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  #1  
قديم 05-22-2006, 08:40 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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أعضاء رسميون
 
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Epigram (Noun)
Pronunciation: ['e-pê-græm]
Definition 1: A short poem or poetic line ending on a witty thought.
Usage 1: Today's word is not to be confused with "epigraph," an inscription on or in an artwork, tomb or edifice. "Epithet" is another similar word to look out for. An epithet is an adjective or other modifier used to characterize someone. "Alexander the Great" is a classic example but any short characterization of anyone may be taken for an epithet. Finally, an "epitaph" is a comment commemorating a death, usually written on a tomb or tombstone.
Suggested usage: We suggest you use epigrams the way the masters used them. Samuel Taylor Coleridge once wrote: "Swans sing before they die —'twere no bad thing/should certain people die before they sing!" Alexander Pope wrote this on a dog collar he sent the king in 1738: "I am his Highness' dog at Kew;/Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?" Dorothy Parker penned this Spooneristic epigram: "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Finally, one from the master of masters, Oscar Wilde: "Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others."
Etymology: From Old French "epigramme," from Latin "epigramma" based on Greek epigraphein "to write on, inscribe" comprising epi- "on" + graphein "to write." The source of Greek "graph-" is PIE *gerbh- "scratch" which turns up in Old English ceorfan "to cut" which devolved into modern "carve." Kerf "width of a cut" comes from a relative, Old English cyrf "a cutting." Old Germanic krabbiz "crab"—another scratcher—was borrowed by Old French as "crevis" (Modern French "crevisse"). Middle English then borrowed the Middle French term back but by folk etymology soon converted it into "crayfish," since "fish" is a familiar English word and "-vis" is not. That left the initial "cre" unrelated to any English word. Well, folks in Louisiana noticed that this fish distinguishes itself by crawling, so they applied folk etymology again to produce "craw(l)fish"—a long crawl from "epigram," but a lexical relative all the same.
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  #2  
قديم 05-23-2006, 12:43 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Eruct (Verb)

Pronunciation: [ê-'rêkt]
Definition 1: To noisily release gases from the stomach via the mouth.
Usage 1: The act of eructing is "eruction" and the pitiful creature committing the act is an "eructator." The words are rarely used for obvious reasons. One could conceivably speak eructively, meaning belching out words; however, dictionaries do not list "eructive" yet.
Suggested usage: Today we have a literary form more dissonant than the common term, "belch." However, since the activity itself is dissonant, "eruct" is a bit more onomatopoetic: "Because he does it so often, I find it difficult to believe that Milo eructs involuntarily." It is difficult to use this word away from its literal meaning, "He was visited by a plague of eruction in punishment for eating so many burritos." It is possible, though, if you aren't averse to a laugh: "Our current problem represents but a small eruction at the feast of life. Tomorrow we will have forgotten it."
Etymology: Latin eruct-are from ex- "out" + ructare "to belch, emit," origin of Italian "eruttare" and Spanish "eructar" and frequentative form of Latin "erugare." Akin to Old English rocettan "to belch" and Greek "ereugesthai." The PIE root *reug-, from which the original Latin rugo derived, also gave English "reek" and German rauchen "smoke."
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  #3  
قديم 05-24-2006, 12:55 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Metastasis (Noun)
Pronunciation: [me-'tæ-stê-sis]

Definition 1: A change in nature or location. In medicine it generally indicates migration to another location, especially in reference to cancer. In rhetoric, it refers to a sudden transition from one point to another. Elsewhere it is used in the sense of "metamorphosis," a change in character or nature.
Usage 1: Do not confuse today's word with "metathesis" [mê-'tæ-thê-sis], two linguistic sounds trading places, as in the pronunciation of "ask" as "aks" or "prescription" as "perscription." Metathesis is a common linguistic process mentioned occasionally in our Words of the Day. The adjective for today's word is "metastatic" [me-tê-'stæt-ik] or "metastatical." The adverb is "metastatically" and the verb, "metastasize" [me-'tæ-stê-sIz].
Suggested usage: Let us hope that we will never have any use for today's word in the medical sense. This type of metastasis usually refers to the dispersal of late stage cancer cells to several previously unaffected parts of the body, where they are more difficult to treat. In more common usage it refers to a noticeable if not radical metamorphosis: "Have you noticed the metastasis in Buster's attitude since his wife got the leather outfit and the whip? It's almost a pleasure to talk to him now."
Etymology: From Greek meta "between" + stasis "state, condition." "Meta" is akin to "mid(dle)," "medieval," and "meridian." Russian mezhdu "between, among" comes from the same source along with Greek mesos "middle" and Latin medius "middle," found in the name of the Middle of the Earth Sea, known by its Latin name, the Mediterranean. Sanskrit mAdhya and its descendents, Hindi madya , Bengali mAjh, Persian mijân, Pashto mandz—all meaning "middle"—are related, too. "Stasis" is based on the Indo-European stem for "stand," found in "stand," "stool," "stall," "stop," and many others. Both Latin stabilis "stable" and stabulum "abode, stable" are based on the same root. Russian stol "table," German stehen and Russian stat' "stand" are also members of this extensive extended family.
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  #4  
قديم 05-27-2006, 07:26 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Quasquicentennial (Adjective)

Pronunciation: [kwah-skwê-sin-'te-ni-yêl]

