GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:39 am

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swain


\ SWEYN \
noun:
1.
A male admirer or lover.
2.
A country lad.
3.
A country gallant.

Quotes:
Ms. Henley knows too how life-changing revelations arrive in grotesque little packages, as when Lenny admits over the phone her traumatizing inability to have babies and forthwith counters her swain's answer with a slight shock and vast elation: "They're not all little snot-nosed pigs!"
-- John Simon, "Living Beings, Cardboard Symbols", New York Magazine

A nymph and a swain to Apollo once prayed
The swain had been jilted, the nymph been betrayed
They came for to try if his oracle knew
E're a nymph that was chaste, or a swain that was true.

-- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's almanack : being the choicest morsels of wisdom written during the years of the Almanack's publication

Origin:
Swain evolves from swein , Old English for "servant".

Irreverant example:
Wherever my grandma went, it didn't take long for a string of swains to swoon over her. During a cruise on the Mediterranean, even the boatswain was among those who got in line, but he too had to draw a number, just like the rest of them .
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:05 am

I'm feeling a bit lonely and somewhat godforsaken (*).

1. No WotD replies since 27 July.

2. Today my wireless NAT-router is on the blink. I have to make do with a temporary wired connection through the hub to the cable modem. Of course my computer is still firewalled and stealthed, fortunately.

3. Yesterday I closed my laptop, thinking that it would go to sleep. But it crashed and wouldn't wake up nor boot any more, even after a forced power down. It seemed dead. But with the lid halfway closed, it deigned start up again. I put the screen back in its usual upright position, and the thing kept working. Whew!
I'm afraid it may be an omen of impending doom. Don't be surprised (or worry) if I disappear for a few weeks.


(*) meaning of godforsaken:
Windows users: Gatesforsaken.
Mac OS X users: Jobsless.
Linux users: [Deity] only helps those who help themselves.
Last edited by E Pericoloso Sporgersi on Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby Algot Runeman » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:55 pm

E.P.S, if your laptop quits and you are away for two weeks, we will miss you. Just remember, everyone deserves a good vacation. You know, maybe this is the excuse that will get you out of town for a pleasant break.

------

Louise was always excited to get away from the bustle of New York for at least a month each summer. Charlie didn't see it that way, but he drove her up to the cottage in Connecticut before launching himself into the city again. "I never sleep because business never sleeps because money never sleeps" was his excuse. Louise didn't mind too much. Charlie was uncomfortable if he stayed more than a couple of days and it got Louise tense, too. He would probably come out only a weekend or two all summer.

There was a phone, but cell coverage was intermittent and Louise had repeatedly objected when Charlie suggested getting cable or at least satellite TV. Charlie's laptop wasn't "welcome" because it meant he was working, and at the cottage, working, in the sense of business, had always been off limits. Reading books, walking the trails through the hills around the lake, rowing or sailing the dingy, they all filled her memories and seemed just fine to fill the modern days, too. The cottage was only three-quarters of a mile from the center of the village, and there were several other cottages on the little bay where hers was tucked into the woods. She'd inherited the cottage from her grandfather, Joe, and she had been going to the lake since she could remember. Her cousin was due to be in the neighboring cottage by Sunday afternoon, and plenty of the people from her youth continued to occupy their summer getaways. The cottages that had been sold were also generally full of happy families.

If anything caused her a regret, it was that she was already 28, married now for six years, and didn't have a family of her own to enjoy summer at the lake. Charlie was willing, but nothing had come of their normal love life. It might not be exceptionally passionate, but it was regular, better than just pleasant.

"MIss Louise! Are you there?"

"I'm out on the porch looking at the lake. Is that you Benny?" Benny was the caretaker for most of the lake cottages and must be nearing 80 years old. He'd begun taking care of this cottage as a boy, working for her great grandfather when his was the first cottage on the lake. Benny had always called her "Miss Louise."

She hurried around the cottage and gingerly pulled Benny into a gentle hug.

"You know you don't have to treat me like your grandma's china figurines. I won't break." Louise squeezed harder, but not as hard as she could. Regular days at the gym and daily runs through Central Park kept her strong.

"Benny, thanks for the cleanup. You did a great job."

"Nah, I'm takin' it easy this year. It was Bobby here who did the work. I just carry the keys around and tune the boat engines."

