy Kreme and Duncan Donuts.

Cost considerations: My pancake powder cost less than $1.50 for 32 ounces (~7 1/2 cups), lots less expensive than scratch ingredients, and way less expensive than similar recipes using cake mix. This half-dozen donut batch cost about 20¢ (a smidge over 3¢ each). The decorations add a nit extra cost. (Consider how much convenient store-bought donuts cost these days.) If you don't have a donut pan, consider buying one and economize for future donuts.

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