Definition 1: Pertaining to 125 or 125th; the celebration of 125 years.
Usage 1: Other members of this family include: semicentennial "50th," centennial "100," sesquicentennial (not sasquatch's birthday but) "150th," bicentennial "200th," tercentennial "300th," quadricentennial "400th," quincentennial "500th."
Suggested usage: Because this word is an oddity among oddities [see Etymology], we would not recommend parents saying anything like, "Arnie, this is the quasquicentennial time I've requested that you clean up your room," even if it is literally true. "Today we sold our quasquicentennial car of the year!" probably would not impress your customers or sales staff unless they subscribe to our Word of the Day.
Etymology: Apparently, introduced for the city of Delavan, Illinois' rather odd 125th anniversary of its founding celebrated around 1962. Today's word is queerly contrived from qua(dran)s "quarter" + que "and" + cent "hundred" + ann- "year" + the suffix -ial. Rather than simply nicking the Latin word in the usual way, which would be "+centenary" from Latin +centenarius "+hundredth," Latin cent-um (100) has been attached to English -ennial, retrieved from "biennial," then prefixed with often questionable prefixes like "quasqui-."
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  #5  
قديم 05-28-2006, 09:05 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Polyglot (Noun)
Pronunciation: ['pah-li-glaht]

Definition 1: A person who speaks two or more languages.
Usage 1: Nothing irritates a linguist more than being asked, "And how many languages do you speak?" after admitting that he or she is a linguist. Remember, a linguist is someone who studies language scientifically—possibly speaking only one language; a polyglot is a person who speaks more than one language. Today's word may also be used adjectivally, as a polyglot nation or a polyglot edition of the Bible. The noun referring to the talent is "polyglottism."
Suggested usage: First and foremost this word refers so someone who is multilingual: "Herschel Swartz is a polyglot who can talk his way out of paying his bills in seven different European languages." It can, however, refer to people in a broader, more indirect sense, "The restaurant had such a polyglot kitchen it was a wonder the dishes that came out of it were edible."
Etymology: Today's word is another borrowed from Greek via Latin and French (polyglotte). The original Greek was "polyglottos," made up of poly "many" + glotta "tongue, language" plus a suffix, and hence literally meant "many-tongued" in both senses of the _expression. Greek was another of those languages whose word for language originally meant "tongue," like French "langue," Spanish "lengua," and Russian "jazyk." Even we speak of the mother tongue. Greek also used "glossa" to refer to tongues and languages, so our words "gloss" and "glossary" derive from a variant of the same word.
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  #6  
قديم 05-29-2006, 09:36 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Eruct (Verb)
Pronunciation: [ê-'rêkt]

Definition 1: To noisily release gases from the stomach via the mouth.

Usage 1: The act of eructing is "eruction" and the pitiful creature committing the act is an "eructator." The words are rarely used for obvious reasons. One could conceivably speak eructively, meaning belching out words; however, dictionaries do not list "eructive" yet.
Suggested usage: Today we have a literary form more dissonant than the common term, "belch." However, since the activity itself is dissonant, "eruct" is a bit more onomatopoetic: "Because he does it so often, I find it difficult to believe that Milo eructs involuntarily." It is difficult to use this word away from its literal meaning, "He was visited by a plague of eruction in punishment for eating so many burritos." It is possible, though, if you aren't averse to a laugh: "Our current problem represents but a small eruction at the feast of life. Tomorrow we will have forgotten it."

Etymology: Latin eruct-are from ex- "out" + ructare "to belch, emit," origin of Italian "eruttare" and Spanish "eructar" and frequentative form of Latin "erugare." Akin to Old English rocettan "to belch" and Greek "ereugesthai." The PIE root *reug-, from which the original Latin rugo derived, also gave English "reek" and German rauchen "smoke."
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  #7  
قديم 05-30-2006, 07:49 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
المشاركات: 1,459
افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Metastasis (Noun)

Pronunciation: [me-'tæ-stê-sis]

Definition 1: A change in nature or location. In medicine it generally indicates migration to another location, especially in reference to cancer. In rhetoric, it refers to a sudden transition from one point to another. Elsewhere it is used in the sense of "metamorphosis," a change in character or nature.
Usage 1: Do not confuse today's word with "metathesis" [mê-'tæ-thê-sis], two linguistic sounds trading places, as in the pronunciation of "ask" as "aks" or "prescription" as "perscription." Metathesis is a common linguistic process mentioned occasionally in our Words of the Day. The adjective for today's word is "metastatic" [me-tê-'stæt-ik] or "metastatical." The adverb is "metastatically" and the verb, "metastasize" [me-'tæ-stê-sIz].
Suggested usage: Let us hope that we will never have any use for today's word in the medical sense. This type of metastasis usually refers to the dispersal of late stage cancer cells to several previously unaffected parts of the body, where they are more difficult to treat. In more common usage it refers to a noticeable if not radical metamorphosis: "Have you noticed the metastasis in Buster's attitude since his wife got the leather outfit and the whip? It's almost a pleasure to talk to him now."
Etymology: From Greek meta "between" + stasis "state, condition." "Meta" is akin to "mid(dle)," "medieval," and "meridian." Russian mezhdu "between, among" comes from the same source along with Greek mesos "middle" and Latin medius "middle," found in the name of the Middle of the Earth Sea, known by its Latin name, the Mediterranean. Sanskrit mAdhya and its descendents, Hindi madya , Bengali mAjh, Persian mijân, Pashto mandz—all meaning "middle"—are related, too. "Stasis" is based on the Indo-European stem for "stand," found in "stand," "stool," "stall," "stop," and many others. Both Latin stabilis "stable" and stabulum "abode, stable" are based on the same root. Russian stol "table," German stehen and Russian stat' "stand" are also members of this extensive extended family.
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  #8  
قديم 05-31-2006, 08:03 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Quasquicentennial (Adjective)

Pronunciation: [kwah-skwê-sin-'te-ni-yêl]
Definition 1: Pertaining to 125 or 125th; the celebration of 125 years.
Usage 1: Other members of this family include: semicentennial "50th," centennial "100," sesquicentennial (not sasquatch's birthday but) "150th," bicentennial "200th," tercentennial "300th," quadricentennial "400th," quincentennial "500th."