Louise glanced to the left in the direction Benny tilted his head. There was a tall, muscular youth dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt which was like Benny's outfit, though the colors didn't match. Her glance was longer than she realized and Benny had already said a few additional words before she turned back to him.

"Yeah, Bobby's good with a broom, a paintbrush, and can wash windows faster than a summer downpour. He's not bad with a hammer, either. I'm breaking him in to take over in a couple of years, after he can saw a straight line. I've decided to retire when I'm old." The grin on his face indicated he wasn't planning the retirement soon. "We're making a final pass around the lake, and checking in to see if anybody needs last minute setup. Your boat's been in the water a couple of days, but we've had no rain for two weeks so it'll be dry. Bobby will rig the sails if you want."

"Uh, no, thanks" Louise felt strangely tongue-tied. "I love rigging that little skiff. I've been doing it since I was ten, you know." She half-glanced again in Bobby's direction as she finished speaking. He didn't react to the age she mentioned, and she unconsciously wiped her hands down the sides of her hips. She noticed that he watched her hands' motion, and a little color came to her cheeks.

Benny didn't give any indication that he noticed any of it. "We'll check back with you in a couple of days, but call if anything comes up. The phones are all working fine this year." He never forgot the year the squirrel had gotten fried in the old wiring of the phone exchange building.

Louise put her hand on Benny's arm as he started to turn. Bobby turned too, without having spoken a word. Benny glanced back. "Bobby doesn't say much, but he's a hard working kid. Turned 21 just the end of March and he's been working some job since he was a high school freshman. Doesn't seem to mind if I start him on a day of work and run off to some other job, either."

Benny started for the pickup and gave a short, dry cough. "Hope I get a glimpse of Mr. Bowen before the summer's over." Benny always called Charlie Mr. Bowen, even that first summer, even after Charlie said, "Please, Benny, call me Charles."

The summer grass in the dirt drive and some leftover leaves from the past fall kept the pickup from kicking up dust as it rolled away. The pickup looked new and didn't rattle like Benny's old rust bucket. That was probably why Louise hadn't heard it pull in before.

In the pickup, Benny looked both ways before he turned onto the lake road, and beside him, the young swain, just a quiet country boy, slightly narrowed his eyes, and the corners of his mouth turned up almost imperceptibly. Yes, it could turn out to be a very good summer.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:17 pm

Algot Runeman wrote:if ... you are away for two weeks, we will miss you.
Thank you.
Algot Runeman wrote:Just remember, everyone deserves a good vacation. You know, maybe this is the excuse that will get you out of town for a pleasant break.
Now there's a thought.

About Louise. I hope you do find the time to write more to this nice introduction. May we expect a romance tale or a thriller with Louise just barely escaping Bobby the unsuspected rapist-murderer?
Or will it be a story about Benny, Bobby, Bubba and his wife Boobs?
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby Algot Runeman » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:28 pm

E.P.S., your comment is kind, suggesting a series of chapters should, might, could follow, revealing a sequence of summer scenes, perhaps serene or sultry or sinister.

But, will you be alone in your desire to know more about Lu, her cousin Cici and family, along with "The Commodore" and his brand new bimbo bride, not to forget, Benny and Bobby.

As it may turn out, some weeks or so later in the summer, Louise and Charlie do have a late Saturday afternoon conversation about his not getting to the lake. He was due at the lake on Friday, late, and it is the weekend of the very popular square dance competition. Bozos, buffoons, bucolic boys named Bubba (visiting from Georgia) and, of course, Bobby and the burgeoning beauties browning at the beach there will might be in sufficiency to develop "Tales of the Connecticut Woods (pre-production title)."

Benny does have a brother, Ted, who is married and calls the summer square dances. Benny plays the fiddle and is a widower whose wife has been gone for years. In spite of all that, it is too soon to know if possible, purely potential future episodes will be romantically thrilling or thrillingly romantic or muddily mediocre.

That's enough random rambling for now. There is yet sufficient summer for sails and storms and the tales of dames and swains in the month that remains.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:14 am

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fathom

\ FATH-uhm \
verb:
1.
To penetrate to the truth of; comprehend; understand.
2.
To measure the depth of water by means of a sounding line; sound.

noun:
1.
A unit of length equal to six feet (1.8 meters): used chiefly in nautical measurements.


