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Archive for November 2012

A Word A Day — cathexis

Good afternoon, Netizens…

November 30, 2012

Word of the Day

  • cathexis
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kuh-THEK-sis\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

: investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

“The veil that hides Laura and her eyes, her hair, her smile (and its counterpart, the glove that veils her hand) becomes the object of Petrarch's cathexis….” — From an essay by Margaret Brose in the 2010 book The Body in Early Modern Italy

“The plot of this French film diverges from … most American film we are force-fed in that it deals powerfully with subject matter that counts. It treats an almost unrecognized aspect of WWII in Europe, eliciting a strong cathexis from the viewer, who learns so much that he never knew before this celluloid feast.” — From an article by Marion DS Dreyfus in American Thinker, April 8, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

You might suspect that “cathexis” derives from a word for “emotion,” but in actuality the key concept is “holding.” “Cathexis” comes to us by way of New Latin (Latin as used after the medieval period in scientific description or classification) from the Greek word “kathexis,” meaning “holding.” It can ultimately be traced back (through “katechein,” meaning “to hold fast, occupy”) to the Greek verb “echein,” meaning “to have” or “to hold.” “Cathexis” first appeared in print in 1922 in a book about Freud's psychological theories (which also established the plural as “cathexes,” as is consistent with Latin), and it is still often used in scientific and specifically psychological contexts.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — famish

Good afternoon, Netizens…

November 29, 2012

Word of the Day

  • famish
  • audio pronunciation
  • \FAM-ish\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

verb

1
: to cause to suffer severely from hunger
2
: to suffer for lack of something necessary
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

“Set him breast-deep in earth and famish him, / There let him stand and rave and cry for food.” — From Act V, Scene iii of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, 1593–94

“In northern Wisconsin, snow is like a cold, wintry manna. Some hotels and resorts feast when it's plentiful. They famish when it's not.” — From an article by McLean Bennett in The Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wisconsin), December 28, 2011

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

“Famish” likely developed as an alteration of Middle English “famen,” meaning “to starve.” The Middle English word was borrowed from the Anglo-French verb “afamer,” which etymologists believe came from Vulgar Latin “affamare.” We say “believe” because, while no written evidence has yet been found for the Vulgar Latin word “affamare,” it would be the expected source for the Anglo-French verb based on the combination of the Latin prefix “ad-” (“to” or “toward”) and the root noun “fames” (“hunger”). In contemporary English, the verb “famish” is still used on rare occasions, but it is considerably less common than the related adjective “famished,” which usually means “hungry” or “starving” but can also mean “needy” or “being in want.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

On bravery and grace…

 

Good morning, Netizens…

 

This has been a rough month around our household. Suzie's mother passed away which came as no surprise as her husband of 60-some years, Suzie's father, had passed away not long before. Isn't it poignant that, when married couples have been together for decades of their lives together, and one dies, quite often their life partner dies shortly thereafter? It is almost as if the surviving partner cannot continue living alone, with feelings of having been abandoned.

 

As if the fates were out to impress us with its unpredictable bent, a special friend, Matt Wood, recently died of what authorities are calling a heart attack, although his wife stated to me by phone last night that he also had double pneumonia at the time. As you already know, Marty Hibbs died earlier this month, which just about rounded out my month of mourning.

 

Matthew was a special friend to not only myself but many others. I first met Matthew at his family's former pizza parlor years ago, and he and I shared an interest and avocation in Linux, and often gossiped about various facets of this open source operating system. As sometimes has been the case, we did not always see eye-to-eye; one afternoon, while standing in the middle of the street where he and his family once lived, we nearly came to bodily blows. Several days later, once our mutual egos had recovered somewhat, we sat on the front porch of his new house on the South Hill, and made amends for our mutually hot tempers, although we both continued to laugh about that incident in the middle of a street for years since.

 

Sitting here tonight, alone in the house with Suzie sitting in Chicago with her daughter both preparing for her mother's memorial with the pitter patter of the raindrops tiptoeing across the vent caps on the roof, it is peaceful beyond words. My cohort in journalistic crime, Jeanie of Spokane, just wrote a heart-wrenching story today about life http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/commcomm/2012/nov/27/my-grace/ and it warmed my heart so just to see her write with such acumen and grace.

 

Life is good, despite its occasional potholes.

 

Dave

 

A Word A Day — hortative

Good afternoon, Netizens…

November 28, 2012

Word of the Day

  • hortative
  • audio pronunciation
  • \HOR-tuh-tiv\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

adjective

: giving exhortation : serving to advise or warn
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

The candidate's hortative style of speaking appealed to some voters but led others to dismiss him as a blowhard.

“But it's important to remember that 'Jersey Shore' is on MTV, a youth-oriented cable channel that has a hortative streak: series like 'Teen Mom' and 'If You Really Knew Me' carry a strong 'don't try this at home' message.” — From an article by Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times, August 20, 2010

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“We give nothing so freely as advice,” observed French writer Duc de La Rochefoucauld in 1665. “Hortative” and “exhort” (meaning “to urge earnestly”) are two words that testify to our eagerness to counsel others. Both trace to Latin “hortari,” meaning “to urge.” “Hortative” has been used as both a noun (meaning “an advisory comment”) and an adjective since the 17th century, but the noun is now extremely rare. You may also encounter the adjectives “hortatory,” “exhortatory,” and “exhortative,” all of which have the same meaning as “hortative.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

My Grace

I was reading an interview with writer Anne Lamott in the November 24, 2012 Spokesman-Review,  regarding her book, Help. Thanks. Wow. (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/nov/24/divine-connections/)

I haven’t even read her book, however, I immediately realized that Help, Thanks, Wow is the way I got through this past summer.  It's how I prayed.

I learned to ask God for help, to let Him help me, to thank Him over and over, again and again, and in the end, exclaimed at the Wow that had happened to me.

This summer was a medical roller coaster of overwhelmingly emotional stress, where I started out in June with maybe the flu, then a kidney infection, then more seriously, a staph infection of the blood and heart, to maybe Open Heart Surgery. 

Then, I had internal bleeding from a tear in my esophagus that required a repair and seven units of blood.

I thought I was going to die.  (Especially when a chaplain showed up.) 

In July I had both kidneys removed (which were about 16 pounds total and not working one whit).

Late in September, I experienced the return of the same staph infection of the blood and the heart, which now showed damage to the heart,

October 5, I had Open Heart Surgery. 

