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Grammar Central > What's Your Word for the Day?

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Joanne (Bonfiggi) | 1210 comments I read "non-exquire" in a Jane Gardam novel. I like that and should adopt the philosophy. Let it be.


message 3090: by Carol (new)

Carol | 9447 comments Good article, daughter kept interrupting, so I have to reread it.
At first I thought tendonitis, then I read it again. Haha!


Newengland | 12777 comments Just saw this while reading a Wall Street Journal Weekend piece:

tendentious -- having the tendency to adopt a certain point of view; biased.

Used like so:

"Majoring in English hit its zenith, yet it was this very popularity of literature in the university that spelled its doom, as tendentious pedants of various stripes accelerated the academicization of literary art."


Joanne (Bonfiggi) | 1210 comments I like gazooly. Constantly complaining.


Stephen (Havan) | 833 comments Interesting word. I've never heard it before. I'm guessing it's sorta been driven out of usage by its onomatopoeic connection to bombastic et. al.

BTW... my favorite toponym de jour is Tuxedo. For years while living in NYC I thought it was somehow funny that the kitchy little village that hosted the local renaissance festival was named after a piece of clothing.


message 3086: by Carol (new)

Carol | 9447 comments bombilate

PRONUNCIATION:(BOM-bi-layt) 

MEANING:verb intr.: To make a humming or buzzing noise.

ETYMOLOGY:From Latin bombilare to (hum, buzz). Earliest documented use: 1600s.

USAGE:"The entire building was bombilating like a cicada."Matt Cantor; Some Cures for Noisy Neighbors; The Berkeley Daily Planet (California); Oct 9, 2008.


message 3085: by Carol (last edited Apr 01, 2013 01:43PM) (new)

Carol | 9447 comments Here is an interesting word.

This week we visit five places that have become toponyms in the English language


Abderian(AB-dir-ee-uhn)
adjective given to excessive or incessant laughter.[After mAbdera, in ancient Thrace (present day Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece), the birth place of Democritus, the Laughing Philosopher. Location on the map: Abdera.]It's not certain why Democritus was nicknamed the Laughing Philosopher. It may be owing to his stress on the value of cheerfulness. It's also said that he often appeared in public laughing while expressing his contempt of human follies.Paintings frequently show him laughing. The opposite of an abderian person is an agelast, someone who never laughs.


Newengland | 12777 comments .... the book seems to have a pretty large following here on GoodReads.

That's proof of something, but I can't believe there's not a large contingent holding its nose at GR, too.


Stephen (Havan) | 833 comments Newengland wrote: "What a bloated behemoth of a book. The movie can't help but be an improvement." Heard nothing but bad about the movie but decided to try the book after investing a hard earned 20 cents into it at the local thrift store. (That 5 for a dollar deal is pretty great)

I am not expecting much but the book seems to have a pretty large following here on GoodReads.


Joanne (Bonfiggi) | 1210 comments Prolix gives me a headache.


message 3081: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Newengland wrote: "Compromise and take "prolix.""

Isn't that an anxiolytic? :)


Newengland | 12777 comments Compromise and take "prolix."


Joanne (Bonfiggi) | 1210 comments Now which word do I want as my word of the day, bloated, or behemoth ?


Newengland | 12777 comments What a bloated behemoth of a book. The movie can't help but be an improvement.


Stephen (Havan) | 833 comments Just started reading Beautiful Creatures set in South Carolina and there's talk of painting one's shutters "haint blue," a color meant to keep out the spirits.


message 3076: by Carol (last edited Feb 14, 2013 03:11PM) (new)

Carol | 9447 comments Ruth wrote: "Carol wrote: "I don't know the pedigree of a "haint". I know it is from the Appalachian Region, and it was a colloquialism in our family. I understand it means a ghost , or a mean spirit"

I thin..."

They used to scare us with the haints getting us. LOL. They were more scary than the boogyman.


message 3075: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Ruth wrote: "I lived for a summer in San Antonio. I won't be going back."

"Lived" may be an excessively favorable characterization.


message 3074: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 11234 comments I lived for a summer in San Antonio. I won't be going back.


message 3073: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Joanne wrote: "Oh right, Mark, now THAT sounds like Texas. I grew up in a tiny town in New Hampshire. Ayuh, I cain't say I miss it too much."

I'm not really Texan. I just passed the signpost (lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate) and got stuck here. It's very hot, and it's easy to get stuck to the asphalt. In actuality, I grew up north of Philadelphia, and I only do a Texan accent when it would be scary to be identified as a mole.


Joanne (Bonfiggi) | 1210 comments Newengland wrote: "Which town? (Well, if you care to share, I mean... I know a bit of Cow Hampshire, you see.)"