Suggested usage: Because this word is an oddity among oddities [see Etymology], we would not recommend parents saying anything like, "Arnie, this is the quasquicentennial time I've requested that you clean up your room," even if it is literally true. "Today we sold our quasquicentennial car of the year!" probably would not impress your customers or sales staff unless they subscribe to our Word of the Day.

Etymology: Apparently, introduced for the city of Delavan, Illinois' rather odd 125th anniversary of its founding celebrated around 1962. Today's word is queerly contrived from qua(dran)s "quarter" + que "and" + cent "hundred" + ann- "year" + the suffix -ial. Rather than simply nicking the Latin word in the usual way, which would be "+centenary" from Latin +centenarius "+hundredth," Latin cent-um (100) has been attached to English -ennial, retrieved from "biennial," then prefixed with often questionable prefixes like "quasqui-."
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  #9  
قديم 06-01-2006, 08:09 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Polyglot (Noun)

Pronunciation: ['pah-li-glaht]

Definition 1: A person who speaks two or more languages.
Usage 1: Nothing irritates a linguist more than being asked, "And how many languages do you speak?" after admitting that he or she is a linguist. Remember, a linguist is someone who studies language scientifically—possibly speaking only one language; a polyglot is a person who speaks more than one language. Today's word may also be used adjectivally, as a polyglot nation or a polyglot edition of the Bible. The noun referring to the talent is "polyglottism."
Suggested usage: First and foremost this word refers so someone who is multilingual: "Herschel Swartz is a polyglot who can talk his way out of paying his bills in seven different European languages." It can, however, refer to people in a broader, more indirect sense, "The restaurant had such a polyglot kitchen it was a wonder the dishes that came out of it were edible."
Etymology: Today's word is another borrowed from Greek via Latin and French (polyglotte). The original Greek was "polyglottos," made up of poly "many" + glotta "tongue, language" plus a suffix, and hence literally meant "many-tongued" in both senses of the _expression. Greek was another of those languages whose word for language originally meant "tongue," like French "langue," Spanish "lengua," and Russian "jazyk." Even we speak of the mother tongue. Greek also used "glossa" to refer to tongues and languages, so our words "gloss" and "glossary" derive from a variant of the same word.
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  #10  
قديم 06-02-2006, 04:00 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Hash (Verb)
Pronunciation: [hæsh]

Definition 1: To chop meat or other victuals into small pieces for cooking; to make a mess of things; to talk over thoroughly, as to hash out the details of a project.
Usage 1: Today's verb alone refers to irregularly chopped meat but may be used to refer to other foods so prepared, as "hash(ed) potatoes." The noun, "hash" by itself will be taken to refer to chopped meat. The original spam is a canned hash. Perhaps because the two words are related, the hatch marks on the sleeves of soldiers indicating rank of years of service are commonly referred to as "hash marks” (see Etymology).
Suggested usage: Before dinner you may have to hash out who is going to hash the meat and potatoes. This could be a critical discussion since the wrong person could make hash of the hash. Then you would have to settle his or her hash (make a mess of them).
Etymology: Today's is another word woven back and forth between us Germanics and the French. It comes from Old French hacher "to chop, mince," itself borrowed from Middle German hacken "to hack." After French had smoothed it out a bit, the English reborrowed it as hatch "cutting or inlaying lines," as the hatch marks on a football field or the sleeves of a military uniform. Later it was borrowed again as today's word. Though we now use a meat cleaver to chop hash, the original tool was a hatchet, another word from the French stem. The original root also went on to become "haggis," referring to that wonderful Scottish dish made from hashed sheep by-products (heart, lungs, liver, and suet) cooked in the stomach of often the self same sheep.
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  #11  
قديم 06-03-2006, 08:03 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Tenter (Noun)
Pronunciation: ['tent-êr]

Definition 1: No, not someone who lives in a tent, but an open frame with evenly spaced protruding hooks or nails for stretching cloth to dry without shrinking. The edges of the material are fastened to the nails all around the frame after the frame is adjusted to be slightly larger than the piece of cloth.
Usage 1: Non-shrink fabrics made tenters pretty much obsolete years ago but the word persists in the compound "tenterhooks," itself rarely used outside the phrase "to be on tenterhooks" (as opposed to tender hooks, which hold nothing). You may use this noun as a verb: to tenter material is to stretch it out on a frame.

Suggested usage: For those of us who have seen curtains stretched on a tenter, the metaphor could not be more obvious: "If we don't finish this job today, the boss will have us on tenters." To be on tenterhooks, however, implies that you are in a state of heightened anticipation, as to be on tenterhooks to find out a final exam grade. Another way of expressing pretty much the same thing is to say you are on pins and needles. This phrase is probably in the process of replacing "on tenterhooks," as the concept of the tenter fades among ever younger generations.

