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Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:44 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Tuesday December 7, 2004

\dih-MUR\, intransitive verb: 1. To object; to take exception. 2. To delay.
noun: 1. The act of demurring. 2. Objection. 3. Delay.

It had been Letitia's wish, not Thaddeus's, that there should be a child but, while wondering at the time what it was going to be like to have a baby about the place, he did not demur, and soon after Georgina's birth was surprised to find his feelings quite startlingly transformed.
--William Trevor, Death in Summer

She would ask to see something I had written, and I would demur, saying that anything I had written was terrible, and she would persist until I gave in and said, "If you insist," and later she would proclaim that my work was not terrible, my work was terrific.
--Rosemary Mahoney, A Likely Story

All the same, she succeeded in exacting from him the promise that . . . he would depart Milan forthwith. Beyle accepted this condition without demur and left Milan.
--W.G. Sebald, Vertigo (translated by Michael Hulse)

One member of the staff who left his pass at home wrote on the temporary pass he was given the name 'Heinrich Himmler' and was admitted without demur.
--Noel Annan, Changing Enemies

Demur comes from Old French demorer, "to linger, to stay," from Latin demorari, from de- + morari, "to delay, to loiter," from mora, "a delay."

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:29 am
by felonius
Hold on...I'll respond to this in a second... :P

Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 8:38 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Wednesday December 8, 2004

\puhr-FUR-vid\, adjective: Ardent; impassioned; marked by exaggerated or overwrought emotion.

Good movies evaporate, while the market is flooded with inanity. Critics can't do much to stop this, but when you read perfervid reviews of the latest commercial offerings it's plain that they do little to cool things down.
--Armond White, "Best Movies, Saddest Culture," New York Press, July 5, 2000

Years ago Philip Roth published a perspicacious essay on the pitfalls of writing satire, the gist of which was that the daily absurdities in our morning newspapers too often outdid even a novelist's most perfervid imaginings.
--Mordecai Richler, "Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind," New York Times, April 11, 1999

Or under the button-down exterior of a familiar Westchester suburbanite was there a giant cockroach eager to mud-wrestle a man in black? Or was this merely a quirk of Miss Polk's perfervid imagination?
--Mel Gussow, "Novelist Fires Off Opening of Fictional Relay on Net," New York Times, August 2, 1997

Perfervid is from Latin per-, "through, thoroughly" + fervidus, "boiling," from fervere, "to boil."


Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:23 pm
by laurie
Perfervid, Perverted Postulations of DOOOOOOM

/wrong thread, but me couldn't resist :mrgreen:

Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:22 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Thursday December 9, 2004

\SOL-uh-siz-uhm\, noun: 1. A nonstandard usage or grammatical construction; also, a minor blunder in speech. 2. A breach of good manners or etiquette. 3. Any inconsistency, mistake, or impropriety.

An accurate report of anything that has ever been said in any parliament would be blather, solecism, verbiage and nonsense.
--"Hansard of the Highlands," Times (London), February 17, 2001

Her English is good, apart from a few stubborn idiosyncrasies of preposition and tense, but these are music to me, sung solecisms -- how else to describe "I am already loving you," her first declaration of feeling for me, now two years old?
--Ronan Bennett, The Catastrophist

In those days smoking in the streets was an unpardonable solecism.
--Edmund Yates, Recollections

. . . another of her fabrications or flat-footed solecisms or, at any rate, a simple indication of the boundless ineptitude with which she manages Leonardo's affairs.
--R.M. Berry, Leonardo's Horse

Solecism comes from Latin soloecismus, from Greek soloikizein, "to speak incorrectly," from soloikos, "speaking incorrectly," literally, "an inhabitant of Soloi," a city in ancient Cilicia where a dialect regarded as substandard was spoken.

/say what? :mrgreen:

Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:05 pm
by laurie
In those days smoking in the streets was an unpardonable solecism.
--Edmund Yates, Recollections
These days, too. :mrgreen:

Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:27 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Friday December 10, 2004

\ek-stem-puh-RAY-nee-us\, adjective:
1. Composed, performed, or uttered on the spur of the moment, or without previous study; unpremeditated; impromptu.
2. Prepared beforehand but delivered without notes or text.
3. Skilled at or given to extemporaneous speech.
4. Provided, made, or put to use as an expedient; makeshift.

. . . the intimate goofiness of an extemporaneous story told to a child.
--Barbara Tritel, "What the Wicked Magician Did," New York Times, February 22, 1987

She summed up the long and complex sessions in an hour's extemporaneous speech that was remarkable for its organization, pithiness and coherence.
--"Anna Freud, Psychoanalyst, Dies in London at 86," New York Times, October 10, 1982

In fact, his particular strength may well have been improvisation, and he may not have been interested in committing the results of his extemporaneous performances to paper.
--Christoph Wolff, Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician

Extemporaneous comes from Late Latin extemporaneus, from Latin ex tempore, "out of time," therefore "immediately, at the very time the occasion arises." It is related to temporary, "lasting for a limited time"; contemporary, "belonging to the same time" (con-, "with, together"); and tempo, "the rate or degree of movement in time."