I pretty much spent most of the summer crying for help.  And I mean, I was sobbing to God to help me! Please help me!  And then I would be grateful that God was embracing me and thankful to great doctors and great care.  And finally I would whisper “Wow!” because I was better.

I approached my kidney surgery with an attitude of peace and gratitude.  I knew I had taken my hands off the controls, for a change, and left it all with God.  I sailed through.  And said “Wow!”

I was blindsided in late September (I wanted to write “sideblinded”) by a second bout of staph infection of the blood and heart – and the ultimate pronouncement that I needed to have Open Heart Surgery.  That phrase fills me with trepidation, panic, and fear.  Mentally I am digging in my heels and saying No! No! No!  I immediately went into my prayer mode.  I cried out for help.  I wept.  I told God I just couldn’t handle it any more.  And He said, “Good – I’ll take care of it.”  And I was thankful for such a miraculous recovery from such a miraculous surgery. 

Wow!

~Humbly yours,  Jeanie~

A Word A Day — vapid

Good morning, Netizens…

November 27, 2012

Word of the Day

  • vapid
  • audio pronunciation
  • \VAP-id\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

adjective

: lacking liveliness, tang, briskness, or force : flat, dull
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

The movie was billed as a gripping political thriller but turned out to be a vapid film with a slow pace and a poorly written script.

“It seems natural to conclude from all this vapid, buoyant patter that neither candidate has a plausible blueprint to avoid political gridlock, and that, whoever wins, the stalemate of the past two years will grind on into the next four.” — From an article by Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine, October 22, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

“Then away goes the brisk and pleasant Spirits and leave a vapid or sour Drink.” So wrote John Mortimer, an early 18th-century expert on agriculture, orchards, and cider-making, in his book on husbandry. His use was typical for his day, when “vapid” was often used specifically in reference to liquor. The term, which entered English in the 17th century, comes from “vapidus,” a Latin word that means “flat-tasting” and may be related to “vapor.” These days, you're likely to hear people referring to wine as “vapid.” You're likely to hear the word in plenty of other situations, too. “Vapid,” along with the synonyms “insipid,” “flat,” and “inane,” is often used to describe people and things that lack spirit and character.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — sederunt

Good morning, Netizens…

November 26, 2012

Word of the Day

  • sederunt
  • audio pronunciation
  • \suh-DEER-unt\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

: a prolonged sitting (as for discussion)
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

“This letter is a report of a long sederunt … at Davos Platz, Dec. 15, 1880.” — From a letter by Robert Louis Stevenson, dated December 19, 1880

“A proposed schedule was passed, whereby (among other things) informal, job fair-style briefing groups will be held on Sunday afternoon, Monday morning will be devoted to an orientation for the entire assembly, and a regular business sederunt will commence Monday afternoon.” — From an article in the Presbyterian Record, January 1, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
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“Sederunt” was summonsed by members of the Scottish Court of Session and other deliberative bodies during the 17th century to refer to the list of people present at meetings and to the “sittings” themselves. The word sat in deliberation for some time before being called upon by the general public as a word for any prolonged sitting, whether for relaxation, reading, casual discussion, or the like. “Sederunt” proved to be the right choice because it derives from Latin “sedēre,” meaning “to sit.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — numen

Good morning, Netizens…

November 25, 2012

Word of the Day

  • numen
  • audio pronunciation
  • \NOO-mun\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

: a spiritual force or influence often identified with a natural object, phenomenon, or place
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

We were in a village that had hardly changed in a thousand years, and we felt a numen that transcended earthly religions and human histories.

“For the Technology Man, the Internet is the glue that holds our globalized world together and the divine numen that fills it with meaning.” — From a book review by Evgeny Morozov in The New Republic, November 3, 2011

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How did “numen,” a Latin term meaning “nod of the head,” come to be associated with spiritual power? The answer lies in the fact that the ancient Romans saw divine force and power operating in the inanimate objects and nonhuman phenomena around them. They believed that the gods had the power to command events and to consent to actions, and the idea of a god nodding suggested his or her awesome abilities—divine power. Eventually, Latin speakers began using “numen” to describe the special divine force of any object, place, or phenomenon that inspired awe (a mystical-seeming wooded grove, for example, or the movement of the sun), and “numen” made the semantic leap from “nod” to “divine will or power.” English speakers adopted the word during the 1600s.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

Never On A Sunday

 

I really hate what the holidays have become - so materialistic.  Everybody's on a shopping frenzy for Christmas presents today (Black Friday) for items that are almost guaranteed to be put in a yard sale next summer, or high up in a closet, or deep in the basement - totally forgotten.  These items never emit the same energy use when they were purchased.

In my lifetime I have seen quiet days with family give way to a frenetic race to nowhere.  I remember when stores - all stores - were closed on Sundays.  My parents both played the Rule of the House card on Sundays - no other people.  No friends.  

I remember when Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving were times set aside for quality family time.  There was no Black Friday.   It was family time - even though at major holidays, my Mom would be busy in the kitchen and Dad would hunker down to a football game.   Over the years, I have acquired many presents for family and friend that I store, wrapped, with a journal of what I bought or made and who it was for.  Then at Christmas time, I just enjoyed the caroling, the smells, drives to look at lights.  The Crescent in downtown Spokane had a marvelous turning display of Christmas carolers, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Victorian houses.  That would be part of the route my Dad took to look at lights on Christmas Eve.  It felt magical.

My parents kind of hated the Christmas holidays.  They had little money and we four kids would get one clothes present and one personal present.  This year, I kind of hate Christmas just a little too.  There are two new babies 80 miles away, one son in Arizona and one in Moscow, Idaho.  We'll probably do a lot of baking and send care packages to the sons.  No more little traditions like staying home alone with family.   My sons are building new traditions.

But Black Friday is still abhorrent to me, somehow sacrilegious.  This huge pressure to get lavish presents, and more than one, for each person on your list with no mention of God or Jesus or the Nativity story.  

My humble opinion.

~Jeanie~ 

The Grand Experiment…

Good morning, Netizens…

 

Good morning, Netizens…

 

Yesterday was an experiment. Shoppers stand in line outside a Best Buy department store before the store's opening at midnight for a Black Friday sale, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. Black Friday, the day when retailers traditionally turn a profit for the year, actually got a jump start this year as many stores opened just as families were finishing up Thanksgiving dinner. Stores are experimenting with ways to compete with online rivals like Amazon.com that can offer holiday shopping deals at any time and on any day.