Washington, NH


message 3071: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 11234 comments Carol wrote: "I don't know the pedigree of a "haint". I know it is from the Appalachian Region, and it was a colloquialism in our family. I understand it means a ghost , or a mean spirit"

I think it comes from "haunt," Carol.


message 3070: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments It sounds like an 'aunt, it does, guv'nor, what may 'ave come from a desolate 'ouse. :)


Stephen (Havan) | 833 comments Carol wrote: "I don't know the pedigree of a "haint". I know it is from the Appalachian Region, and it was a colloquialism in our family. "

I don't know of any pedigree for the pronunciation of the H though I have seen it actually make it into type at least once, sorta... Co. Aytch: A Confederate Memoir of the Civil War

I suppose it's someone's idea to try and use up all those sounds left over after Brits and proper folk insist on NOT pronouncing them. It's an historic thing.


message 3068: by Carol (new)

Carol | 9447 comments I don't know the pedigree of a "haint". I know it is from the Appalachian Region, and it was a colloquialism in our family. I understand it means a ghost , or a mean spirit


Newengland | 12777 comments Which town? (Well, if you care to share, I mean... I know a bit of Cow Hampshire, you see.)


Joanne (Bonfiggi) | 1210 comments Oh right, Mark, now THAT sounds like Texas. I grew up in a tiny town in New Hampshire. Ayuh, I cain't say I miss it too much.


message 3065: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Possibly eye movement
tluser dluow eugitaf
from that approach
.llet ot drah si ti tub ,gnitirw ot
:)


Harold (RasulMaboul) | 90 comments Concerning cows and their sturdy relations, the oxen, one of my favorite words is "Boustrophedon", Greek (βουστροφηδόν), "as the ox plows" . It was an ancient method of writing in alternate lines from right to left, then left to right, then right to left, and so on. Every other line is reversed, with reversed letters. An example follows at this location:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...


message 3063: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Joanne wrote: "I cain't keep up."

I don't think I buy "cain't" as lying within the isogloss for Claremont, California. :) :) Now, I, on the other hand, live "deep in the heart of Texas," y'all, so I can "cain't" till the cows come home.


Joanne (Bonfiggi) | 1210 comments I cain't keep up.


Stephen (Havan) | 833 comments Now me, on the other hand, I just like to know about words and the stories behind em. Bowdlerized or otherwise.


message 3060: by Mark (last edited Feb 12, 2013 07:25PM) (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Jennifer wrote: "Ah! Misinterpretation at its finest, my bad ;) I'm always on the defense about folksy words, both as a Southerner and a lexicographer. Had you heard "circumbendibus" before? Good ol' DARE, I could ..."

Not to worry. I'm a "lapsed linguist," a retired professor of computer science with research interests in artificial intelligence and natural language understanding. (I did some of the early research in mechanical translation -- writing programs in Fortran, on punchcards!) It's been forty years since I paged through a dialect atlas, but I always did harbor a secret affection for isoglosses. :)

Oh, and yes, I had seen "circumbendibus" before, but then I also have an untoward propensity for collecting sesquipedalian lexemes. :)


Jennifer | 4 comments Ah! Misinterpretation at its finest, my bad ;) I'm always on the defense about folksy words, both as a Southerner and a lexicographer. Had you heard "circumbendibus" before? Good ol' DARE, I could read it all day.


message 3058: by Mark (last edited Feb 12, 2013 07:06PM) (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Jennifer wrote: "Mark wrote: "Stephen wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "One of my favorite regional/obscure words is circumvengemous. ..." That is and interesting word and I can spot the going around aspect in the "circum" ..."

Peace! When I spoke of its "pedigree," I was being jocular. (I should use a lot more emoticons. :)) A phonological mutation of "circumbendibus" makes a lot of sense, and should probably have occurred to me, but thanks for clearing up the riddle. In case it hasn't been evident, sufficiently, I'm very much enamoured of obscure and recondite words, myself, and I didn't intend "folksy coinage" in any pejorative sense. I *like* folksy coinages and neologisms.


Jennifer | 4 comments Mark wrote: "Stephen wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "One of my favorite regional/obscure words is circumvengemous. ..." That is and interesting word and I can spot the going around aspect in the "circum" part of the w..."

Good pedigree? Good lord, have I stumbled into a meeting of L'Academie? In fact this word has appeared in print in at least two publications since the 1970s and will appear again in a dictionary that will be published later this year. It's also pretty safe to assume that it is related to "circumbendibus," which dates to 1681 (in print) and is defined as "A roundabout, spec, a long-winded, story." There are several citations for "circumbendibus" in the Dictionary of American Regional English, Vol. 1. Whether or not it's related to Latin or has a coherent etymology, it is an actual, though obscure, word, which has somehow managed to hang on for at least a few hundred years of English. I think the beauty of language is that it allows for such neologisms to exist, folksy or otherwise.