Quotes:
"Moving at 200 miles an hour, he could see things more clearly than most of us could ever fathom , and thrill us all while doing it."
-- Teresa Earnhardt, Remembering Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, May 2010

Figuring out whether travel insurance covers your canceled trip can be as hard to fathom as the pronunciation of the volcano causing all the trouble (Eyjafjallajokull).
-- Jane Engle, "For travelers, an Icelandic pain in the ash", Los Angeles Times, May 2010

Origin:
Fathom starts its history meaning a "length of the outstretched arms" (a measure of about six feet). The verb sense comes into being approximately 1600.

Irreverant example:
In 1912 a Parisian haute couture house hired my grandma to go model their fur creations in New York, Boston, Montreal and Québec. They also meant to send their shipment of coats on the Titanic and have my grandma model them for the First Class passengers as a shrewd marketing opportunity, all by itself worth the Second Class berth and shipping cost.

At the last moment grandma was taken ill with acute appendicitis and had to be replaced for the Mid- and Transatlantic fashion shows. Sadly, the new model, actually grandma's dearest friend, and the fur coats were lost to more than 2,000 fathoms depth in the Atlantic. Grandma was in the hospital, recovering from surgery and attended by grandpa, when news of the disaster broke.

Neither grandma nor grandpa ever told what first went through their minds at that moment. Was it great grief for her lost friend or great joy at grandma's providential escape, no-one in the family has been able to fathom it.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby Algot Runeman » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:00 pm

I fathom the concept, but if you plan to drown somebody by putting them in cement shoes, check that the person isn't much taller than the water depth. Guido was 6'8" and was dropped at high tide into 1 fathom of water. The most spectacular failure, though was that neither Marco nor Paolo noticed, just after the huge splash of his entry, that Guido's head slowly rose all the way out of the water as they walked back off the Mediterranean pier. The rule to understand is that the water must be deeper than the height a victim can stand under.

Most people have a widespread arm reach almost equal to their height. So a person with a good grasp of things also fathoms them, understands.

---
The Connecticut Cottage is under further development. One salient fact from future episodes is that "The Commodore", a man of sixty years does NOT fathom the foolishness of marrying a young, big breasted bimbo. He and she are unfortunate stereotypes who will play a role in Louise's summer story.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:20 am

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rococo

\ roh-kuh-KOH \
adjective:
1.
Ornate or florid in speech, writing, or general style.
2.
Pertaining to a style of painting developed simultaneously with the rococo in architecture and decoration, characterized chiefly by smallness of scale, delicacy of color, freedom of brushwork, and the selection of playful subjects as thematic material.

noun:
1.
A style of architecture and decoration, originating in France about 1720, evolved from Baroque types and distinguished by its elegant refinement in using different materials for a delicate overall effect and by its ornament of shellwork, foliage, etc.

adjective:
1.
In the manner of, or suggested by rococo architecture, decoration, or music or the general atmosphere and spirit of the rococo.


Quotes:
Whereas the author's early works, like "Dead Babies" and "The Rachel Papers," were animated by a satiric gift for social observation and a deliciously black wit, this novel tackles the same themes - sex and identity and coming of age - with weary determination, and lacquers them all with pompous, inanely rococo meditations about the nature of art and truth.
-- Michiko Kakutani, "The Sexual Revolution Dissected", New York Times, May 2010

"Is this some sort of grandiose and rococo midlife crisis? Are you that afraid of getting old? Aging is the most natural thing in the world." He snorted.
-- Tom Robbins, Jitterbug perfume

Origin:
Rococo originates as a humorous alteration of the French rocaille , "shellwork, pebble-work", refering to the excessive use of shell designs in the style of various French monarchs.

Irreverant example:
When my grandpa visited Antwerpen's 1930 World Fair, he was so impressed by the construction of the Chinese pagoda-like pavilion that he got an idea. Inspired by its intricate dovetails, he built a dovecot on the roof of his house and stocked it with pigeons.

To lure his racing pigeons to come inside he used to climb on the roof and coo "rococo" and "come-come-come", repeating it over and over until all his birds were back in the coop, happily roocoocooing to each other.

All this strenuous activity made grandma think it was a rather rococo endeavour.

Rococo Chanel, when told about it, promptly dropped the "Ro" from her name.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby Algot Runeman » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:12 am

If anyone doubted it, yes, my WOTD writing style is routinely rococo. It is intentional.

