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–verb (used with object)

to attack (a candidate or public figure) systematically, especially in the media.

[Origin: 1988, Americanism; after Judge Robert H. Bork, whose appointment to the Supreme Court was blocked in 1987 after an extensive media campaign by his opponents]
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We were playing wikipedia games again. (I always lose because I get distracted by something cool as opposed to finding what I'm supposed to be linking to... Oh well!)

Guess what I found? A truly awesome metaphor!

""""The hedgehog's dilemma states that the closer two beings come to each other, the more likely they are to hurt one another; however if they remain apart, they will each feel the pain of loneliness. This comes from the idea that hedgehogs, with sharp spines on their backs, will hurt each other if they get too close.""""

(Thanks, copy-paste keys! Thanks, Wikipedia!)

WORD: Burl

Feb. 9th, 2007 11:32 am
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Burl: –noun
1. a small knot or lump in wool, thread, or cloth.
2. a dome-shaped growth on the trunk of a tree; a wartlike structure sometimes 2 ft. (0.6 m) across and 1 ft. (0.3 m) or more in height, sliced to make veneer.
–verb (used with object)
3. to remove burls from (cloth) in finishing.
[Origin: 1400–50; late ME burle ≪ OF; akin to ML burla bunch, sheaf, LL burra wool, fluff]
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Bilk: to cheat or frustrate

Occam’s razor?
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\PET-ee-fog-ur\, noun:
1. A petty, unscrupulous lawyer; a shyster.
2. A person who quibbles over trivia.

A more respectable-looking individual was never seen; he really looked what he was, a gentleman of the law -- there was nothing of the pettifogger about him.
-- George Borrow, Lavengro

The nitpickers, the whiners, the pettifoggers are everywhere.
-- Bill Kraus, "Without Health Care Reform, Forget It", Capital Times, December 15, 1993

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Dear A.Word.A.Day. I love you. I can't even express just how much I love you. Seriously. Fabulous.
This is the intro blurb for November 13, 2006.

Battery not included." Buy a $150 gadget and chances are it doesn't come
with batteries that cost, maybe, $2. I'm sure manufacturers have their
reasons, perhaps something to do with the shelf life of the batteries.

If this week's words came packaged, their box would say "Definite articles
included." No need to shop around for a definite article in the right size
and sex.

When English borrows a word from another language, it sometimes takes its
definite article too. We imported the word alligator from the Spanish el
lagarto (the lizard). Alcohol came from the Arabic al-kul (the powdered
antimony, and by association, substances obtained by sublimation or
distillation). Many, such as alkali, algebra, lacrosse (from French: the
crook: the staff carried by an abbot or bishop), and others, are among the
words bringing their own definite article, but it's not always so obvious,
as we'll see later this week.

An extreme example of this inadvertent duplication of definite articles
is in the name of the Los Angeles site of prehistoric fossils of animals
that had been stuck in tar pits. It's called The La Brea Tar Pits which
would literally translate as The The Tar Tar Pits.
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(Latin: “striking out”), in prosody, the slurring or omission of a final unstressed vowel that precedes either another vowel or a weak consonant sound, as in the word heav'n. It may also be the dropping of a consonant between vowels, as in the word o'er for over. Elision is used to fit words into a metrical scheme, to smooth the rhythm of a poem, or to ease the pronunciation of words. …
hazelnut_cafe: (Windflower Icon: John William Waterhouse)
virtu \vuhr-TOO; vir-\, noun:
1. love of or taste for fine objects of art.
2. Productions of art (especially fine antiques).
3. Artistic quality.

The Italian humanist Giovanni Pontano described these objects as "statues, pictures, tapestries, divans, chairs of ivory, cloth interwoven with gems, many-coloured boxes and coffers in the Arabian style, crystal vases and other things of this kind . . . [whose] sight . . . is pleasing and brings prestige to the owner of the house." They all spoke to the wealth, taste and virtu of their owner.
-- John Brewer, The Pleasures of the Imagination

Divans, Persian rugs, easy chairs, books, statuary, articles of virtu and bric-a-brac are on every side, and the whole has the appearance of a place where one could dream his life away.
-- "Mark Twain's Summer Home", The New York Times, September 10, 1882

Virtu comes from Italian virtù "virtue, excellence," from Latin virtus, "excellence, worth, goodness, virtue."

(Thanks, Dictionary.com!)
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A "Schrödinger's Date" is a meeting between two people that may or may not be a date, and whose status cannot be determined. Only the odds of it being one or the other can be estimated.

Thanks, Wikipedia Entry on "Schrödinger's Cat!" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrodinger%27s_cat#Related_humour)
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Elan: ["EEE-lahn", I believe.]
1) Enthusiastic vigor and liveliness.
2) Distinctive style or flair.