 

Was the experiment successful? While consumer demographics are not known at the present time, according to several Big Box stores, shoppers waited in long lines outside stores, such as Best Buy, Sears and various shopping malls just shortly after Thanksgiving Day dinner to grab bargains off the shelves.

 

Walmart and Best Buy both called this year's Black Friday event its “best ever.”

Although my son-in-law and his children hit some of the local mall stores, I did not. As Jeanie stated so eloquently in her post “Never on a Sunday” it is far too materialistic for me.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — obdurate

Good morning, Netizens…

November 24, 2012

Word of the Day

  • obdurate
  • audio pronunciation
  • \AHB-duh-rut\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

adjective

1
a : stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing b : hardened in feelings
2
: resistant to persuasion or softening influences
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

I pleaded with my boss for a second chance, explaining the unusual circumstances that had caused my tardiness, but he remained obdurate.

“Even with a regime as obdurate as the one in Tehran, it's better to talk with one's adversaries than to freeze them out.” — From an editorial in The Toronto Star, September 9, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

When you are confronted with someone obdurate, you may end up feeling dour. During the encounter, you may find that you need to be durable to keep your sanity intact. Maybe you will find such situations less stressful in the future if you can face them knowing that the words “obdurate,” “dour,” “during,” and “durable” are etymological cousins. All of those words trace back to the Latin adjective “durus,” which means “hard.” A form of this adjective can still be found in “dura mater,” the name for the tough fibrous material that surrounds the brain and spinal cord; it comes from a Medieval Latin phrase meaning, literally, “hard mother.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — yahoo

Good morning, Netizens…

November 23, 2012

Word of the Day

  • yahoo
  • audio pronunciation
  • \YAH-hoo\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

: a boorish, crass, or stupid person
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

Henrietta had a few choice words for the yahoo who blocked her driveway with his pickup truck.

“'The night watchman down there picked up something on a motion detector and looked around and saw these two yahoos trying to carry off a pretty good size chunk of bronze and aluminum,' said Marietta Police Capt. Jeff Waite.” — From an article in the Marietta (Ohio) Times, September 25, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

We know exactly how old “yahoo” is because its debut in print also marked its entrance into the English language as a whole. “Yahoo” began life as a made-up word invented by Jonathan Swift in his book Gulliver's Travels, which was published in 1726. The Yahoos were a race of brutes, with the form and vices of humans, encountered by Gulliver in his fourth and final voyage. They represented Swift's view of mankind at its lowest. It is not surprising, then, that “yahoo” came to be applied to any actual human who was particularly unpleasant or unintelligent. Yahoos were controlled by the intelligent and virtuous Houyhnhnms, a word which apparently did not catch people's fancy as “yahoo” did.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

The Turkey and the Chicken

Posted by Jeanie November 2008.

When my sons were 8 and 9, they were in Boy Scouts and we had the annual bake sale/raffle, Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I remember this day very well. I had $6.00 to my name and knew I couldn't possibly afford a turkey and all the trimmings. It was going to be a pretty grim Thanksgiving. I was eyeballing chickens and wondering how fooled the boys would be.

There was a family at the bake sale that evening that I had kind of put on a shelf in the back of my mind – affluent, intelligent, married (I was the only divorcee in the room of 20 families), and beautiful with equally beautiful twin boys, age 9. I wasn't in their realm.

The scouts were supposed to make their own cake. Home made by the boys. There would be a prize for the best cake – a 20 pound fresh turkey, and all the trimmings including a Pumpkin Pie.

My mind slithered back to the soap box derby, where the boys are supposed to make a screaming racing car out of a block of wood, *by*themselves* At the derby, the twins showed up with a cherry-red, cherried-out, speed demon race car that won hands down! My son showed up with a hand carved by him (with a little inadequate help from me), lemon colored (for a reason) obviously home-made car that wouldn't even roll an inch without help.

So here we are at the bake sale/raffle, the rich twins sporting an absolutely beautiful beehive cake with yellow and white striped icing, and little furry bees on toothpicks “hovering” over the beehive which looked to be done by some elite French chef. And our cake, Mr. Happy Face, which was bumpy and wavy, black frosting smeared into a half-assed circle with a crooked little smile and two globs for eyes – the saddest cake I have ever seen.

I grumbled to myself. I had decided I was going to buy the cake back for $2.00, leaving me $4.00. I could still get that damned chicken.

It was getting darned close to disaster time in my family as our misshapen cake, made totally by my son, was sitting forlorn and lonely as all the other cakes were being raffled off – it was down to the beehive cake or the happy face cake.

Bee Family bought my cake AND theirs!  They outbid me!!!

I felt a strange twisting in my gut – I was bitter and angry and jealous and peeved and crabby. They could have bought all 20 cakes! And of course, Bee Family won the turkey dinner. It was a test for me to practice sweetness in the face of total disaster.

I told myself that this was a good thing. I still had SIX dollars to buy my “chicken” dinner. And spare change to get two ice cream cones for two pretty sad little boys.

We got to our car and I was loading the kids in, when Mr. Bee came up to me with this HUGE box, the hump of a gigantic turkey peering over the edge; potatoes, stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, the WORKS. “We've already got our turkey – this would just go to waste – would you mind taking it off our hands?”

Well, I tell ya, I could hardly talk to him as I choked up and teared up and tried to wrestle all those nasty feelings that were turning around in my head.

There are many things to be thankful for. I am always thankful that my thoughts didn't come out of my mouth.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

~Jeanie~

A Word A Day — cloister

Good morning, Netizens…

November 22, 2012

Word of the Day

  • cloister
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KLOY-ster\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

verb

: to confine in or as if in a cloister : to shut away from the world
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

Julie declared that she was going to cloister herself and study as hard as she could until the exam.

Cloistered for debate prep at a resort in Williamsburg, Va., the president devoted his weekly radio and internet address to the Obama administration's work to revive the U.S. auto industry.” — From an Associated Press article by Nancy Benac and Kasie Hunt, October 13, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

“Cloister” first entered the English language as a noun in the 13th century; it referred then (as it still does) to a convent or monastery. More than three centuries later, English speakers began using the verb “cloister” to mean “to seclude in or as if in a cloister.” Today the noun can also refer to the monastic life or to a covered and usually arched passage along or around a court. You may also encounter “cloistered” with the meaning “surrounded with a covered passage,” as in “cloistered gardens.” “Cloister” ultimately derives from the Latin verb “claudere,” meaning “to close.” Other words that can be traced back to the prolific “claudere” include “close,” “conclude,” “exclude,” “include,” “preclude,” “seclude,” and “recluse.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — prestigious

Good morning, Netizens…

November 21, 2012

Word of the Day

  • prestigious
  • audio pronunciation
  • \preh-STIJ-us\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

adjective

: having an illustrious name or reputation : esteemed in general opinion
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

She has become the youngest author ever to receive this prestigious literary award.

