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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Tue Jul 27 2021 9:30am

Word of the Day : July 27, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

jeremiad

noun jair-uh-MYE-ud

Definition
: a prolonged lamentation or complaint; also : a cautionary or angry harangue

Did You Know?
Jeremiah was a Jewish prophet, who lived from about 650 to 570 B.C. and spent his days lambasting the Hebrews for their false worship and social injustice and denouncing the king for his selfishness, materialism, and inequities. When not calling on his people to quit their wicked ways, he was lamenting his own lot; a portion of the biblical Book of Jeremiah is devoted to his "confessions," a series of lamentations on the hardships endured by a prophet with an unpopular message. Nowadays, English speakers use Jeremiah for a pessimistic person and jeremiad for the way these Jeremiahs carry on. The word jeremiad was borrowed from the French, who coined it as jérémiade.

Examples
The news story was a scathing jeremiad against the invasion of privacy on celebrities.

"We can expect a volley of jeremiads against wind power, as perhaps half that fleet stopped spinning. But with perhaps more than 30 gigawatts of thermal generating capacity tripping offline, and wind power producing about five gigawatts less than planned, this disaster clearly stretches, as Texas' grid operator said, 'across fuel types.'" — Liam Denning, The St. Paul (Minnesota) Pioneer Press, 18 Feb. 2021

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Wed Jul 28 2021 8:53am

WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

[ flech-uh-rahyz ]
verb (used with or without object)

to chew (food) slowly and thoroughly.

THE ORIGIN OF FLETCHERIZE
Fletcherize, “to chew (food) slowly and thoroughly so as to extract its maximum nutrition,” is named after Horace Fletcher (1849-1919), a self-taught U.S. nutritionist and author. During his lifetime Fletcher was known as the “Great Masticator” for his insistence that food be chewed until liquefied before swallowing and for his slogan “Nature will castigate those who don’t masticate.” Other food reformers of the 19th century include Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), who inspired the graham cracker. Herman Melville refers to graham crackers in his novel Pierre; or The Ambiguities (1852): “They went about huskily muttering the Kantian Categories through teeth and lips dry and dusty as any miller’s, with the crumbs of Graham crackers.” And John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) was a U.S. physician and nutritionist best known today for his invention of corn flakes. Fletcherize entered English in the early 20th century.

HOW IS FLETCHERIZE USED?
Ottla always said how kind and gentle her brother was … and how the Kafka family worried about his digestion and how boring it was to sit and watch him Fletcherize his food.FRANCINE PROSE, GUIDED TOURS OF HELL, 1997

Yet one reason “The Voyeur’s Motel” is gripping is that Mr. Talese doesn’t fletcherize his material. He lays out what he knows and does not know in sentences that are as crisp as good Windsor knots. DWIGHT GARNER, "MAKING A CASE FOR 'THE VOYEUR'S MOTEL' BY GAY TALESE," NEW YORK TIMES, JULY 5, 2016

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Thu Jul 29 2021 9:53am

THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

celerity
[ suh-ler-i-tee ]
noun

swiftness; speed.

THE ORIGIN OF CELERITY
Celerity, “swiftness; speed,” comes via Middle French célérité from Latin celeritās (inflectional stem celeritāt-) “swiftness, quickness, speed,” a derivative of the adjective celer. Celer comes from the Proto-Indo-European root kel– “to drive, incite to quick motion” and the suffix –es– (Old Latin keles– regularly changes to Classical Latin celer-). The Latin adjective celeber, also celebris “busy, crowded, frequented” (source of English celebrate, celebrated) is also formed from kel-. The root also appears in Greek kélēs “runner, racer, racehorse, fast ship.” Celerity entered English in the second half of the 15th century.

HOW IS CELERITY USED?
At both forms of interview, the majority are not attending and taking notes because a court stenographer is doing it for them. With breath taking celerity—within ten minutes—transcripts of both the flash interviews and the longer interviews are produced, reproduced, machine-stapled, never proofread, and placed in wall racks, where they are collected by the journalists. JOHN MCPHEE, "RIP VAN GOLFER," THE NEW YORKER, JULY 30, 2007

Minutes after my delayed arrival Schneier had with characteristic celerity packed himself and me into a taxi. CHARLES C. MANN, "HOMELAND INSECURITY," THE ATLANTIC, SEPTEMBER 2002

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Fri Jul 30 2021 10:20am

FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

irrefragable

[ ih-ref-ruh-guh-buhl ]
adjective

not to be disputed or contested.

THE ORIGIN OF IRREFRAGABLE
Irrefragable, “not to be disputed or contested,” comes from Late Latin irrefragābilis, literally “unable to be broken back,” and an easy word to break down into its components. The prefix ir– is the variant that the Latin negative prefix in– (from the same Proto-Indo-European source as English un-) takes before r-. The element re– means “back, back again,” thoroughly naturalized in English; here re– forms part of the verb refragārī “to oppose (a candidate); resist; militate against” (fragārī is possibly a variant of frangere “to break”; refragārī means “to break back”). The suffix –ābilis is formed from the connecting vowel –ā– and the adjective suffix –bilis, which shows capability or ability, and is the source of English –able. Irrefragable entered English in the first half of the 16th century.