/I don't know what to say :mrgreen:

Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:27 pm
by laurie
99 % of my IBDoF comments are extemporaneous originals. The other 1 % are lines I stole from my fellow members. :mrgreen:

Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:22 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Monday December 13, 2004

\uh-BOR-ning\, adverb: While being produced or born. adjective: Being produced or born.

In universities at least as much as anywhere else, vast floods of words pour forth to no useful end. Nothing would be lost if they had died aborning.
--Loren Lomasky, "Talking the talk: Have universities lost sight of why they exist?" Reason, May 2001

In "Base-Ball: How to Become a Player" he expounds on the importance of the sport's vital edges: pickoffs, relay throws, brushback pitches, drawing the infield in or moving it out, hit-and-run plays, signals -- all commonplace today, but in 1888 only aborning.
--Bryan Di Salvatore, A Clever Base-Ballist

Nine months later, ABC Washington bureau chief George Watson left to join the aborning Cable News Network, taking several staffers with him.
--Judy Flander, "Catching up with Katie Couric," Saturday Evening Post, September 1, 1992

Aborning is derived from a-, "in the act of" + English dialect borning, "birth."

Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:14 am
by laurie
Goodness, Judge Roy, a real, live, truly English word? No Latin derivation? :shock:

Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 8:36 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Tuesday December 14, 2004

\DUHL-sit\, adjective: 1. Pleasing to the ear; melodious; harmonious. 2. Generally pleasing, soothing, or agreeable. 3. (Archaic) Sweet to the taste.

If you want to catch up with our most famous songster, the nightingale, just visit Minsmere at the end of April, or early May, and stand on the edge of the car park. You'll soon hear the dulcet tones of the poets' favourite bird.
--Stephen Moss, "Birdwatch," The Guardian, October 23, 2000

Amanda . . . rages at her young 'uns in a voice that may have been full of dulcet notes when she turned the heads of her gentleman callers in her youth, but has now grown hard-edged and ringing, like a cracked bell.
--Hal Hinson, Washington Post, November 11, 1987

Just as my eyelids started to get heavy and my brain began to relax its hold on wakefulness -- bam! -- the less than dulcet tones of Britain's top breakfast DJ started to emanate from my radio alarm.
--"Secs in the City," The Guardian, July 30, 2001

Dulcet comes from Old French doucet, diminutive of dous, "sweet," from Latin dulcis, "sweet."

/the dulcet sounds of the hammer ringing off some poor illiterate's head :smash:

Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:44 pm
by laurie
Dulce et decorum est, pro Patria mori

--- from a WW I poem by Wilfred Owen: "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."

Wilfred Owen did.

Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:24 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Wednesday December 15, 2004

hoi polloi
\hoi-puh-LOI\, noun:
The common people generally; the masses.

Lizzie insisted that her children distinguish themselves from the hoi polloi by scrupulous honesty.
--Kate Buford, Burt Lancaster: An American Life

The exchange of roles in "The Prince and the Pauper" suggests that a man of the people can be a benevolent ruler because of his humble roots, that a prince can become a better ruler through exposure to hoi polloi.
--Michiko Kakutani "In Classic Children's Books, Is a Witch Ever Just a Witch?" New York Times, December 22, 1992

America's cereal queen [Marjorie Merriweather Post, heir to the Post Cereal fortune] had the same problems that the hoi polloi have -- philandering husbands, messy divorces, soggy Grape-Nuts.
--Maureen Dowd, "Rich Little Rich Girl," New York Times, February 12, 1995

Hoi polloi is Greek for "the many."

Usage: Some argue that the definite article ("the") should not be used in front of "hoi polloi," as hoi means "the" in Greek. However, "the hoi polloi" has been used since the earliest recorded instances of the term in English and is considered correct by most authorities.

/soggy grapes nuts (?) :?

Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:47 pm
by laurie
Ghost wrote:/soggy grapes nuts (?) :?
Boiling water will do the trick. :mrgreen:

But even the hoi polloi wouldn't eat 'em then ...

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:15 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Thursday December 16, 2004

\ruh-sher-SHAY\, adjective: 1. Uncommon; exotic; rare. 2. Exquisite; choice. 3. Excessively refined; affected. 4. Pretentious; overblown.

. . . recherche topics interesting only to university specialists.
--Katharine Washburn and John F. Thornton, Dumbing Down

She was mocking the pretensions of the cookery writer who insists on recherche ingredients not because of their qualities but their snob value.
--Angela Carter, Shaking a Leg

In recent years, Garber's appetite for the rigors of theory seems to have diminished. The books have kept coming, but the italics-heavy meditations and the recherche terminology have receded.
--Zoë Heller, "House Arrest," The New Republic, July 3, 2000

Recherche comes from French, from rechercher, "to seek out," from re- + chercher, "to look for, to seek."