“Check the results that year from the Great American Beer Festival, an annual Denver event widely seen as the nation's most prestigious brewing competition.” — From an article by Peter Rowe in The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 12, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

You may be surprised to learn that “prestigious” had more to do with trickery than with respect when it was first used in 1546. The earliest (now archaic) meaning of the word was “of, relating to, or marked by illusion, conjuring, or trickery.” “Prestigious” comes to us from the Latin word “praestigiosis,” meaning “full of tricks” or “deceitful.” The words “prestige” and “prestigious” are related, of course, though not as directly as you might think; they share a Latin ancestor, but they entered English by different routes. “Prestige,” which was borrowed from French in 1656, initially meant “a conjurer's trick,” but in the 19th century it developed an extended sense of “blinding or dazzling influence.” That change in turn influenced “prestigious,” which now means simply “illustrious or esteemed.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — tartar

Good morning, Netizens…

November 20, 2012

Word of the Day

  • tartar
  • audio pronunciation
  • \TAHR-ter\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

1
: a person of irritable or violent temper
2
: one that proves to be unexpectedly formidable
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

“Strange that one whom I have described hitherto as so timid and easily put upon should prove such a Tartar all of a sudden on the day of his marriage.” — From Samuel Butler's 1903 autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh

“'Yes, Great-aunt Gert took us both under her wing.' He jerked his head toward the severe woman in the painting. 'My father's spinster aunt, a bold tartar of a woman who most people were frightened to death of.'” — From Anne Gracie's 2008 novel The Stolen Princess

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

Originally, their name was “Tatar,” not “Tartar.” Since at least the 1200s, the Tatar people have lived in Asia and Eastern Europe, and they were among the fiercest fighters of the Golden Horde of the Mongols. In the 13th century, they rode with Genghis Khan and became the terror of their day. Their name, “Tatar,” is believed to come from Persian or a Turkic language, but in Europe it was associated with “Tartarus,” the Latin name for the part of Hell reserved for the punishment of the wicked. Because of that association, English speakers began calling the Tatar people “Tartars.” Over time, “tartar” came to be used for anyone considered as ferocious or violent as the Tartar warriors who had once ransacked the ancient world.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — lambaste

Good morning, Netizens…

November 19, 2012

Word of the Day

  • lambaste
  • audio pronunciation
  • \lam-BAYST\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

verb

1
: to assault violently : beat, whip
2
: to attack verbally : censure
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

The coach loudly lambasted Danny in front of the whole team for showing up late yet again.

“Even as Michigan lawmakers lambaste the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for not moving fast enough to develop a permanent plan to stop Asian carp from swimming up the Chicago canal system and into Lake Michigan, genetic evidence that the fish are on the march continues to grow.” — From an article by Dan Egan in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 9, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

The origins of “lambaste” are somewhat uncertain, but the word was most likely formed by combining the verbs “lam” and “baste,” both of which mean “to beat severely.” (Incidentally, “lambaste” can also be spelled “lambast,” despite the modern spelling of the verb “baste.”) Some other synonyms of “lambaste” include “pummel,” “thrash,” and “pound.” “Pummel” suggests beating with one's fists (“the bully pummeled the smaller child until teachers intervened”). “Pound” also suggests heavy blows, though perhaps not quite so much as “pummel,” and may imply a continuous rain of blows (“she pounded on the door”). “Thrash” means to strike repeatedly and thoroughly as if with a whip (“the boxer thrashed his opponent”).

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — pertinacious

Good morning, Netizens…

November 18, 2012

Word of the Day

  • pertinacious
  • audio pronunciation
  • \per-tuh-NAY-shus\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

adjective

1
a : adhering resolutely to an opinion, purpose, or design b : perversely persistent
2
: stubbornly tenacious
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

He has spent his entire adult life as a pertinacious and unwavering defender of civil rights.

“The 22-year-old paraplegic hasn't let his life-changing accident slow him down. He has branched out to new sports and even continues to snowmobile. He is pertinacious.” — From an article by Tom Patrick in Yukon News, August 31, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

If you say “pertinacious” out loud, it might sound familiar. That may be because if you take away the word's first syllable, you're left with something very similar to the word “tenacious,” which means “tending to adhere or cling.” The similarity between “pertinacious” and “tenacious” isn't mere coincidence; both words derive from “tenax,” the Latin word for “tenacious,” and ultimately from the verb “tenēre,” meaning “to hold.” Another descendant of “tenēre” is “tenure,” a word that is typically used of the right to hold a job (especially a teaching position) for as long as desired.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — misnomer

Good morning, Netizens…

November 17, 2012

Word of the Day

  • misnomer
  • audio pronunciation
  • \miss-NOH-mer\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

1
: the misnaming of a person in a legal instrument
2
a : a use of a wrong or inappropriate name b : a wrong name or inappropriate designation
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

“International Airport” is something of a misnomer, since almost all of the arriving and departing planes fly short, commuter routes involving no border crossing.

“Can tires transform a two-wheel-drive truck into a winter warrior? That was the question after my new-to-me pickup had sat through its first winter with only so-called all-season tires, a misnomer at best in Canada. All-season tires, of course, bring you the worst of both worlds: they're not ideal in summer and they're far from ideal in winter, too.” — From a column by Kelly Taylor in The Chronicle Herald, October 2, 2012

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

Is this the closure we have been promised?

 

Good morning, Netizens…

 

Paraphrasing one of those woefully-hackneyed movies you often encounter on various Western TV channels once said, “Yesterday was a good day for a hanging.”

 

That's because Karl Thompson, AKA Karl the Klubber, was sentenced yesterday for the beating death of Otto Zehm after a prolonged period of attorney-induced waiting. Somehow it always come back to this, that if that were yours truly charged with such an onerous crime, given the deplorable legal resources available to me, I would already be in the federal penitentiary doing hard time for perhaps as much as twenty years. Given the number of aging fat body diseases and maladies I already suffer from, there is reasonable doubt if I would have survived the first year.