HOW IS IRREFRAGABLE USED?
The court often assumes that a federal agency acted properly unless an employee offers “irrefragable proof to the contrary.”

The Senate committee cited this as one of many issues on which the court had misinterpreted the law and the intent of Congress. “By definition,” it said, “irrefragable means impossible to refute. This imposes an impossible burden on whistleblowers.” ROBERT PEAR, "CONGRESS MOVES TO PROTECT FEDERAL WHISTLEBLOWERS," NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 3, 2004

Physical science magnifies physical things. The universe of matter with its irrefragable laws looms upon our mental horizon larger than ever before, to some minds blotting out the very heavens. JOHN BURROUGHS, "IN THE NOON OF SCIENCE," THE ATLANTIC, SEPTEMBER 1912

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Sat Jul 31 2021 9:26am

SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

tocsin

[ tok-sin ]
noun

a signal, especially of alarm, sounded on a bell or bells.

THE ORIGIN OF TOCSIN?
Tocsin, “a signal, especially an alarm sounded on a bell,” comes via Old French toquesin, touquesaint, tocsaint from Provençal tocasenh. Tocasenh is a compound made up of the verb tocar “to strike” (French toucher, English touch), from Vulgar Latin toccāre “to touch” and senh “a bell, note of a bell,” from Medieval Latin signum “a bell,” from Latin signum “a mark or sign; a signal.” Tocsin entered English in the second half of the 16th century.

HOW IS TOCSIN USED?
Labor Day instead of sounding the knell of vacations, has become the tocsin for more holidays–Fall holidays. Increasingly of late years has this season been growing in favor among those who wish to avoid the crowds of early August, or plan a special sort of trip.

DIANA RICE, "LABOR DAY SOUNDS THE TOCSIN FOR FALL VACATIONS," NEW YORK TIMES, AUGUST 24, 1941
Paris is in the streets;—rushing, foaming like some Venice wine-glass into which you had dropped poison. The tocsin, by order, is pealing madly from all steeples.

THOMAS CARLYLE, THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, 1837

And a bonus word today as well

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dicti ... lish/dooce

dooce

in British English
(duːs)
VERB (transitive)
slang, mainly US

to dismiss an employee for something he or she has written on a website or blog

He got dooced for blogging about caucus meetings.

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Sun Aug 01 2021 9:04am

SUNDAY, AUGUST 01, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

totemic

[ toh-tem-ik ]
adjective

of, being, or relating to anything regarded as a distinctive or venerated emblem by a group or individual.

THE ORIGIN OF TOTEMIC
The adjective totemic, “relating to something, such as a natural object or an animate being, venerated as an emblem by a group or individual,” comes from Ojibwa (also spelled Ojibway and Chippewa), an Algonquian language now spoken mostly in the Great Lakes region. (The Algonquian language family extends from Labrador westward to the Rocky Mountains, west-south-westward through Michigan and Illinois, and south-westward along the Atlantic coast to Cape Hatteras.) In Ojibwa ninto·te·m means “my totem,” oto·te·man “his totem” (probably originally “my/his clan-village-mate,” a derivative of the verb stem o·te·- “dwell in a village”). Totemic was first used in English in the first half of the 19th century.

HOW IS TOTEMIC USED?
I agree with those who feel that New York would gain by restoring the totemic image of the twin towers to the skyline, if not in their original form. HERBERT MUSCHAMP, "A GOAL FOR GROUND ZERO: FINDING AN URBAN POETRY," NEW YORK TIMES, JANUARY 28, 2003

The sphinx crouches in a position that’s regal and yet totemic of subjugation—she is “beat down” but standing. That’s part of her history, too.HILTON ALS, "THE SUGAR SPHINX," THE NEW YORKER, MAY 8, 2014

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Mon Aug 02 2021 9:29am

MONDAY, AUGUST 02, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

integument

[ in-teg-yuh-muhnt ]
noun

a natural covering, as a skin, shell, or rind.

THE ORIGIN OF INTEGUMENT
Integument, “covering, coating,” comes straight from Latin integumentum “covering, shield, guard, wrapping,” a derivative of the verb integere “to cover, overlay,” itself a compound of the preposition and prefix in, in– “in, on, upon” and the simple verb tegere “to cover, close, bury.” Tegere comes from the Proto-Indo-European root (s)teg-, (s)tog– “to cover.” The variant teg– forms Latin tēgula “a roof tile” (source of English tile). The variant tog– yields Latin toga “toga” (the loose outer garment worn by Roman male citizens in public). The variant (s)teg– yields stégē “covering” and stégos “roof” in Greek, which in turn forms the first element of English stegosaurus, literally “roofed or covered lizard” (from the row of bony plates along its back). Integument entered English in the first half of the 17th century.