/me thinks we are a recherche collection of geeks! :mrgreen:

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:58 pm
by laurie
Ghost wrote:recherche: 1. Uncommon; exotic; rare. 2. Exquisite; choice. 3. Excessively refined; affected. 4. Pretentious; overblown.

/me thinks we are a recherche collection of geeks! :mrgreen:
Ah, but which of the definitions fits us is the big question. :wink:

/me picks # 2 for me and Ghostie. :mrgreen:

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:12 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Friday December 17, 2004

\PUR-mee-ayt\, transitive verb: 1. To spread or diffuse through.
2. To pass through the pores or openings of.
intransitive verb: To spread through or penetrate something.

A darkly sweet aroma permeated the air; white orchid blossoms erupted from snakelike vines.
--Chu Tien-Wen, Notes of a Desolate Man

Passers-by could see into buildings through display windows, while the warm glow and sweet smells emanating from the shops and cafes permeated the partly enclosed pedestrian ways.
--Larry R. Ford, The Spaces Between Buildings

The travelers, with their pinched, ferocious expressions and their too brightly glittering eyes, projected an aura of paranoia mixed with anxiety that permeated the bus.
--Tama Janowitz, A Certain Age

The fear of crime permeates their lives. They worry about being mugged . . . in a parking lot or while walking home from work.
--David J. Krajicek, Scooped!

Permeate is from Latin permeare, "to go through, to pass through," from per-, "through" + meare, "to go, to pass."

/fun and humor permeates The Margins :lol:

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:36 am
by felonius
...his eyes left her face as a new sensation permeated the distant edges of his consciousness - one of chill and exposure. Reluctantly rising further up from the depths of REM sleep's silver pool, he gradually became aware of one foot protruding from the blanket, toes frosty and numb in the cold morning air. Pulling it back under, he felt mild disappointment - the dream had been pleasantly recherche and he knew he wouldn't get it back even if he managed to fall asleep again...

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:18 am
by Darb
... it was at that moment that a purple 1972 El Camino, owned by the local leader of The Latin Kings, screamed around the corner spraying bullets from an Ingram Mac-10 equipped with a 32 pip long-boy clip. The hail of bullets permeated the wall, sleeper, bedframe, dresser, television, and sleeping cat, and left a multi-colored and multi-textured recherche montage on the far wall that the sleeper's widow would subsequently pawn off as a Jackson Pollock original for a cool two hundred and seventeen grand.

(inspired by Steven Aylett) :lol:

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:10 pm
by RecluceMage
Hey Ghost, don't mean to step on your feet, but I found this very extensive site for obscure words.

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 pm
by Darb
Cool ! :thumb:

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 10:20 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Monday January 3, 2004

\rih-JOIN-dur\, noun: An answer to a reply; or, in general, an answer or reply.

I kept looking for exceptions to his pronouncements, flaws in his reasoning, my constant rejoinders to his critical remarks being "Yes, but . . ."
--Richard Elman, Namedropping: Mostly Literary Memoirs

The comment immediately drew a sharp rejoinder from a friend.
--Howard W. French, "Tokyo Displays Mixed Feelings at Premiere of 'Pearl Harbor,' " New York Times, June 21, 2001

Chance on an unbelieving clod, and the ultimate rejoinder is ready at hand: "Listen, dummy, it actually happened!"
--Benjamin Cheever, "Like Watching Tennis," New York Times, August 17, 1997

Rejoinder derives from Old French rejoindre, "to answer, rejoin," from re- + joindre, "to join," from Latin iungere, "to join."

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 12:12 pm
by laurie
Yippee - Ghost is back !! :clap:

/me loves posting rejoinders to Ghostie's WOTD posts !

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 8:48 am
by Ghost
Word of the Day for Tuesday January 4, 2005

\dis-TRAY\, adjective: Divided or withdrawn in attention, especially because of anxiety.

Yet when she stopped for a cup of coffee, finding herself too distrait to begin work, the picture was in the course of being removed from the window.
--Anita Brookner, Falling Slowly

He had painfully written out a first draft, and he intoned it now like a poet delicate and distrait.
--Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt

Virtually nobody noticed a more private and simultaneous cameo in a little bay in West Cork: of a delicate, somewhat distrait, gentleman of middle age being swept into the turbulent waters off Kilcrohane.
--Kevin Myers, "An Irishman's Diary," Irish Times, July 21, 1999

Distrait is from Old French, from distraire, "to distract," from Latin distrahere, "to pull apart; to draw away; to distract," from dis- + trahere, "to draw, to pull." It is related to distraught and distracted, which have the same Latin source.

/me always thought that distrait had a hard T ending, manybe me is not thinking clearly :slap:

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 9:15 am
by felonius
Silly anglophone. :P