 

However, Karl Thompson hasn't lack for legal representation, no. He's been on the public's dime, thus far, for approximately $500,000 in costs, which may increase dramatically when or if the verdict yesterday goes to appeals court. You and I, as citizens of Spokane, are paying for Karl's legal fees, not to mention the costs of his incarceration pending appeal.

 

As you probably know, Thompson was sentenced to 4 years three months time. There were no stand-up salutes from Spokane's finest, or police social parties this time around. Thompson has left the court room yesterday in handcuffs in the custody of the U.S. Marshall's Service.

 

Everyone from the lawyers to the Mayor to the Chief of Police all intoned their respective pieces before the cameras outside the court in the aftermath of Thompson being taken into custody at the end of the sentencing. All promised that the Spokane Police Department had learned their lessons from the death of Otto Zehm, however questions remain in my mind how durable and lasting those lessons will be.

 

All that I have, as a bystander to history, is the terribly saddening images of how Otto Zehm died, and the manner in which the police standing outside the Zip Trip Store huddled together in the night air, attempting to perfect the story they would later report on the evening news of how things were. Please remember, Karl Thompson wasn't the only person who fabricated the truth that fateful night. He may have been just the scapegoat.

 

Is this closure we have been promised? Perhaps, but then perhaps not. Of course, your view of matters may differ.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — ratiocination

Good morning, Netizens…

November 16, 2012

Word of the Day

  • ratiocination
  • audio pronunciation
  • \rat-ee-oh-suh-NAY-shun\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

1
: the process of exact thinking : reasoning
2
: a reasoned train of thought
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

“There was very little ratiocination involved; very little intellect came into play.” — From Brad Meltzer's 2011 thriller The Inner Circle

“The detective uses a method—whether it is science, some other ratiocination or even intuition—to put things back to normal.” — From an article by Eric Felton on WallStreetJournal.com, September 20, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

Edgar Allan Poe is said to have called the 1841 story The Murders in the Rue Morgue his first “tale of ratiocination.” Many today agree with his assessment and consider that Poe classic to be the world's first detective story. Poe didn't actually use “ratiocination” in Rue Morgue, but the term does appear three times in its 1842 sequel, The Mystery of Marie Roget. In Marie Roget, the author proved his reasoning ability (“ratiocination” traces to “ratio,” Latin for “reason” or “computation”). The second tale is based on an actual murder, and as the case unfolded after the publication of Poe's work, it became clear that his fictional detective had done an amazing job of reasoning through the crime.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — unwieldy

Good morning, Netizens…

November 15, 2012

Word of the Day

  • unwieldy
  • audio pronunciation
  • \un-WEEL-dee\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

adjective

: not easily managed, handled, or used (as because of bulk, weight, complexity, or awkwardness) : cumbersome
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

The futon mattress was heavy and unwieldy, and the only effective way to move it was to slide it across the floor.

“In the U.S., unwieldy, multimillion-dollar sports businesses are housed in universities. The danger occurs when a school's prestige, psyche and fundraising come to rely on its football team instead of just being enhanced by it.” — From an article by Sean Gregory in Time, November 21, 2011

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

The verb “to wield” means “to handle or exert something effectively.” A carpenter might wield a hammer with impressive dexterity, for example, or a talented orator might wield influence over an audience of listeners. Something that is “wieldy” is capable of being wielded easily, and while that adjective may not be particularly common, its antonym “unwieldy” finds ample use to describe anything that is awkward to handle, move, or manage. “Wield” and its relatives all derive via Middle English from Old English “wieldan,” meaning “to control.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — watershed

Good morning, Netizens…

November 14, 2012

Word of the Day

  • watershed
  • audio pronunciation
  • \WAW-ter-shed\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

1
a : a dividing ridge between drainage areas b : a region or area bounded peripherally by a divide and draining ultimately to a particular watercourse or body of water
2
: a crucial dividing point, line, or factor : turning point
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

Historians generally agree that the battle was a watershed in the war.

“Penn State's 38–29 win over previously unbeaten Northwestern felt like a watershed, the end of purgatory at the very least.” — From an article by Mike Gross in the Intelligencer Journal/New Era (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), October 8, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

Opinion on the literal geographic meaning of “watershed” is divided. On one side of the debate are those who think the word can only refer to a ridge of land separating rivers and streams flowing in one direction from those flowing in the opposite direction. That's the term's original meaning, one probably borrowed in the translation of the German Wasserscheide. On the other side of the argument are those who think “watershed” can also apply to the area through which such divided water flows. The latter sense is now far more common in America, but most Americans have apparently decided to leave the quarrel to geologists and geographers while they use the term in its figurative sense, “turning point.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

The Gathering for Marty Hibbs…

 

Good evening Netizens…

 

On Veteran's Day a coffee and pie memorial was held at the Perry Street Cafe for the late Marty Hibbs. Approximately 50 people attended, coming from all walks of life, from a wide diversity of places, a diverse cross-section of interests and various foreign countries. Yet despite the diversity, there was not a table where strangers did not become acquainted and talked about their relationship with Marty.

 

It was a time of Peace and scattered here and there, among the folks, were occasional tears, but not so many that you would notice. Mostly it was a gathering of friends and acquaintances sharing their love and respect for a kindly old soul who touched so many lives in such a wonderfully unique way.

 

I was astounded and delighted that Jeanie of Spokane was in attendance, and given her health issues, she was thus able to enjoy meeting some of her late father's friends and acquaintances, each of whom brought light and tremulous smiles to her battle-wearied eyes.

 

I personally was astounded when a man known to me as The Canadian, drove down from Canada for the event, and even knew my name without so much as a how-do-you-do. All this from a chance breakfast with he and Marty several years ago. What more astounded me, however, was that his beloved Dodge Cummins Diesel pickup truck now has over a million miles, still in good working order, and that he drove it down from his home to the North.

 

Marty truly would have enjoyed this gathering of family, friends and acquaintances. I can think of no way better to honor the joy, laughter and philosophy that he brought to each of our lives.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — eructation

Good morning, Netizens…

November 13, 2012

Word of the Day

  • eructation
  • audio pronunciation
  • \ih-ruk-TAY-shun\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

: an act or instance of belching
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

Excessive eructation is a common side-effect of that particular medication.