Etymology: Today's word comes Latin tentorium "shelter made of stretched skins," from tendere "to stretch," also the origin of "tent." The original Proto-Indo-European root was *ten- "to stretch" and it came to English through its proto-Germanic ancestors as "thin," the state animal products reach when stretched. The Latin word, "tendere," also gave us "tender," "extend," and other words originally implying a stretch. "Tetanus" comes from the Greek variant in tetanus "stiff, rigid," another state arrived at by stretching. The same root turns up twice in Sanskrit, both as tasaram "shuttle" and tantram "loom," where shuttles are used. In Persian the [n] was lost to produce tar "string," which underlies Hindi "sitar."
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  #12  
قديم 06-04-2006, 08:15 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Senescent (Adjective)
Pronunciation: [sê-'nes-ênt]

Definition 1: A more eloquent and delicate way of saying "old" or "aging."
Usage 1: "Senior citizen" is the sort of term we come up with when we leave it to journalists and correspondents to enrich our vocabulary. Today's word expresses the same sentiment much more elegantly. It is the adjective from the verb "to senesce" which has a noun, "senescence." The adjective may be used to refer to senescent people, too. I had rather be a senescent than a senior citizen—I don't even know what that _expression is supposed to refer to. A synonym of "senescence" is "senectitude."

Suggested usage: J. D. Salinger, writing in 1965 in the New Yorker, distinguished senescence from maturation: "Few of these magnificent, healthy, sometimes remarkably handsome boys will mature. The majority, I give you my heartbreaking opinion, will merely senesce." Most of us would prefer to forget about aging, which works out fine, since forgetfulness is an art that comes with senescence.
Etymology: Today's word was borrowed from Latin "sensecens, senescent-," the present participle of senescere "to grow old," the inchoative form of senere "to be old." All these forms go back to senex "old, old man," whose root, "sen-," can be seen in "senior," "senile," and "senate." (I'll bet you had already guessed the last two were related.) Spanish "señor" and Italian "signore" come from the comparative of the same word, senior "older."
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  #13  
قديم 06-05-2006, 09:09 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
soubiri soubiri غير متواجد حالياً
أعضاء رسميون
 
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Petrichor (Noun)
Pronunciation: ['pe-trê-ko(r) or -tri-]

Definition 1: A pleasant distinctive smell of rain falling on dry ground. The original reference is to an odor produced in certain regions by yellowish, oily globules, rather like perfume, absorbed into the ground from the air.
Usage 1: Here is a new conceptual opportunity for lexiphiliacs. Although introduced by geologists in 1964 (Nature 993/2) to refer to a specific aroma, we have all experienced the pleasure of the smell of rain on a dry earth. Now, thanks to the sharp ear (or eye) of Word-of-the-Day subscriber Gregory Rutter, we can all express it.
Suggested usage: This word certainly fits anywhere aromas are discussed, "I love this chardonnay for the petrichor underlying its complex bouquet." But once we are comfortable with it, we can unleash our metaphoric creativity, "Her entrance into his life was a refreshing petrichor ending a long, stale season of relationships."
Etymology: Greek petros "stone" or petra "rock" + ichor, the mythical rarified fluid that flowed in the veins of the gods. ("Ichor" now refers literally to any watery, perhaps blood-tinged discharge.) Petros also underlies the name "Peter," so Rock Hudson's first name was simply a translation of the Greek "Peter." Petro- has taken a sharp semantic turn of late, resulting from the clipping of "petroleum" (from petro "rock" + oleum "oil"). Neologisms like "petrodollars" and "petropower" refer to the money and power of oil, not of rocks.
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  #14  
قديم 06-06-2006, 12:30 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Evanescent (Adjective)
Pronunciation: [e-vê-'ne-sênt]

Definition 1: Tending to vanish like vapor, transient.
Usage 1: The noun is "evanescence" and the verb is evanesce "to vanish quickly into thin air."

Suggested usage: This is a beautiful word used far too rarely. Evanescent puffs of steam emerge from our mouths on chilly mornings and pleasant days evanesce all too quickly. There are a variety of sterling uses this word will serve: "Money leads such an evanescent existence in my pocket, I shall never be wealthy." Then again, maybe it is beautiful because of its rarity.

Etymology: Latin evanescens, present participle of evanescere "to vanish, disappear" from e(x) "from" + vanescere "vanish" from van-us "empty." Akin to "vanish."
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  #15  
قديم 06-07-2006, 07:09 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Incumbent (Adjective)
Pronunciation: [in-'kêm-bênt]

Definition 1: (1) Resting its weight on something else, leaning or resting on something, as a leaning post incumbent on a rock. (2) Dependent, up to, as it is incumbent on me to get Bertram to work in the morning. (3) Responsible for the duties of an office, as the incumbent mayor of the city.
Usage 1: Today's adjective will be used in the US a lot this year, an election year. However, it will be used mostly as a noun in reference to the incumbent politicians (or simply "incumbents") who are currently in office and will be running election campaigns against challengers. The noun for the quality of being incumbent, is "incumbency."
Suggested usage: Today's word can find room in almost every sentence uttered by the responsible parent, "It is incumbent upon you to keep your room neat and tidy and incumbent upon me to decide whether I buy tickets for the Madonna concert." (You couldn't call that blackmail, could you?) In fact, this word can find a use wherever responsibility is at stake, "It is incumbent upon the deacons to make all the major decisions concerning the church and mow the lawn on Saturday."
Etymology: Today's word comes from Latin incumbens, incumbent- "lying down on," the present participle of incumbere "to lean or lie upon" made up of in- "on" + cumbere "to lie," a relative of cubare "to lie, to lie sick." The semantic drift of this word is easy to follow. If something is leaning on an object, it is dependent on that object for its support. Even in English, "It lies on me to get Bertie to work" is another way of saying that I am responsible and responsibilities are often said to rest on someone.
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  #16  
قديم 06-08-2006, 07:11 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Casuistry (Noun)
Pronunciation: ['kæzh(ê)-wi-stree]