Irreverent example: Roundly rich rivers of rococo writing pervade parades of prose. That is florid, indeed. I even enjoy pondering the proper placement of punctuation (even if I occasionally overdue or even misuse or mangle the markings).

Why not just write short sentences? Why not keep it simple, stupid? What's wrong with Hemingway style?

Hemingway is great. I'd give much to write as well. But the point of this 'game' is to play with words. it is all about loving the way words look, the way they sound, the way they feel while bouncing between the brain and computer screen.

Crisp is good. Crisp apples, crisp bacon, crisp creases in military uniforms.
Rococo is good; rolling, rambling and regularly ridiculous, expect that from me.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:05 am

Algot Runeman wrote:But the point of this 'game' is to play with words.

I couldn't have said it better.
More rococoyly perhaps, but not better.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:24 am

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bijou

\ BEE-zhoo \
adjective:
1.
Something small, delicate, and exquisitely wrought.

noun:
1.
A jewel.

Quotes:
Adding to its appeal is the fact that the Streak is a compact and bijou five inches, compared to the iPad's relatively chunky 9.7-inches.
-- Jonathan Leggett, "Dell Streak Free on Mobile Broadband Deals", Top 10 Broadband, June 2010

This was followed by bijou slices of grilled swordfish belly swathed in a homemade sesame sauce ($5).
-- Annette Tan, "Small bites to a big meal", Singapore Today, June 2010

Origin:
Bijou comes from the French Breton bizou , "ring."

Irreverent example:
My grandpa considered grandma a bijou to behold, especially when she was more or less dressed in just furs, preferably less.

Just like his pigeons' leg-bands bound them to him, he thought of his wedding ring as his "bizou", binding him to her.

Whenever she bestowed a "bisou" on him, no matter when, what for or how often, each time grandpa would feel a little frisson as from the touch of an angel.
a "bisou" = kiss
Spoiler: show
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And of course, he responded in kind because each bisou, whether given or received, was a bijou to be enjoyed and cherished.

P.S.
Oops! I just saw in Algot's post that "irreverant" should be spelled "irreverent". :oops:
I guess I was applying logic to English spelling. :slap:
Thank you, Algot.
Laurie! You missed an opportunity!
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby Algot Runeman » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:59 am

Unfortunately for Sarah, her mother-in-law arrived just after the boys got out of the tub after a happy romp in the dusty corral. Naturally, Agnes needed to visit the loo after her car trip. She made no remark, but Sarah was positive that the raised eyebrow from Agnes was caused when she saw the not-so-bijou ring around the tub.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:34 am

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vespertine

\ VES-per-tin \ hear it here
adjective:
1.
Of, pertaining to, or occurring in the evening.
2.
Botany . Opening or expanding in the evening, as certain flowers.
3.
Zoology . Becoming active in the evening, as bats and owls.


Quotes:
To my own ear, I sound hyperpoetic, and I don't mean to exaggerate these vespertine moods; I think that this restlessness that I am describing was really quite ordinary.
-- Peter Gadol, The Long Rain

So on we journey'd, through the evening sky
Gazing intent, far onward as our eyes,
With level view, could stretch against the bright
Vespertine ray: and lo ! by slow degrees
Gathering, a fog made towards us, dark as night.

-- Dante Alighieri, The vision, or, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise

Origin:
Vespertine derives from Latin vespertinus , "evening."

Irreverent example:
Grandma used to divide her fur garments in three classes.
1. Diurnal: Coats, stoles , muffs and hats

2. Vespertine: Her more sumptuous fur clothes, meant to show her off at social functions, dinners, concerts, inaugurations and such, usually at night.

3. Divestmental: These garments were very exclusive and private indeed. They were meant to be slowly taken off by grandpa in the privacy of their home. Without any audience whatsoever, though they copied this pleasurable little play from a Lido de Paris strip act.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby Algot Runeman » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:16 am

School tradition had it that dances, parties, all the really enjoyable stuff was both vespertine and relegated to the weekends (Friday and Saturday nights, but never Sunday night).

For some, that limitation was too much. And today, the number of weekday "parties" has grown. Hung over any weekday morning is sadly common.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:28 am

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aeromancy


\ AIR-uh-man-see \ hear it here
noun:
1.
The prediction of future events from observation of weather conditions.