Harold (RasulMaboul) | 90 comments Stephen wrote: "Never taken it as offensive, I've just thought of goy or goyim as being "other" or "outside the tribe" or simply "not Jewish"

Personally I've thought of myself (after fully coming out in NYC) as ..."


As a MOT (Member of the Tribe), I can assure you that goy/goyim are not inherently derogatory. In Exodus, G_d refers to the Jewish people as "goy kadosh" (a holy nation). If Jews do use it in a derogatory fashion, it just shows their ignorance of their own culture. Now two words that do have offensive connotations are "shiksa" (non-Jewish female) and "shkutz" (non-Jewish male). http://www.jewfaq.org/gentiles.htm Oh, by the way, I really like "izgoy". A scientist who denies global warming is an "izgoy".


message 3055: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Stephen wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "One of my favorite regional/obscure words is circumvengemous. ..." That is and interesting word and I can spot the going around aspect in the "circum" part of the word but I'd like..."

I don't think it has a coherent etymology. It's probably an amalgam, a portmanteau word, or an invented neologism; there isn't any good way to deconstruct "vengem" morphologically. The "veng" of the Spanish subjunctive "venga" comes from "venir" and occurs (through French) in English words like "provenience" or "provenance," but never with a "g." The morpheme "venge" in words like revenge and vengeance is of a different origin (Old French "venger") and a different meaning. Neither "gem" (from the Latin root for "twin," as in "geminate" and "gemini") nor the causative bound morpheme "em-" (as in "empower") seems a plausible part of any possible morphological breakdown. In short, I think the word is somebody's folksy coinage, and has no good pedigree.


Stephen (Havan) | 833 comments Jennifer wrote: "One of my favorite regional/obscure words is circumvengemous. ..." That is and interesting word and I can spot the going around aspect in the "circum" part of the word but I'd like to better understand the "venge" part of the word. I often wish that I'd taken Latin but I do recall that in Spanish "venga" is a command form of "come".


message 3053: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Jennifer wrote: "One of my favorite regional/obscure words is circumvengemous. This comes from the southern Appalachian region of the US and means "to do something in a roundabout way." As in, "Instead of going str..."

Talk about obscure! There's quite literally only *one* reference to this on the entire internet, at:

http://waitingandreading.wordpress.co...

(Well, I guess now there are two. :))


Jennifer | 4 comments One of my favorite regional/obscure words is circumvengemous. This comes from the southern Appalachian region of the US and means "to do something in a roundabout way." As in, "Instead of going straight there, he took the circumvengemous route."


message 3051: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Stephen, truth is, I don't think most non-Jews view it as offensive, or that most Jews, if they use it, intend it that way, particularly. I just prefer to err on the side of caution with words that *can* be used in an exclusionary or offensive way, hence my preemptive caveat. My first wife was an orthodox Jew and used to refer to me as "the house goy," because it fell to me to do all the "work" (such as turning off lights) on Shabbat. That's how I happen to know some Hebrew.


Stephen (Havan) | 833 comments Never taken it as offensive, I've just thought of goy or goyim as being "other" or "outside the tribe" or simply "not Jewish"

Personally I've thought of myself (after fully coming out in NYC) as just that Midwestern All-American Goy Next Door.


message 3049: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments "Goy" is Hebrew ( גוי). It's become derogatory and offensive, but it originally just meant "nation." If "iz" were Russian for "without," then it might make a certain amount of sense in referring to a prince without a nation, but it's not (без is the preposition), and I don't think that's the etymology (though I couldn't find one).


message 3048: by Stephen (last edited Feb 11, 2013 05:03PM) (new)

Stephen (Havan) | 833 comments I noticed that too. Sounds a bit like one of those too cute kitten posters. Or some Hebrew form of pig latin... Ohnoy?


Newengland | 12777 comments Interesting that "goy" is in "izgoy." Or maybe coincidental.


message 3046: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments While we're on Russian:

izgoy, n., a person who is uniquely unsuited to his or her profession as a result of some inherent flaw or defect (in the original Russian, it referred to a landless prince)

A Tea Party congressperson called upon to enact useful legislation would be an izgoy.


Newengland | 12777 comments Don't know that one, though I guess I've seen 'em.


Harold (RasulMaboul) | 90 comments ZASTRUGA,noun, ZASTRUGI, noun pl. (Russ.) a hard ridge of snow in a field formed by the wind. There are many zastrugi formed on winter cornfields in Wisconsin. However, there are no zastruga in Tortuga.


Harold (RasulMaboul) | 90 comments UB 40 Urban Dictionary link: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define...


message 3042: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1459 comments Harold wrote: "Really like Symbol's WOTD: "Anthropodermic bibliopegy". I would feel a bit queasy thumbing through a book of word puzzles bound with the skin of Will Shortz. One of my favorite words is "genizah"..."

I think Will Shortz would like it even less. :)


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