Definition 1: The resolution of questions of morality by comparing specific cases against general (religious) principles; specious reasoning; that is, reasoning that sounds logical but is false.
Usage 1: The original casuistry has been called 'quibbling with God,' an interpretation of the original that led to the second, pejorative sense of the word. Historically, the point of casuistic thinking too often has been to provide a rationalization, however specious, for a predetermined conclusion. In 'Letters on the Spirit of Patriotism, Henry Bolingbroke wrote in 1736: "Casuistry…destroys, by distinctions and exceptions, all morality, and effaces the essential difference between right and wrong." The adjective, as you can see, is "casuistic;" "casuistically" is the adverb. A person who resorts to casuistry is a casuist.
Suggested usage: You have, no doubt, at some time tried to debate a point logically with a person arguing a predetermined conclusion from which he will not be moved. He rationalizes semi-logically by drawing on an ever-changing array of ostensible but often false principles which he makes up to fit the issue. That is casuistry: "Leland, to argue that bigamy is good, on the one hand, because it allows more freedom of choice and, on the other, because it allows more women the security of a home with the good men in the world, is not only casuistry but baldly contradictory casuistry."
Etymology: From "casuist," casus + ist from Latin casus "case, event" the past participle ("that which has fallen") of cadere "to fall" (cf. German Fall "case, instance"). Residues of the Latin verb are found in the English borrowings "cadaver," "cadence," "cascade," "casual," "chance," and "decay."
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  #17  
قديم 06-09-2006, 11:13 AM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Avocado (Noun)
Pronunciation: [æ-vê-'kah-do]

Definition 1: Pear-shaped fruit with dark green, leathery skin, a large stony seed, and greenish-yellow edible pulp used in salads and in guacamole. Also the subtropical American tree on which this fruit grows.
Usage 1: The plural is "avocados," no [e]. Otherwise, we have another lexical orphan today with no consanguineous adjectives or verbs. The noun itself may be used adjectivally to refer to its own color, as an avocado green stain on your shirt.
Suggested usage: At first glance, it might seem that today's word does not lend itself easily to any usage other than the literal one. But the unusual color, creamy texture, and mild taste opens many doors for us, "Her freshly spiked hair and avocado lips made Frank wish he were literally a blind date." Remember, avocados have strikingly different textures inside and outside: "The truffle had a rich chocolate flavor and an avocado texture that melted on the tongue," but also, "After 25 years in the sun, her complexion approached that of an avocado with a color that was only a tad lighter."
Etymology: So what do an avocado and a Spanish lawyer have in common? Originally, the Aztecs called this fruit "ahucatl" in their language, Nahuatl, and believed it was an aphrodisiac. To the Spaniards, the Nahuatl word "ahucatl" sounded like their word, avocado "lawyer" (spelled "abogado" today). The first recorded English usage in 1697 was the compound "avogato pear." The Aztecs also made sauces, called "molli" in Nahuatl. That made their avocado sauce, of course, "ahuacamolli," shortened by the Spaniards to "guacamole" [hwah-kê-'mo-le], the popular chip dip today.
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  #18  
قديم 06-10-2006, 12:16 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Depose (Verb)

Pronunciation: [dee-'poz]
Definition 1: To remove from office or power.
Definition 2: To state or affirm in a legal affidavit (deposition).
Usage 2: "Depose" originally meant "to lay down" and the noun was deposit "that which is laid down." Even though it retains that meaning today in some sciences, the noun "deposit" has taken over that meaning of "depose" among the general populace. Currently the noun for "depose" is "deposition." Investigators depose witnesses by taking down their testimony in the legal form of a deposition. Such witnesses (or "deponents") depone what they know in a deposition.
Suggested usage: Of course, the current US administration would love to depose Saddam Hussein from his presidency of Iraq but chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix would settle for deposing him for his knowledge of Iraqi arms. Although "depose" and "depone" are used mostly in the legal system, occasions for their use arise around the house: "Biff vigorously deponed that it was his sister's friends who ate all the chicken, not his." Using today's word instead of "swore on a stack of Bibles" saves you five words while raising the level of conversation several notches.
Etymology: From Old French "deposer," an alteration of Latin deponere, "to put down." Hence today's word is also etymologically related to depone "testify (under oath)" with the [n] changed to [s], probably under the influence of French poser "put." (I adamantly depone that Deb Griffiths of Harrisburg.
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  #19  
قديم 06-11-2006, 12:41 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Murrain (Noun)
Pronunciation: [mê-'reyn]
Definition 1: A plague, a pestilence, especially affecting cattle, such as anthrax or foot-and-mouth disease; any horrendous event.
Usage 1: Today's noun is used also as an adjective meaning "enormous, monstrous" or "plague-like." As such it has an adverb "murrainly."
Suggested usage: Of course, everyone saves up for a rainy day but nothing could prepare us for a murrain day like September 11, 2001. If the trends in music between rock and roll and hip-hop dismay you, remember that H. L. Mencken was plagued by "the murrain of jazz." Today's is also a good word for the occasional mindless curse (if duly provoked, of course): "A murrain upon your head!" or, as Trinculo put it in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' (III, ii, 50), "A murrain on your monster, and the devil take your fingers!"
Etymology: Borrowed from Old French morine, from Medieval Latin morina, a noun from Latin mori "to die," whose irregular past participle "mortus" underlies "mortal," "mortuary," and "mortgage." This verb may be related to mordere "to bite," underlying "morsel." It is certainly akin to morbus "diseased" from which we derive "morbid." The "mare" in "nightmare" originally referred to a female goblin who attacked people asleep at night. It, too, is related.
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  #20  
قديم 06-12-2006, 08:09 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Armistice (Noun)
Pronunciation: ['ah(r)-mê-stis]

