Friday, May 13, 2016

Word of the day: Weebles

The word of the day is Weebles:

Weebles is a trademark for several lines of children's roly-poly toys originating in Hasbro's Playskool division on July 23, 1971.

(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weeble, accessed May 13, 2016)


"I am I am the iambs
and trochees of assertion wobbling
like Weebles who always
get up as I now do"

- Maureen M. McLane, "Mz N Enough", Spring 2016 The American Scholar (https://theamericanscholar.org/maureen-mclane-three-poems/#.VzZNQdm9LCQ)

Word of the day: qualia

The word of the day is qualia:
  1. a quality, as bitterness, regarded as an independent object.
  2. a sense-datum or feeling having a distinctive quality.
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/qualia)


"If I say fir and fescue
and clover and lover
whither identity and qualia?"

 - Maureen M. McLane, "Mz N Enough", Spring 2016 The American Scholar (https://theamericanscholar.org/maureen-mclane-three-poems/#.VzZNQdm9LCQ)

Word of the day: fescue

The word of the day is fescue:
  1. Also called fescue grass. any grass of the genus Festuca, some species of which are cultivated for pasture or lawns.
  2. a pointer, as a straw or slender stick, used to point out the letters in teaching children to read.
1513, "pointer," from O.Fr. festue, a kind of straw, from L. festuca "straw, stalk, rod," probably related to ferula (see ferule). Sense of "pasture, lawn grass" is first recorded 1762.

(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fescue)


"If I say fir and fescue
and clover and lover
whither identity and qualia?"

 - Maureen M. McLane, "Mz N Enough", Spring 2016 The American Scholar (https://theamericanscholar.org/maureen-mclane-three-poems/#.VzZNQdm9LCQ)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Word of the day: inchoate

OThe word of the day is inchoate:
  1. not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary.
  2. just begun; incipient.
  3. not organized; lacking order
1534, from L. inchoatus, pp. of inchoare, alteration of incohare "to begin," originally "to hitch up," from in- "on" + cohum "strap fastened to the oxen's yoke."

(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/inchoate)


"I was an ambivalent atheist at that point, beset with an inchoate loneliness and endless anxieties, contemptuous of Christianity but addicted to its aspirations and art."

 - Christian Wiman, "I Will Love You in the Summertime", Spring 2016 The American Scholar (https://theamericanscholar.org/i-will-love-you-in-the-summertime/#.VzRq3dm9LCQ)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Word of the day: stultify

The word of the day is stultify:
  1. to make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous.
  2. to render absurdly or wholly futile or ineffectual, especially by degrading or frustrating means: Menial work can stultify the mind.
  3. Law. to allege or prove (oneself or another) to be of unsound mind.
1766, "allege to be of unsound mind" (legal term), from L.L. stultificare "turn into foolishness," from L. stultus "foolish" + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). The first element is cognate with L. stolidus "slow, dull, obtuse" (see stolid). Meaning "cause to appear foolish or absurd" is from 1809.

(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stultified)


"Heidegger’s implicit hope was that the human ability to draw a distinction between technological and nontechnological perception would release us from 'the stultified compulsion to push on blindly with technology.'"

 - James McWilliams, "Saving the Self on the Age of the Selfie", Spring 2016 The American Scholar (https://theamericanscholar.org/saving-the-self-in-the-age-of-the-selfie/#.VzMaDNm9LCQ)

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Word of the day: rum

The word of the day is rum:

rum2

adjective Chiefly British.

  1. odd, strange, or queer: a rum fellow.
  2. problematic; difficult.
"excellent," 1567, from rome "fine" (1567), said to be from Romany rom "male, husband" (see Romany). A very common 16c. cant word, by 1774 it had come to mean "odd, strange, bad, spurious," perhaps because it had been so often used approvingly by rogues in ref. to one another. This was the main sense after c.1800.

(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rum)


"As he said to his wife over the dining table a few hours later, that half-clean swath of window was one of the rummest things he'd ever seen."

 - Laurie R. King, The Murder of Mary Russell

Word of the day: spall

The word of the day is spall:

noun

  1. a chip or splinter, as of stone or ore.

verb (used with object)

  1. to break into smaller pieces, as ore; split or chip.

verb (used without object)

  1. to break or split off in chips or bits.
"chip of stone," 1440, from M.E. verb spald "to split" (c.1400), from M.L.G. spalden, cognate with O.H.G. spaltan "to split" (see spill).

(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spalled)

"The spalled paint around the door was scrubbed to the wood beneath, and the sash window — the constable had to walk over for a closer examination."

 - Laurie R. King, The Murder of Mary Russell

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Word of the day: Festschrift

The word of the day is Festschrift:

volume of articles, essays, etc., contributed by many authors in honor of colleague, usually published on the occasion of retirement, an important anniversary, or the like.

(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/festschrift)


"Nearly twenty years ago, while still a graduate student in English at the University of Chicago, I was invited to contribute to a Festschrift for my father. The looming occasion was his 40th year as an English professor at Amherst College."

 - Will Pritchard, "A tender coincidence", Winter 2016 The University of Chicago Magazine

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Word of the day: soteriology

The word of the day is soteriology:
  1. the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ.
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/soteriology)


"There are institutional forces today that promote the growth of human population...  Among these are various faiths, churches, and denominations whose soteriologies demand numerous children of faithful parents."

 - William W. Quinn, "Last words on population", Winter 2016 The University of Chicago Magazine (http://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/readers-sound-25)

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Word of the day: fossorial

The word of the day is fossorial:

  1. digging or burrowing.
  2. adapted for digging, as the hands, feet, and bone structure of moles, armadillos, and aardvarks.
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fossorial)


"A new kind of tadpole belonging to the Indian dancing frog family has surprised researchers because it burrows through and swallows sand, according to findings published in PLOS ONE.  'These tadpoles probably remained unnoticed all these years because of their fossorial nature, which in itself is a rare occurrence in the amphibian world,' said SD Biju, a study author."

 - 31 March 2016 Sigma Xi SmartBrief