1) Exuberant vitality and energy; vigor
n 1: a healthy capacity for vigorous activity; "jogging works off my excess energy"; "he seemed full of vim and vigor"
2) An imaginative, lively style (especially style of writing); "his writing conveys great energy"

Words from Vocab Vitamins, definitions from elsewhere, as they insist on membership if you want to be allowed the definitions. Which I think is silly, as they're words.

But some of them are good words, like these, so I'm no one to knock them.
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dryasdust (DRY-az-dust) adjective

Extremely dull, dry, or boring.

[After Jonas Dryasdust, a fictitious person to whom Sir Walter Scott
(1771-1832) dedicated some of his novels.]

At the beginning of the novel Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott writes:


Dr. Dryasdust however was the writer's own creation. He pretends to dedicate
the novel to him for supplying him with dry historical details. Since then
the term is used to describe a person devoted to dry, uninteresting details.
Dryasdust -- dry as dust --- is obviously a charactonym.

-Anu Garg (gargATwordsmith.org)

"The report is written in the [Congressional Budget Office]'s dryasdust
style, but for anyone with a tolerance for numbers and an interest in
policy, it is as scary as a Stephen King novel."
N. Gregory Mankiw; Government Debt: A Horror Story; Fortune (New York);
Aug 3, 1998.
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"In a manner that attracts attention- 'she demanded service obstreperously.' "

1) "Noisily and stubbornly defiant"
2) "Aggressively boisterous"
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A controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine.
A person engaged in or inclined to controversy, argument, or refutation.

adj. also po·lem·i·cal (--kl)
Of or relating to a controversy, argument, or refutation.
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1. detrimental to health; 'an insalubrious climate': "The back country can be insalubrious for the unprepared."

adverb form: insalubriously noun form: insalubrity

Approximately 1635; from Latin, 'insalubris' ('in-': not + 'salubris,' from 'salus': health).

(From Vocabvitamins.com. I'm going to use it in a poem for school someday, just to see what the teacher says.)
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Word of the Day for Monday June 20, 2005
exigent \EK-suh-juhnt\, adjective:
1. Requiring immediate aid or action; pressing; critical.
2. Requiring much effort or expense; demanding; exacting.

Legislative sessions are long, constituents' demands are exigent, policy problems are increasingly complicated.
--Anthony King, "Running Scared," The Atlantic, January 1997


mopery (MO-puh-ree) noun
1. Violation of a trivial or imaginary law, for example, loitering, used to arrest someone when no other crime can be charged.
2. Mopish behavior: to have pouted face, be gloomy or disappointed.
[From mope, from mop, of uncertain origin.]

"The bleakest moment came when Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon indulged in fatuous mopery, and compounded their crime by causing four Chopin studies to be played at the same time." Clement Crisp; Sadler's Wells; Financial Times (London, UK); Feb 25, 2004.
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Remember how Mrs. Rowlings' name for "Dumbledore" comes from a medieval word for "bumblebee?"

Well, according to my Forgotten English calander (by Jeffrey Kacirk):

Grangerisation is the addition of all sorts of things directly and indirectly bearing on [a] book in question, illustrating it, connected with it or its author, or even the author's family. It includes autograph letters, caricatures, prints, broadsheets, biographical sketches, anecdotes, scandals, press notices, parallel passages, and any other matter which can be got together... for the matter in hand. The word is from Rev. James Granger.
~Ebenexer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898."

... that was a direct quote, by the way.

More... )
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Awesome semi-extinct English words for people who feel inclined to use things like "Spatherdab!" in everyday speech!

(Bum bum BUM! ))
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"""A language is a river always on the move. Like pebbles in a meandering stream, words have their meanings shaped over time. The etymologies of words take us back thousands of years to our primitive selves. They tell us the core of what we were.

What is a 'female'? The word comes from Latin femina (she who suckles). A 'lady' is, literally, a loaf kneader, from Old English hlaf (loaf) + dige (kneader). A 'lord', in turn, was a loaf guard. Well, we've come a long way from those olden times. Today a 'lady' may well be commanding a spacecraft instead of kneading a loaf of bread. A 'lord' may be pushing a baby-stroller instead of guarding the loaf.

This week we focus on words to describe women. """
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Direct Quote :

What is the origin of the word 'loo'?

There are several theories about the origin of this common term for a familiar article of sanitary furniture. The first, and most popular, is that is derived from the cry of 'gardyloo' (from the French regardez l'eau 'watch out for the water') which was shouted by medieval servants as they emptied the chamber-pots out of the upstair windows into the street. This is historically problematic, since by the time the term 'loo' is recorded, the expression 'gardyloo' was long obsolete. A second theory is that the word derives from a polite use of the French term le lieu ('the place') as a euphemism. Unfortunately, documentary evidence to support this idea is lacking. A third theory, favoured by many, refers to the trade name 'Waterloo', which appeared prominently displayed on the iron cisterns in many British outhouses during the early 20th century. This is more credible in terms of dates, but corroborating evidence is still frustratingly hard to find. Various other picturesque theories also circulate, involving references to doors numbered '00' or people called 'Looe'.


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