Definition 1: A limited cease-fire or the document containing the terms of a limited cease-fire; a temporary truce put in place until a permanent agreement can be reached between two hostile parties.
Usage 1: We thought this day, the anniversary of D-Day, would be appropriate for today's word. "D-Day," by the way, is a term used for an undetermined day for a military operation. The invasion of Normandy had been planned for June 5, 1944 but weather delayed it until the 6th. It has nevertheless been adopted as the official name of the day the Allies began the final leg of their drive to free Europe from Nazi occupation.
Suggested usage: Several countries signed armistices with the Axis Powers before D-Day. France was forced to signed armistices with Germany and Italy in June of 1941 and Greece signed one in April of 1942. Armistice Day in the US, celebrating the end of World War I, is November 11, though many now call it Veterans' Day.
Etymology: Today's word comes from Late Latin armistitium "armistice" based on Latin arma "arms" + -stitium "stopping, standing." The original PIE word for arms apparently referred to something fitted together, for Latin arma originally meant "tool, instrument." Moreover, the same root turns up in Greek as harmos "shoulder" from which we get "harmony"—a word oddly at odds with the meaning of "arms" and "army." The original root *sta- went on to become, unsurprisingly, "stand" and "stop" in English. However, see if you can figure out why it also appears in "stallion" and "steed." (Today we owe a bow to Richard McConnell, who thought this word a fitting one on the anniversary of the 60th year since Allied Expeditionary Forces landed on the beaches of Normandy to turn the tide of World War II.)
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  #21  
قديم 06-13-2006, 08:07 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Tachycardia (Noun)

Pronunciation: [tæ-kê-'kahr-di-yê]
Definition 1: Rapid heartbeat
Usage 1: The term is medical and seldom used outside discussion of the physical condition of the heart.
Suggested usage: This is a medical term probably not suited for romantic encounters: "Marilyn, your eyes give me profound tachycardia" will probably not melt Mariyn's affections as much as "you make my heart beat faster" (unless Marilyn is a cardiologist). "I suggested they call their new coffee 'Tachycardia' or reduce its caffeine content."
Etymology: Greek tachy- "swift" + kardia "heart." Greek "kardia" is a perfect example of the unity of Indo-European languages. In German it is "Herz," in Russian "serd-ce," Hindi "hridaya," Kurdish "cerg," Khowar "hardi," and in Latin cordis "of the heart." The original PIE [k] sound changed to [h] in many languages and to [s] in Slavic. Metathesis, the switching of the positions of [r] and the vowel seen in Hindi, occurs in several languages. The origin of all these words is obviously the same, some root *krd- in the original or "mother" language, Proto-Indo-European.
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  #22  
قديم 06-14-2006, 07:49 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Logistics (Noun)
Pronunciation: [lê-'jis-tiks]

Definition 1: The management of materiel and personnel for any operation, such as a military operation or a convention.
Usage 1: This noun belongs to a class of nouns that are longer than their adjectives ("linguistics : linguistic," "semantics : semantic," "logistics : logistic"). If this makes you uneasy, you may use the longer synonym, "logistical." Most dictionaries now agree that this noun may be considered plural. This suggests to me that we should be able to speak of one logistic—but we can't. That final –s is clearly a singular noun formant just like the one on "linguistics," "semantics," and "physics," and not a plural marker. However, the word refers to a plurality of actions, so plural number does make semantic sense.
Suggested usage: Today's word is about planning and organization at any level, "If the logistics of getting the soccer team to practice was as easy as getting them to the ice cream parlor after a game, there would be more volunteer coaches." The term originally referred to military organization, however, "The logistics of transporting, housing, feeding, and supplying our military forces in Iraq is itself a formidable task."
Etymology: Today's word comes to us via French "logistique" from Medieval Latin logisticus "of calculation," itself borrowed from Greek logistikos "skilled in calculating" from logistes "calculator," the noun of logizesthai "to calculate." The ultimate root here is logos "reckoning, reason, talk," found in the words for many sciences: "biology," "sociology," geology, i.e. "earth reasoning."
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  #23  
قديم 06-15-2006, 07:54 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Sedulous (Adjective)

Pronunciation: ['se-jê-lês] (US) or British ['se-dyu-lês]
Definition 1: Diligent, assiduous, zealous; applying oneself unflaggingly to a task.
Usage 1: This is a qualitative adjective, which means it can compare, "more sedulous, most sedulous", form an adverb, "sedulously," and a noun, "sedulity" [sê-'ju-lê-tee] or [sê-'dyu-lê-tee].
Suggested usage: Today's is another general purpose word, "If you do your homework sedulously this week, I'll take you to see the Red Sox play this weekend" is a good way for Bostonians to encourage good study habits. Use it outside the home, too: "If Ferenc were as sedulous in his work as he is in his golf, he would have dodged this last round of lay-offs."
Etymology: Latin sedulus "zealous" from se(d) "without" + dolus "trickery." The PIE root *swe(dh)- also underlies "self" and Russian svoi "one's own" and swain "country boy" from "one's own man, servant." The o-grade, "so-" in Latin is found in sobrius "not drunk" from so + ebrius "drunk" (whence in-ebri-ate "to endrunken," so to speak). The PIE root that gave "dolus" gave English "tell," which originally meant "count," and Dutch taal "speech."
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  #24  
قديم 06-16-2006, 07:23 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Practicable (Adjective)
Pronunciation: ['præk-ti-kê-bêl]