“Granted, American political campaigns since 1789 have often been vicious, with presidential candidates accused (usually falsely) of sins ranging from bigamy, bribery and drunkenness to atheism, foreign birth or even habitual eructation.” — From a column by Ed Corson in The Macon Telegraph (Georgia), October 15, 2010

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

“Eructation” is simply a fancier, and some might argue a more decorous, word for “belch.” “Eructation” was borrowed from Latin in the 15th century; the verb “eruct,” meaning “to belch,” followed in the late 16th century. Both have their source in the Latin verb “eructare,” which is the frequentative form of “erugere,” meaning “to belch or disgorge.” (A frequentative form is one that denotes a repeated or recurrent action or state.) “Eructare” shares an ancestor with Greek word “ereugesthai” as well as Old English “rocettan,” both of which also mean “to belch.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — biddable

Good evening, Netizens…

November 12, 2012

Word of the Day

  • biddable
  • audio pronunciation
  • \BID-uh-bul\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

adjective

1
: easily led, taught, or controlled : docile
2
: capable of being bid
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

“The twins are well-behaved children, biddable, meek, neat about their clothes, and always mindful of the proprieties they have learned at summer hotels.” — From Willa Cather's 1915 novel The Song of the Lark

“The dogs are highly biddable, responding to whistles, hand signals, and during training, a red flag on a long pole.” — From an article by Lou Fancher in Contra Costa Times (California), April 12, 2012

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — flotsam

Good evening, Netizens…

November 11, 2012

Word of the Day

  • flotsam
  • audio pronunciation
  • \FLAHT-sum\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

1
: floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo; broadly : floating debris
2
a : miscellaneous or unimportant material b : debris, remains
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

The young couple's apartment was adorned with the flotsam and jetsam of thrift stores and yard sales.

“A current moves at its own pace and pushes along whatever flotsam it carries on the surface and below in a stream awash in chaos and chance.” — From an article by Dave Golowenski in The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, October 7, 2012

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

Political advertising…

 

Good evening, Netizens…

 

There is nothing I love more than good old-fashioned political donnybrooks, and boy we just had a series of dandies over the last few weeks. From the governor's race to that of the President of the United States and all the Initiatives and Referendums in between, there were enough chunks of the political debris to keep voters leaping for joy for quite a long time to come. Suffice it to say I was delighted beyond words to see Barack Obama re-elected for a second term as President, although I admit the race between he and Mitt Romney was a duel between the lesser of two evils. I did not want a Mormon President but on the other hand I did not necessarily believe in all the hubris of President Obama and the Democratic Party, either.

 

I did want to see Referendum 74 pass, and was quite surprised to see it approved by voters. It's about time that same-sex marriages are allowed, that we got the government out of the business of marriage.

 

On the Marijuana Initiative, however, I still have grave misgivings, for despite having passed the Initiative, there is still the matter of the Federal laws against the legalization of pot. Where the hell does States Rights enter into this? We may have passed a law, but will that change anything? At least for the time being, will we still be throwing potheads into prison for an otherwise innocuous habit?

 

However, during this election campaign, nothing but nothing demonstrated our contempt, our utter revulsion for the democratic process more than the unending string of attack ads from all sides of the political spectrum, regardless of which political campaign you might choose. Both the Presidential and Washington State political races were the most expensive in America's political history, but sad to say, only a few of the advertisements were truthful. What a sordid malingering mess!

 

David Horsey's cartoon says it better than I possibly can, whether you agree or disagree.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — dissemble

Good evening, Netizens…

November 10, 2012

Word of the Day

  • dissemble
  • audio pronunciation
  • \dih-SEM-bul\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

verb

1
: to put on a false appearance : to conceal facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense
2
: to hide (something) under a false appearance
3
: to put on the appearance of : simulate
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

In order to stay on his bosses' good side, John dissembled about his intention to look for a new job at the end of the year.

“His stints as an Illinois state senator and U.S. senator were brief and unimpressive. His record was thin. Regardless, the media establishment sold him as the most brilliant leader since President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They dissembled.” — From a commentary by Jeffrey T. Kuhner in The Washington Times, October 5, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

We don't have anything to hide: “dissemble” is a synonym of “disguise,” “cloak,” and “mask.” “Disguise” implies a change in appearance or behavior that misleads by presenting a different apparent identity. “Cloak” suggests a means of hiding a movement or an intention. “Mask” suggests some often obvious means of hiding or disguising something. “Dissemble” (from Latin “dissimulare,” meaning “to hide or conceal”) stresses the intent to deceive, especially about one's own thoughts or feelings, and often implies that the deception is something that would warrant censure if discovered.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — kaput

Good morning, Netizens…

November 09, 2012

Word of the Day

  • kaput
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kuh-PUT\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

adjective

1
: utterly finished, defeated, or destroyed
2
: unable to function : useless
3
: hopelessly outmoded
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

Shortly after Richard retired as CEO, the firm went kaput.

“We humans casually disrobed on social networks and pranced about, then one day caught sight of ourselves in the mirror and are now, egad, desperately rifling through mountains of cast-off clothing for our own. Too late. Privacy is kaput….” — From an article by Betsy Shea-Taylor in The Sun Chronicle (Attleboro, Massachusetts), June 8, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

“Kaput” originated with a card game called piquet that has been popular in France for centuries. French players originally used the term “capot” to describe both big winners and big losers. To win all twelve tricks in a hand was called “faire capot” (“to make capot”), but to lose them all was known as “être capot” (“to be capot”). German speakers adopted “capot,” but respelled it “kaputt,” and used it only for losers. When English speakers borrowed the word from German, they started using “kaput” for things that were broken, useless, or destroyed.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — stem-winder

November 08, 2012

Word of the Day

  • stem-winder
  • audio pronunciation
  • \STEM-wyne-der\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

1
: a stem-winding watch
2
: one that is first-rate of its kind; especially : a stirring speech
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

Stuart is a stem-winder as a defense attorney.

“In his 48-minute stem-winder Wednesday, the former president showed everyone why he's a master political communicator.” — From an article by Linda Feldmann in The Christian Science Monitor, September 6, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

The stem-winder is a watch wound by means of a stem, as opposed to the older method of winding with a key. The stem-winder was introduced to the marketplace in the late 19th century, and it wound up being such a hit with consumers that people soon turned to using the mechanism's name for exceptional people or things in general. Before “stem-winder” referred to a kind of watch, it was used in colloquial English (especially in the western part of the United States) as a word for a geared logging locomotive. Another name for such a locomotive is “corkscrew.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

Pie and coffee memorial…

 

Good evening, Netizens…

 

The memorial for Marty Hibbs will be held on Veteran's Day, November 11th, at 3:30 PM at the Perry Street Cafe. According to Marty's son, this gathering is being slated as a “pie and coffee” memorial. How utterly familiar and perfect.

