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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:44 am 
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Who hasn't used this one:

nimbus
\ NIM-buhs \ , noun;
1. (Fine Arts) A circle, or disk, or any indication of radiant light around the heads of divinities, saints, and sovereigns, upon medals, pictures, etc.; a halo.
2. A cloud or atmosphere (as of romance or glamour) that surrounds a person or thing.
3. (Meteorology) A rain cloud.

Quote:
Mara felt she could practically see a nimbus of light around her, like the biblical Esther before she becomes queen.
-- Anna Shapiro, The Scourge

Origin:
Nimbus is from the Latin nimbus, "a rain cloud, a rain storm."
_____________

Still, an old favorite :)

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:23 am 
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Actually, I don't believe I have. It's just not a word that readily springs to my mind. It's a good word, though - I'll have to try to remember to use it...appropriately, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:47 am 
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hypnagogic
\ hip-nuh-GOJ-ik; -GOH-jik \ , adjective;
1. Of, pertaining to, or occurring in the state of drowsiness preceding sleep.

Quote:
It is of course precisely in such episodes of mental traveling that writers are known to do good work, sometimes even their best, solving formal problems, getting advice from Beyond, having hypnagogic adventures that with luck can be recovered later on.
-- Thomas Pynchon, "Nearer, My Couch, to Thee"

Origin:
Hypnagogic (sometimes spelled hypnogogic) ultimately derives from Greek hupnos , "sleep" + agogos , "leading," from agein , "to lead."

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:46 am 
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I do like Greek-derived words. I know what hypnagogic means, but I always think of it as a professor of sleep :P I'm quite sure I have never used it, but it's comforting to know it's there if I wanted to.

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:40 am 
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More Greek!

lexicography
\ lek-suh-KAH-gruh-fee \ , noun;
1. The writing or compiling of dictionaries; the editing or making of dictionaries.
2. The principles and practices applied to writing dictionaries.

Quote:
I am not so lost in lexicography as to forget that words are the daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven.
-- Samuel Johnson, preface to his Dictionary of the English Language

Origin:
Lexicography is derived from the Greek lexicon ( biblion ), a word- or phrase-book (from lexis , a phrase, a word) + graphein , to write. A lexicographer (thought to be formed on the pattern of geographer ) is a compiler or writer of a dictionary -- as defined by Samuel Johnson in his own Dictionary of the English Language , "a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge."
____________

So, if I was writing about compiling dictionaries/languages, I have a great word right here! :P

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:38 am 
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I like the part about being "a harmless drudge." It seems Samuel Johnson had quite the sense of humor. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:08 pm 
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Always liked this one:

cosset
\ KOSS-it \ , transitive verb;
1. To treat as a pet; to treat with excessive indulgence; to pamper.
noun:
1. A pet, especially a pet lamb.

Quote:
Assunta played a larger role in the lives of her children, whom she cosseted and cared for as best she could.
-- Patricia Albers, Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti

Origin:
Cosset comes from the noun cosset, "a pet lamb."

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:10 pm 
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"Cosset" is a Charles Dickens word to me. Whenever I see it I think of David Copperfield or Oliver Twist or Great Expectations. I don't see myself using it though. It's too archaic.

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:14 am 
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But it's archaic in such a pretty way :)

Here's a word I can't stand (honestly, there aren't many)-

masticate
\ MAS-tih-kayt \ , transitive verb;
1. To grind or crush with or as if with the teeth in preparation for swallowing and digestion; to chew; as, "to masticate food."
2. To crush or knead (rubber, for example) into a pulp.
intransitive verb:
1. To chew food.

Quote:
Their powerful jaws allow hyenas to masticate not only flesh and entrails, but bones, horns, and even the teeth of their prey.
-- Sam Tauschek, "A Hyena is no laughing matter", Sports Afield , May 2001

Origin:
Masticate comes from the past participle of Late Latin masticare , "to chew," from Greek mastichan , "to gnash the teeth." The noun form is mastication.
____________

I mean, I know it has its place & all but this is the epitome of a word I associate with writerly blowhards who think big words make them "smarter." :P

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:02 am 
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Well, it's definitely a Nero Wolfe word, Kally. You really should read one of the Nero Wolfe books to catch my drift. He is a lovable snob, and you can see him sitting in the only chair in the world he finds comfortable, adjusting his 1/8 of a ton into it, and saying something like, "The very idea of masticating one's food 20 times per bite is abhorrent. When you go past the delicate flavor, you merely encounter mashed mush."

I made that last up, but it sounds like him :P

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:53 am 
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Yeah, that's where its place is imo: as that sort of characterization tool :)

Today's:

wunderkind
\ VOON-duhr-kint \ , noun; plural wunderkinder \-kin-duhr\
1. A child prodigy.
2. One who achieves great success or acclaim at an early age.

Quote:
It was even written that, at 20, his best days were behind him. He had gone from a wunderkind to an object of sympathy, a hero struggling not to be forgotten.
-- "Owen shines like a beacon amid the wrecks"

Origin:
Wunderkind comes from German, from Wunder, "wonder" + Kind , child.
_____________

One I've seen in a few articles in the past but nothing that I'd see myself using except in very specific places. But it's an under-20-letters-long German word, what's not to like? :P

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:59 am 
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heh heh - I might use it in a humorous way (have a character say, "What are you? Some kind of wunderkind or something?). It's a relatively unpretentious German word. As you say, what's not to like? lol

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:35 pm 
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One of my favorite songs is called Wunderkind. It always bothers me (as a German-speaker) how people don't pronounce it right, and at the same time it amuses me how many German words have gotten into English. i.e. Verboten, which I saw in a book today, and über, which lots of people say.

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Sarekai wrote:
. . . and über, which lots of people say.


And which lots of people use incorrectly.

The word translates as 'over', but due to one particular use of the word in philosophy (Nietzche's ubermensch; literally, the overman), it gets used too frequently in places where it makes absolutely no sense.

It is simply the case of a primary Enlgish speaker grabbing a foreign word to try to sound more intellectual, only to use it in such a way as to make those who know the word laugh at them, hopefully behind their back. I could see a similar case if a non primary English speaker was to read Lewis' That Hideous Strength and begin using the word hideous to mean very (ie. I saw a girl at work today; she was hideously beautiful).

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 Post subject: Re: Word of the Day
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:17 pm 
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hmmm I always thought that uber meant super in some cases. I knew it meant over, as in Deutschland Uber Alles (Germany, Over All)...but...guess I have used it incorrectly myself (as in uber guild or uber gear :()

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