Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How are groundhogs connected to a dying, 3,000 year-old language?

Great Blog by!  Happy Groundhogs… I mean… Woodchuck Day?

As posted by : The Hot Word

February 2 marks the annual Groundhog’s Day. This year’s winter has been particularly harsh on the East Coast, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow. While the frost is still thick on the ground, we want to explore the unusual origin of the common name for the herbivorous burrower Marmota monax. 
Groundhogs are not at all related to hogs, so their initial compound name is only partially accurate: they indeed live close to the ground. The other common name for the marmots is equally confusing. Woodchucks do not chuck or throw around wood, despite the popular tongue twister that queries how much they would if they could. As burrowing rodents, they don’t have much to do with wood or trees at all. In fact, the name woodchuck is an anglicized loan word from the Algonquian word wuchak. 
Pause here for a moment. That language of origin is Algonquian, a 3000-year-old tongue, now extremely endangered, spoken across North America before the arrival of Europeans. Algonquian language dialects dominated in the north and east parts of North America but were also used as far away as the Rockies. Tribes that spoke dialects of Algonquian include the Blackfoot and Cheyenne, Ojibwa and Potawatomi, Fox, Shawnee, Massachusett, Mohican, Powhatan and Shinnecock. 
Besides the humble woodchuck, English keeps several other Algonquian words alive as loan words. Native flora and fauna dominate the list, which includes chipmunk, caribou, hickory, squash, hominy, moose, opossum, and raccoon.
Like these loan words, Groundhog Day is a loan holiday that evolved into a distinct tradition. European festivals such as Candlemas and Imbolc share this holiday’s focus on weather forecasting. Regardless if a large marmot sees his shadow or not, stay warm, eat some chicken soup, and try to keep alive the rich heritage of American English.
Author: Hot Word | Posted in Uncategorized

Friday, January 28, 2011


Saturdays don't get much better than this:

Great Weather
Community Lake and
A Good Cause!

Come out to the 7th Annual 
"Walk 'n RollDog Walk 
this Saturday in support of 

Power Paws provides highly skilled assistance dogs to adults and children with disabilities - How cool!

We'll be there in support with doggie and kittie First Aid goodies and ways to sign up for Pet CPR and First Aid classes

Why Support? 
The walk will help raise money and awareness for Power Paws Assistance Dogs so they can continue to be a great resource in the community for people with disabilities.

When: Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cost: $25.00 per person.  Kids under 6 are free.

Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm Registration
Check-in opens at 9:00 am

See you there with your four-legged friend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Auschwitz : A Day to Remember

I just learned today that January 27, 2011 marks the 66th anniversary of the Allied forces liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Germany's Third Reich under Adolph Hitler, otherwise known as International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

It so happened that on January 12, 2011, were privileged to have four high school students and their Counselor, Mr. David Dummer, tell us first hand about an Auschwitz experience of their own. Our Grand Canyon Chapter hosted a Lunch & Learn for the students to tell their story.  

A group of 20 students from the Phoenix Country Day School travelled to Eastern Europe in 2009 . As part of their tour, they took an afternoon to view and learn about Aushwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.  These young students, barely 16 years old at the time, learned about the Holocaust of World War II and the atrocities that were inflicted upon prisoners of Auschwitz-Birkenau as a product of it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Note of Thanks

"You have been a blessing in our lives at a time of need."

A military wife and mother wrote those words in a note to a Grand Canyon Chapter caseworker. 

She was barely holding on during her darkest of hours when she called the Red Cross for help. Her family was in crisis. Our family responded. The Red Cross caseworker went above and beyond to ensure she had the help and support she needed. Now that family has hope to hold on to...and can move forward in their recovery.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Paper Preparedness

While many of us are anxiously gathering up financial documents in order to have our taxes prepared, there is often one thing that is commonly overlooked---the safety and security of our financial and personal documents.  

Imagine that your family suffered from a house fire or other natural disaster.  What would you do if all of your birth certificates, paystubs, proofs of insurance, etc. were lost?  

Here at the Grand Canyon Chapter, we see people every day whose lives have been turned upside down by some unforeseen disaster.  Often times, families have their important papers scattered about the house and are unable to retrieve these documents in an emergency.  

Part of being prepared includes having an escape plan and extra supplies, but should also include securing your financial and personal documents so that they can easily be recovered in the event of an emergency.  

Visit the IRS Website to review ways that you can prepare and protect your financial and personal papers in the event of a disaster.