 

I can see Marty's impressive eyebrows mildly raised in contentment. By all means come!

 

Dave

A Word A Day — comestible

Good morning, Netizens…

November 07, 2012

Word of the Day

  • comestible
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kuh-MESS-tuh-bul\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

adjective

: edible
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

The November issue of the magazine was filled with recipes for an old-fashioned Thanksgiving feast, including candied yams, homemade cranberry sauce, mincemeat pie, and other comestible delights.

“This year's delegates (that's what people who attend the Oct. 25-29 [culinary] festival are called) will find a focus on comestible diversity across regions….” — From an article by Jamila Robinson in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 30, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

Did you expect “comestible” to be a noun meaning “food”? You're probably not alone. As it happens, “comestible” is used both as an adjective and a noun. The adjective is by far the older of the two; it has been part of English since at least the 1400s. (In fact, one of its earliest known uses was in a text printed in 1483 by William Caxton, the man who established England's first printing press.) The noun (which is most often used in the plural form, “comestibles”) dates only from 1837. It made its first appearance in a novel in which a character fortified himself with “a strong reinforcement of comestibles.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — bugbear

Good morning, Netizens…

November 06, 2012

Word of the Day

  • bugbear
  • audio pronunciation
  • \BUG-bair\
  • DEFINITION
  •  

noun

1
: an imaginary goblin or specter used to excite fear
2
a : an object or source of dread b : a continuing source of irritation : problem
  • EXAMPLES
  •  

The biggest bugbear of the skiing business is a winter with no snow.

“Smartphones are getting better all the time, but one area that's always been a little bit of a bugbear with owners is the quality of the built-in camera. However, inventive third-party manufacturers have been quick to come up with their own solution to this particular snapping quandary.” — From an article by Rob Clymo on MSN.co.uk, September 26, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?
  •  

“Bugbear” sounds like some kind of grotesque hybrid creature from fable or folklore, and that very well may be what the word's creator was trying to evoke. When the word entered English in the 16th century, it referred to any kind of creature made up to frighten someone—most often a child; in 1592, Thomas Nashe wrote of “Meere bugge-beares to scare boyes.” The word combines “bug,” an old word for goblin, with “bear,” which is perhaps what such made-up creatures were described as resembling. The “source of dread or annoyance” sense came not long after. In the late 20th century, the word found new life as the name of a particular kind of creature in the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — gorgonize

 

Good morning, Netizens…

 

November 05, 2012

Word of the Day


  

  • gorgonize

  • audio pronunciation

  • \GOR-guh-nyze\

  • DEFINITION

  •  

verb

: to have a paralyzing or mesmerizing effect on : stupefy, petrify

  • EXAMPLES

  •  

Dave joked that his boss's angry glare could gorgonize an employee in mid-complaint.

“Izzy asked Sol why he was willing to take us. She gave him a look that would gorgonize.” — From W.S. Milner's 2001 book In Translation

  • DID YOU KNOW?

  •  

In Greek mythology, the Gorgons (from the Greek adjective “gorgos,” meaning “terrifying”) were commonly depicted as three female monsters who had snakes for hair and the ability to turn anyone who looked at them into stone. The most notorious of the three was Medusa; when she was slain by the hero Perseus, her severed head retained the power of turning anyone who looked on it to stone. In modern parlance, to gorgonize someone is to make him or her feel (metaphorically) petrified, usually through an intimidating glance or gaze.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — maieutic

 

Good morning Netizens…

 

November 04, 2012

Word of the Day


  

  • maieutic

  • audio pronunciation

  • \may-YOO-tik\

  • DEFINITION

  •  

adjective

: relating to or resembling the Socratic method of eliciting new ideas from another

  • EXAMPLES

  •  

“I am grateful to him for his maieutic inquiry about my own views, which had not crystallized.” — From an article by William F. Buckley, Jr., in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 27, 1973

“The international peacebuilding practitioner can adopt elements of a maieutic or Socratic approach to pedagogy, in which dialogue is at the core of a mutual learning process and there is no assumption that the person speaking is necessarily wiser than those who are being engaged.” — From an article by Nathan C. Funk in International Journal, Spring 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

  •  

“Maieutic” comes from “maieutikos,” the Greek word for “of midwifery.” In one of Plato's “Dialogues,” Socrates applies “maieutikos” to his method of bringing forth new ideas by reasoning and dialogue; he thought the technique analogous to those a midwife uses in delivering a baby (Socrates’ mother was a midwife). A teacher who uses maieutic methods can be thought of as an intellectual midwife who assists students in bringing forth ideas and conceptions previously latent in their minds.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

Tormenting of the cat…

 

Good afternoon, Netizens…

 

Peering at the NEXRAD Weather Radar, if not glaring out the window at the falling rain, the weather forecast this morning is wet. In our house we have one indoor-outdoor cat, that being a feline that normally comes inside to purloin some crunch junk bit cat food, and a quick drink (either from the toilet or the drinking bowl) and then back outside to commingle with the neighborhood's cats, of which there are many. My favorite preoccupation on rainy or snowy days is to ask the cat if she wants to go outside, knowing all the time that if she even sees a hint of moisture falling from the skies, she will flee back inside the house, cursing at me the entire time in her best feline oaths.

 

This morning I was in rare form, and having already invited the cat if she wanted to go outside, and having been quite successful at aggravating her mightily thrice, I was working on a fourth attempt, but somehow in her brain, she had figured out the weather wasn't going to change anytime soon, and withdrew to her private quarters atop a box in the closet to doubtlessly mutter swear words about matters.

 

However, now that it has stopped the torrential downpour of this morning, I decided to give it another try and, to my utter surprise and delight, the damned cat fled out the front door, immediately hiding beneath the huge ornamental bush right beside the front door. There she sat, in nearly-invisible silence, glaring left and right at various other cats, nearly all of which were equally hiding beneath ornamental bushes in their front yards, unquestionably watching the rain still dripping off the trees and bushes, but unwilling to venture away from their hidey-holes to see if it really had quit pouring down rain.

 

Since I have other affairs that need attending to, in my best saccharine-sweet voice, I tried coercing the cat back inside one more time, and receiving no answer, I must be off and about my business.