Definition 1: Capable of being put into action, feasible; usable, capable of being used in all senses of the word.
Usage 1: Today's word is frequently confused with practical "involving actual practice or experience" as in "practical knowledge" or "practical experience." A "practicable plan" or a "practicable river crossing" is a plan and crossing that can be used. The noun is "practicability" and the adverb, "practicably."
Suggested usage: Today's adjective refers to the extent something may be put to use: "The mountain pass was not practicable for the faint of heart." Here is a sentence with both adjectives at work in it: "Renee's plan to repair the leak in the roof with bubble gum is not practical because bubble gum is not a practicable roof-patch material under our weather conditions."
Etymology: Medieval Latin practicabilis "usable" from practicare "to practice," a verb based on the noun practica "practice." This noun was borrowed from Greek praktike "practical science," the feminine of praktikos "fit for action" from the verb prassein,
prak- "to make, do."
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  #25  
قديم 06-18-2006, 12:26 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Skirmish (Noun)

Pronunciation: ['skêr-mish]
Definition 1: A minor combative encounter between small outfits of two larger opposing forces; a small initial fight to test the reactions of larger forces. Any small combative encounter, such as a verbal skirmish between two political candidates.
Usage 1: If greenish means "somewhat green" and longish means "somewhat long," skirmish should mean "somewhat skirm"—but it doesn't. The ending of today's word is of obscure origins and has been changed by folk etymology to a recognizable if inconsistent suffix. The plural is "skirmishes" and today's noun may also be used as an intransitive verb. "Scaramouch(e)," Harlequin's malicious counterpart in the Commedia dell'arte, the wandering medieval players of Western Europe, owes his name to the same source. Scaramouch is always a boastful schemer who mounts facetious skirmishes against those around him.
Suggested usage: Today's contributor (see Etymology) takes delight in the gasoline skirmishes around his neighborhood, "The opening of two new gasoline stations in proximity to two established stations has resulted in lower costs, but prices still around $1.36 per gallon reflect more of a gas skirmish than a gas war." Larry dreams of an all-out war that will bring prices down to $.75 again. Dream on, Larry. Perhaps the most famous skirmish was between David and Goliath; a very short battle that hardly amounted to a fight.
Etymology: Middle English "skirmisshe" from Old French "eskarmouch," from Italian scaramuccia "skirmish." Older Romance languages originally borrowed this word from Germanic, then we borrowed it back. To cut straight to the point, the original root was *sker- "cut," the great-grandfather of English "shear," "share," and "shard." A shirt is also something sheared from a larger piece of clothing so as to make it "short," originally a past participle meaning "cut." English also borrowed the Old Norse variant of this word, "skirt," assigning it the meaning of the part cut off in making a shirt. "Scar" is another Old Norse cut left in English by the Viking invasions of England. Scrimmage "practice session or contest" is a variant derived by the metathesis of the [r] with the vowel preceding it and a reanalysis of the ending to make it look like a French suffix.
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  #26  
قديم 06-21-2006, 12:40 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Logorrhea (Noun)
Pronunciation: [lah-gê-'ree-ê or lo-gê-'ree-ê]

Definition 1: Excessively wordy, incoherent speech.
Usage 1: "Logorrheic," the adjective, has a clinical use in psychiatry: bi-polar patients sometimes have logorrheic episodes. Look out for the double "r."
Suggested usage: This is another of our words about words that allows you to raise the register of your speech. "When David saw his daughter's new nose ring, he went from stammering to logorrhea in 2.6 seconds." "I could make nothing of his logorrheic ramblings."
Etymology: Late 19th century, from Greek logo-s "word, idea" and rhe-in "to flow, run." "Logos" is akin to the "lex-" (leg-s-) in "lexical" as well as the "leg-" in "legal" and "legislation," going back to a time when the law was the Word. Rhe-in derives from PIE sreu-, with the "s" mysteriously disappearing. This root also developed into Germanic "strom" ("maelstrom') and English "stream.
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  #27  
قديم 06-22-2006, 11:13 AM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Querulous (Adjective)

Pronunciation: ['kwe-rê-lês]

Definition 1: Complaining, peevish, irritable, out of sorts.
Usage 1: Remember that this word has 3 [u]s in it, including one after the [r]. Although it looks very much like "quarrel," it does not mean "quarrelsome." From about 1550 to 1650 we had a word "quarrellous" which was synonymous with "quarrelsome," but neither meant "querulous." Today's word simply means "peevish" and refers to a proclivity to complain but not necessarily to argue or quarrel. "Querulously" is the adverb and "querulousness," the noun.
Suggested usage: Today's word offers relief from the tired cliché about getting up on the wrong side of the bed, "Stay away from Henrietta today; she is in a very querulous mood." Remember, this word refers to whiny, peevish types, given to complaining, not quarrelling: "Wiggins is such a querulous soul that he even whines about himself!"
Etymology: Today's word comes from Old French "querelos," a direct descendant from Latin querulus "querulous," the adjective from queri "to complain." The root originated as something like *k'wes- "wheeze, pant" in Proto-Indo-European. The advanced [k'] became [s] in the Eastern PIE languages, so the word turns up in Russian svist "whistle." In the Germanic languages [k] and [k'] became [h] so in English it became "wheeze" via Old Norse hvæsa "to hiss." (The consonants [wh] are pronounced in the reverse order of their spelling in English.)
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  #28  
قديم 06-24-2006, 08:20 AM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Ranivorous (Adjective)