Quotes:
The wreckage of vast sundowns predicts in sulphurous aeromancy havoc to be.
-- Robert Malise and Bowyer Nichols, Fantastica: being The smile of the Sphinx, and other tales of imagination

Scrutinize the clouds for sun-dogs, gaze into the eyes of a baby or a feline, and practice the ancient divination arts of augury and aeromancy by recognizing intuitive messages received when watching birds or airplanes fly across the sky.
-- Margie Lapanja and Andrew F. Smith, Romancing the Stove: Celebrated Recipes and Delicious Fun for Every Kitchen

Origin:
Aeromancy is but one sort of divination practiced in medieval times. Some other examples: augury , based on the flight of birds; cheiromancy , palm-reading; and oneiromancy , the interpretation of dreams.

Irreverent example:
One day, at a kaffeeklatsch, one of the ladies asked my grandma about grandpa's accuracy in predicting the future.
"But he doesn't." answered my grandma.
"Oh?", said the lady, "Doesn't he do aeromancy on the roof?"
"Not at all!" replied grandma, "He just goes up there to call home his pigeons, feed them and clean the loft. And, before you ask, he doesn't do augury either, though his friend the shaman does."
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby Algot Runeman » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:37 pm

Wendy looked out the window and saw dark clouds to the west.

"Bob, go close the car windows. It's going to pour!"

When he returned, his blue work shirt showed several wet spots, bearing witness to his wife's aeromancy. She was, of course, a professional meteorologist. Predicting a downpour in a few minutes wasn't very much, as predictions of future events go.

"Honey, you've saved my bacon again. I'd have had soaked pants tomorrow from the car seats."

Lightning flashed; thunder crashed; trees thrashed; Bob and Wendy dashed. The lights went out as they looked out the bay window.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:58 am

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subtilize

\ SUHT-l-ahyz \ hear it here
verb:
1.
To make (the mind, senses, etc.) keen or discerning.
2.
To elevate in character.
3.
To make thin, rare, or more fluid or volatile; refine.

Quotes:
By long brooding over our recollections, we subtilize them into something akin to imaginary stuff, and hardly capable of being distinguished from it.
-- Nathanial Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance

Another (ah Lord helpe) mee vilifies
With Art of Love, and how to subtilize,
Making lewd Venus, with eternall Lines,
To tye Adonis to her love's designes.

-- John Davies of Hereford, Papers Complaint, compil'd in ruthfull Rimes Against the Paper-spoylers of these Times

Origin:
Subtilize grew in popularity among practitioners of alchemy and early medical theory.

Irreverent Relevant example:
I thought to subtilize the WotD post by including a pronunciation link "hear it here". But I'm very disappointed with that site. It seems to me that the words are pronounced hastily by someone with dental anaesthesia who releases the recording button too soon. The audio is too low quality, the words are too rapidly and too poorly articulated and the endings are chopped off.
Where is Victor Melling when you need him?

Should I discontinue such a link or should I link to a better pronunciation site like howjsay.com? (hover the pointer over the word in pink to hear it repeated)
What do you think?

P.S. As it happens, in many dictionaries the words aeromancy and subtilize do not exist.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby Algot Runeman » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:41 am

Given the subtleties of pronunciation in general, you might just as well let the pronunciation link stay. Then people, on their own can seek native speakers to subtilize the sound and demand you say it better, faster, clearer. Only then will you find that everywhere you go in the English-speaking world, each group will slaughter the pronunciation in their own unique way.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:45 am

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vestigial

\ ve-STIJ-ee-uhl \ Hear it pronounced here.
(the word is repeated each time you hover the pointer over the word in pink)

adjective:
1.
Relating to a body part that has become small and lost its use because of evolutionary change.
2.
Pertaining to, or of the nature of anything that is no longer present or in existence.

Quotes:
Pixar filmmakers have to be able to tap into their vestigial child, their inner Andy. In that sense, the Toy Story series is their collective autobiography.
-- Richard Corliss, "End of Innocence", Time, June 2010.

In gasps he replied that it was a boa - boas were notoriously good-natured - he only wished to see its vestigial hind-legs - then would let it go - he was not hurting it.
-- Patrick O'Brian, The far side of the world

Origin:
Vestigial is from the French vestige , "a mark, trace, sign," which comes from the Latin vestigium , "footprint, trace," of unknown origin.