 

To the unseen visitors, the drivers and those foolish enough to be walking outside in such a drippy mess, it would appear as if there were no cats anywhere in our sacred little conclave. I can hardly wait until the next band of rain comes roaring through, so I can once more entice the cat to come inside, out of the rain, like all good cats do.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — espresso

 

Good morning, Netizens…

]

November 03, 2012

Word of the Day


  

  • espresso

  • audio pronunciation

  • \eh-SPRESS-oh\

  • DEFINITION

  •  

noun

1

: strong coffee brewed by forcing steam through finely ground darkly roasted coffee beans

2

: a cup of espresso

  • EXAMPLES

  •  

Joan couldn't begin her day without at least one cup of espresso to wake her up.

“I actually have a little espresso sometimes right before working out.” — Natalie Morales on The Today Show (NBC News), September 19, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

  •  

“Espresso” is short for “caffè espresso,” which is Italian for “pressed-out coffee”; the name quite accurately describes the process of making the beverage. The word first appeared in print in English in 1945 as part of the phrase “caffè espresso,” and soon it was flying solo. You may be tempted to use “expresso” instead of “espresso.” If so, you're not alone—by 1955 this variant was found in print too. One common misconception is that “caffè espresso” means “fast coffee,” which makes “expresso” more logical to English-speakers (by analogy with “express”). It's also possible that “expresso” came about simply by transforming “espresso” to a word that looked more familiar. “Espresso” remains by far the more popular variant, although “expresso” continues to turn up.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

A Word A Day — sequacious

 

Good morning, Netizens…

 

November 02, 2012

Word of the Day


  

  • sequacious

  • audio pronunciation

  • \sih-KWAY-shus\

  • DEFINITION

  •  

adjective

: intellectually servile

  • EXAMPLES

  •  

Eager to prove that he was not merely a sequacious follower, Mario wrote a critical review of his former mentor's book.

“Fund investors are not simply sequacious followers of yield, but are also responding to the federal government's actions to stabilize the macro-economic environment.” — From an article by Matthew Sheahan in High Yield Report, January 12, 2009

  • DID YOU KNOW?

  •  

“Sequacious” is formed from the Latin “sequac-,” or “sequax” (which means “inclined to follow” and comes from “sequi,” “to follow”) and the English “-ious.” The original and now archaic meaning of “sequacious” was “inclined to follow” or “subservient.” Although that meaning might as easily describe someone who willingly dropped into line behind a war leader, or who was unusually compliant or obedient in any sense, the concept gradually narrowed into the image of someone who blindly adopts ideas without much thought. Labeling a person “sequacious” is not very complimentary, and implies a slavish willingness to adopt a thought or opinion.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

The arrival of Marty Hibbs….

 

Good evening, Netizens…

 

I have been sitting in retrospective thought the last few days in the Virtual Ballroom contemplating the late Marty Hibbs, pondering whether he would honor the Virtual Ballroom with his presence now that he is no longer among the living. Tonight I was sitting in my usual Virtual bar stool sipping on a cup of reverie-inducing elixir with the ghost of the late John King, attempting to put my thoughts into words, for the Virtual Ballroom, while a conceptualization of my own creation, I have always sought diligently to describe the grandeur and majesty of such a place, without reflecting anything negative toward the past lives of the ghosts who frequent this place.

 

There are many groups who wander throughout the vastness of the Virtual Ballroom, and in my sojourns with the many ghosts and spirits who gather herein, I have spent many a wonderful time listening to the diversified conversations that ebb and flow across the ballroom and Virtual Tavern throughout each day. From the esoteric to the historically-significant, and deeply-intellectual discussions of philosophy, I have felt certain that there must be a place where Marty Hibbs would feel at home, free of any repression or restraint, encouraged to share the vast wealth of his past life with others of like minds.

 

“There are even a group of Humanists who regularly gather over behind the stage,” John King suddenly mentioned, brightening briefly at the thought of his favorite philosophical bent. “Perhaps if Marty is wont to join the Virtual Tavern and Ballroom, he might even consider sitting in on one of our sessions which, as you may know, can last for eons.”

 

How fitting it was that, at that point in time, Marty and Hallie Hibbs entered the Virtual Ballroom with a man whom I later recognized as the late Don Rice, father of our own Jeanie Buchanan.

 

This trio of spirits paused just inside the doorway of The Virtual Ballroom, as some might do when first entering a new or different place, peering at the small crowd gathered at the Virtual Bar and the couples sedately dancing on the ballroom floor. As Marty gazed across the vast emporium, he suddenly noticed John and I sitting at the end of the bar, and began moving our way.

 

“Mr. Laird,” he stated as the trio strode up to where John King and I were sitting together. “I knew, once I had reconnected with Hallie and Don, it was simply a matter of time before the three of us would find our ways here.”

 

Thus it was, in the late afternoon in the Virtual Ballroom, that I once more gazed upon Marty's magnificent bushy eyebrows that rose in their majestic grandeur that we sat down at the bar, and began a conversation that saw no end.

 

Dave

 

A Word A Day — agon

 

Good evening, Netizens…

 

November 01, 2012

Word of the Day


  

  • agon

  • audio pronunciation

  • \AH-gahn\

  • DEFINITION

  •  

noun

: conflict; especially : the dramatic conflict between the chief characters in a literary work

  • EXAMPLES

  •  

As the U.S. presidential elections approach, anyone with an interest in politics is focused on the agon about to reach its quadrennial climax.

“From the beginning of the agon, the play [The Merchant of Venice] provides an explanation for Shylock's behavior, well beyond the sheer antagonistic function that the skeletal plot would require and the sources provide.” — From G. Beiner's 1993 book Shakepeare's Agonistic Comedy: Poetics, Analysis, Criticism

  • DID YOU KNOW?

  •  

“Agon” comes from the Greek word “agōn,” which is translated with a number of meanings, among them “contest,” “competition at games,” and “gathering.” In ancient Greece, agons (also spelled “agones”) were contests held during public festivals. The contests—among them the ancient Olympics that our modern Olympics is modeled on—involved everything from athletics to chariot and horse racing to music and literature. “Agon” in the realm of literature refers to the dramatic conflict between the main characters in a Greek play, or more broadly, between the chief characters in any literary work. The word is also occasionally used to refer to conflict generally, as in our first example sentence.

From Merriam-Webster Online at www.Merriam-Webster.com.

 

Dave

 

 

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