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Stephen Bentley - Writer

Cadence: WordWednesdayFun

Some words have a beautiful ring about the. Cadence, I think, is one of them. It was G’s last short story that inspired this week’s choice of word for #WordWednesdayFun.

I think I have a fairly good vocabulary but when I read G’s use of the word, I confess I was unsure as to its meaning. Now I know.

Merriam-Webster first –

Popularity: Top 20% of words
Simple Definition
: a regular beat or rhythm
: the way a person’s voice changes by gently rising and falling while he or she is speaking
: an ending part of a piece of music

Full Definition
1
a : a rhythmic sequence or flow of sounds in language
b : the beat, time, or measure of rhythmical motion or activity
2
a : a falling inflection of the voice
b : a concluding and usually falling strain; specifically : a musical chord sequence moving to a harmonic close or point of rest and giving the sense of harmonic completion
3
: the modulated and rhythmic recurrence of a sound especially in nature
cadenced adjective
cadential  adjective

Examples in a sentence
the steady cadence of the drums
Oars moved back and forth in smooth cadence.
He speaks with a soft Southern cadence.

Did You Know?
Falling into the hands of English speakers in the 14th century, cadence derives via Middle English and Old Italian from the Latin verb cadere, meaning “to fall.” (“Cadere” can be found in the history of many common English words, including “decay,” “coincide,” and “accident”). We most often hear “cadence” used in contexts pertaining to voice or music – it might refer to the familiar way in which someone speaks, or the rhythms employed by a rap artist, or the rising and falling notes of a bird’s call. “Cadenza,” the Old Italian word that factors into the history of “cadence,” has its own place in English as well, usually referring to a brilliant musical flourish played before closing out an aria.

Origin and Etymology
Middle English, from Old Italian cadenza, from cadere to fall, from Latin — more at chance

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonyms
beat, rhythm, measure, meter

Don’t you love Maggie Rack’s Facebook comment?

Maggie Rack · Prep cook/ Backup Cook at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
I chose cadence to be my sons name.
Like · Reply · Apr 9, 2016 10:54pm

Here’s a little surprise. The Google search for cadence revealed that the word is in the news this week. I present the cadence of drill sergeants:

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2 Comments

  1. Steve,

    When I went to basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas in 1965 I became very familiar with the word ‘cadence’ – LOL. I, according to my T.I. (tactical instructor/drill sergeant), did not know how to march. I was placed at the rear of the flight so as to not get others out of step. My ears still ring with, “Your other left, sh*thead, your other left!” According to him, was always out of step. So they made me a road guard. A road guard marched ahead and behind the flight. They’d be there to stop traffic as the flight crossed a road.

    Many months later I was sent on to second phase basic to Alabama. We got off the ‘Gooney Bird’ at 3am and were placed in flight formation. T.I. called “Faaarward . . . harch! leffft, riiiight, leffft, riiiight.” I was 5 guys from the rear and I was marching in cadence to the rest of the flight. It was then I realized that it was not me that was out of step in Texas but the others. And if you know anything about Texas . . . well, it has never been in step with others.

    I also remember two of our songs used to keep cadence – “Found a birdie down by the stream. Brought it up on crumbs of bread . . . then I squashed its f**king head. Sound off – 1-2-3-4, leffft, riiiight, leffft, riiiight. I know a girl who lives on a hill – if she won’t f**k her sister will – leffft, riiiight, leffft, riiiight . . . Sound off, 1-2-3-4, Sound off, 1-2-3-4. . .bring it on down now – 1-2-3-4, 1 . . . 2 . . . 3-4.

    When we marched by women or the women’s barracks we had to drop the f words. However, I remember the WAF’s T.I. had a dirty mouth than our T.I. her cadence songs had a lot of C and F words in it – LOL

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