HOW IS INTEGUMENT USED?
This is a time of year that makes me wish I could slough my skin entire, like a snake, just walk away from that old integument and step out new into the air. VERLYN KLINKENBORG, "THE RURAL LIFE; THE BIG MELT," NEW YORK TIMES, MARCH 18, 2003

They [tanks] are not steely monsters; they are painted with drab and unassuming colours that are fashionable in modern warfare, so that the armour seems rather like the integument of a rhinoceros. H. G. WELLS, WAR AND THE FUTURE: ITALY, FRANCE AND BRITAIN AT WAR, 1917

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Tue Aug 03 2021 10:26am

TUESDAY, AUGUST 03, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

satori

[ suh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
noun

sudden enlightenment.

THE ORIGIN OF SATORI
In Zen Buddhism, satori means “sudden spiritual enlightenment.” The Zen sense of satori is a more specific sense of the noun satori “comprehension, understanding,” a derivative of the verb satoru “to perceive, comprehend, awaken (spiritually).” Satori entered English in the first half of the 18th century.

HOW IS SATORI USED?
Perhaps Adams reached satori, emptied his mind of all thought, and then didn’t know what to think about it. P. J. O'ROURKE, "THIRD PERSON SINGULAR," THE ATLANTIC, DECEMBER 2002

Satori is the sudden flashing into consciousness of a new truth hitherto undreamed of. It is a sort of mental catastrophe taking place all at once, after much piling up of matters intellectual and demonstrative. The piling has reached a limit of stability and the whole edifice has come tumbling to the ground, when, behold, a new heaven is open to full survey. D. T. SUZUKI, AN INTRODUCTION TO ZEN BUDDHISM, 1934

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Wed Aug 04 2021 9:10am

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 04, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

penetralia

[ pen-i-trey-lee-uh ]
plural noun

the innermost parts or recesses of a place or thing.

THE ORIGIN OF PENETRALIA
Penetralia, “the innermost parts or recesses of a place or thing,” comes straight from Latin penetrālia, the (neuter plural) noun use of the adjective penetrālis “inner, innermost, interior,” a derivative of the verb penetrāre “to penetrate, gain entrance, cross.” The Latin words are related to the preposition penes “under the control of, in the possession of,” the adverb penitus “from within, from inside,” and the plural noun Penātēs “the guardian deities of the Roman larder or pantry” (deep inside the house), who were regarded as controlling the destiny of the household. Penetralia entered English in the second half of the 17th century.

HOW IS PENETRALIA USED?
He wished to be what he called “safe” with all those whom he had admitted to the penetralia of his house and heart. ANTHONY TROLLOPE, BARCHESTER TOWERS, 1857

Lounge chairs have sprouted up in yards and driveways like propagating agave, and many of us have migrated from the penetralia of our backyards to porches and lawns. MARIA NEUMAN, "WHY AMERICA IS REDISCOVERING THE SOCIAL FRONT YARD," WALL STREET JOURNAL, JUNE 6, 2020

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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Thu Aug 05 2021 8:57am

WORD OF THE DAY - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

THURSDAY, AUGUST 05, 2021

tohubohu

[ toh-hoo-boh-hoo ]
noun

chaos; disorder; confusion.

THE ORIGIN OF TOHUBOHU
Tohubohu, “chaos; disorder; confusion,” comes from Hebrew tōhū wā-bhōhū, a phrase occurring in Genesis 1:2, and translated in the King James version as “(And the earth was) without form, and void.” Tōhū wā-bhōhū is an example of hendiadys, a rhetorical device in which two similar words are connected by and to express a single idea, here emptiness, void. Tōhū means “emptiness, waste, desert, vanity, nothing.” Bōhū is traditionally translated as “void, emptiness”; it is used in Genesis for its paronomastic or rhyming effect. Another example of hendiadys comes from the Gospel of Matthew (7:14): “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,” which was later misinterpreted to be “straight and narrow (path).” Tohubohu entered English in the first half of the 17th century.

HOW IS TOHUBOHU USED?
What we have in poetry, it appears, is poetry in a vacuum, which is even worse than poetry in a Salad Shooter or a hot-air corn popper. There is no consensus about the culture, and therefore no common ground on which poets, critics, scholars, students or even readers (are there any left?) can share assumptions and discuss with some coherence the great questions of life and art.

To suggest this tohubohu in a manner that may be unfair but is quick, efficient and vivid, let me cite a few blurbs from the pile of poetry collections on my table … DAVID R. SLAVITT, "PASSIONATE INTENSITY," NEW YORK TIMES, FEBRUARY 12, 1995

The Atlantic declared 2015 “the best year in history for the average human being,” a laughable departure from our recent state of political and pandemic-born tohubohu. LAUREN PUCKETT-POPE, "AN EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK AT LAUREN GROFF'S MATRIX," ELLE, APRIL 1, 2021

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