Irreverent example:
My grandma knew that the hair in armpits and pubic area is functional. It's a very good dry lubricant for highly mobile permanent skin folds, subject to more or less intense friction.
But because clothing made this function redundant, she also considered this hair vestigial and she decided to shave it off regularly.
In her memoirs she didn't say whether her decision was influenced by grandpa's delight with it. But after the first time he noticed it, he bought her a nine feet long beaver-fur stole. To replace the loss, he said. Needless to say she was delighted in turn, charming him by sometimes wearing it in an unorthodox fashion.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby Algot Runeman » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:42 pm

E.P.S.,

We currently seem to be using this forum as our own channel of intercontinental communication. I'm grateful for the opportunity. It is interesting to interact around the topic of intriguing words.

Summer doldrums are apparently upon us. It may be that the fresh breezes of fall will invigorate the interaction. In the meantime...
-----------------------
It was not until the book's appendix that we learned that Tom's appendix, an organ regarded as vestigial, was removed during emergency surgery when he was 35. Considering the other significant elements that were deferred to the book's end, it is clear that the book's appendix was far from vestigial.
Words are a game. Sometimes I play alone, but you are welcome to play, too.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:20 am

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spoor

\ SPOHR \ Hear it pronounced here.
(the word is repeated each time you hover the pointer over the word in pink)

noun:
1.
A track or trail, esp. that of a wild animal pursued as game.

verb:
1.
To track by or follow a spoor.

Quotes:
In all cases, however, a spoor is to be worked out like a problem, and requires as much brain- work as many equations, and far more original talent and observation.
-- William Chambers and Robert Chambers, Chambers's journal, Volumes 39-40

There are occasions in a hunter's experience when a spoor begins hot and true and then fades.
-- Wilbur Smith, A Sparrow Falls

Origin:
Spoor derives from the Afrikaans word for trace. It is related to spurn.
Note by EPS: Afrikaans is an offshoot of Old Dutch. Thus I would say spoor derives from Old Dutch, also because the word simply *is* modern Dutch.
Dutch and Flemish: spoor, spoorzoeken (to track), treinspoor (railway track), spoorweg (railway), sporen (travel by train)
Spoiler: show
click on it TWICE to make it play


Irreverent example:
Today is my monthly Microsoft Update Day, not to be spurned. I hope Microsoft doesn't leave too poor a spoor in my computer.
Allow me to toast all Microsoft users (myself included) to have a painless update. I wish you all "MUD in your eye".
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby KeE » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:04 am

So, you've spoored the origins of spoor. How zen is that?
Btw, the word in norwegian is spor.
It is written.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:34 am

Spooring with Google.

When I wrote about the word "spoor", my mind drifted to the Dutch and Flemish usage. Beside the concept of "looking for traces or clues", the word is also connected with railroad trains.

Then I associated with an old evergreen. Something with "Choo choo train" in it. I remembered the tune very well, but nothing more of the lyrics. Spooring a bit deeper in my memory made me think that it may well have been a hit by Neil Sedaka.

Googling for him led me to "One Way Ticket". Bingo! Youtube showed multiple spoors for this song, not only by Neil Sedaka.

So "spoor" and "google" may have actually become synonymous, but I haven't yet heard a Flemish computer user say anything but "googelen" when searching for data.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby KeE » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:36 am

After a bit of spooring in a etymologic dictionary, I found, somewhat unsurprising considering that it exists with similar meaning in dutch, english and scandinavian, that the word at least has germanic roots (spura, spuri).
It is written.
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Re: GAME: Word of the Day (WOTD)

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:19 am

KeE wrote:After a bit of spooring in a etymologic dictionary, I found, somewhat unsurprising considering that it exists with similar meaning in dutch, english and scandinavian, that the word at least has germanic roots (spura, spuri).

I wonder if "spur", as in "the Battle of the Golden Spurs", has the same roots?

I'm even thinking of the Scots "Sporran". Though it is worn in front, it does cover a kind of spur.
The Wikipedia wrote: When driving a car, dancing, playing drums, or engaging in any activity where a heavy pouch might encumber the wearer, the sporran can be turned around the waist to let it hang on the hip in a more casual position.
:lol:
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