Pronunciation: [ræ-‘ni-vê-rês ]

Definition 1: Frog-eating.
Usage 1: Western Europeans have inherited their ranivorousness from the French, who discovered the delicacy of the flavor of the legs of the bull frog. The adverb would be "ranivorously" and the noun "ranivorousness" rather than "ranivorosity." An animal that eats frogs would be a "ranivore."
Suggested usage: Many biologists are worried about the world-wide disappearance of frogs. Many believe that frogs may be an early warning of a failure of our ecosystem that will mean more mosquitoes and other insects, and fewer ranivorous animals like minks, otters, and snakes (whose skins protect us from the mosquitoes). Our theory? Sasquatch (Bigfoot) is ranivorous and is breeding.
Etymology: From Latin rana "frog" derived from the PIE root *rek- "bellow" also found in rancare "to bellow" and Russian rech' "speech."
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  #29  
قديم 06-25-2006, 09:06 PM
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Fungible (Adjective)

Pronunciation: ['fên-jê-bêl]
Definition 1: Interchangeable; in legal terms, something that can be substituted for a like measure or amount of the same thing, as one bushel of apples for another, in order to satisfy an obligation.
Usage 1: An object that is fungible can be called a "fungible," so the noun form is the same as the adjective. In chemical engineering, a fungible petroleum product is one that has similar characteristics to others, so they can be blended—an example of a useful word being taken from one discipline (law—see the etymology) and given a specific definition by another discipline.
Suggested usage: Today's word is most applicable when one is demanding restitution for a wrongdoing: "I don't consider an apology to be fungible for the damage you did to the birdbath and lawnmower—three months' worth of your allowance would be more like it!" "Fungible" can lend itself to debates about who finished what from the refrigerator, as well: "The vanilla and strawberry left unmolested in a carton of Neapolitan ice cream are not fungible for your eating every bit of the chocolate by yourself."
Etymology: Today's word carries the history of British legal code with it. In medieval England (c.1100 to c.1500), the language of law was Latin; indeed, throughout the Western world, Latin was the lingua franca because of the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church. "Fungible" derives from the legal, secular use of Latin during the Middle Ages. It comes from the Medieval (New) Latin "fungibilis," which comes from fungi "vice-, to perform (in place of)."
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  #30  
قديم 06-26-2006, 09:09 PM
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  #31  
قديم 06-28-2006, 08:41 PM
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Exergy (Noun)

Pronunciation: ['ek-sêr-jee]

Definition 1: Potential energy to do work; the useful capacity of an energy source to perform work.
Usage 1: Exergy is almost exclusively used in discussions of thermodynamics. The exergy of a tank of fuel is how much work it is capable of doing, e.g. heating a house to 72° in mid-winter. It we burn that fuel to heat a room, the amount of energy remains the same, but since it has been converted to heat and dispersed throughout the room, its ability to do useful work (exergy) has been radically reduced. The adjective is "exergetic."
Suggested usage: In its broadest meaning, today's new word refers to potential energy to do work as opposed to actual energy. So we could characterize someone as "exergetic" who has potential unused energy or if they waste energy. "Rose Marie has enough exergy to fill two positions like the one she currently occupies." On the other hand, "Raymond is so full of exergy that he starts ten projects at the time, then runs out of energy before he finishes any."
Etymology: A recent neologism by analogy with "energy," from Greek energeia, the noun from energos "active." Today's word would be based on ex- "from" + ergon "work," found in "ergonomics" and "surgery," from Latin "chirurgia" from Greek kheirourgia "hand-work" based on kheir "hand" + erg- "work" + ia, noun suffix. The o-grade, *org-, turns up in Greek organ "tool" and orgia "sacred rite," the origin of "orgy." The same root underlying erg-/org- became "work" in English and "werken" in Dutch.
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  #32  
قديم 06-29-2006, 08:40 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Sportive (Adjective)

Pronunciation: ['sport-iv]
Definition 1: Playful, frolicsome, perhaps a little wantonly; related to sport (a pleasant pastime), as a sportive afternoon at tennis and swimming.
Usage 1: Today's word, like restive "fidgety; stubborn," is not 'transparent,' i.e. you can't detect the meaning by adding up the meanings of the stem and the ending unless you use the original meaning of "sport." A baseball game is a sportive event only to the extent it is sport "recreation, diversion, pleasant pastime" as opposed to A sport. Remember: to make sport of someone is to make fun of them. Let's hold on to the original meaning of "sport" if for no other reason than to preserve the key to the meaning of "sportive." "Sportiveness" is the noun and "sportively," the adverb.
Suggested usage: Today's word is related to the verb associated with "sports," namely, play. The meaning is frolicsome, so look out for sportive eyes and smiles in the world around you: "Jolee's sportive laughter sends spirits soaring like homesick angels." But just as making sport of someone can be willful or wanton, so can sportiveness: "Isabel's thoughtlessly sportive remark about Gertrude's zaftig figure struck the only minor chord at the party."
Etymology: Middle English "sporte," aphetic form of "disporte" from Old French desport "pleasure, diversion" from desporter "to divert" based on dis- "away" + portere "to carry," hence that with which one might get carried away. The stem is from Latin portare "carry" whence English "porter." PIE [p] became [f] in Germanic languages, hence Norwegian fjord "ford" and its English counterpart. German fahren "travel by conveyance" and führen "to lead" (whence Führer "the leader) come from the same *por-. The Germanic root is found in English "welfare," "farewell," and "thoroughfare" from the days when "fare" meant to take a journey. Greek poros "journey, passage," whence our own word "pore," shares the same origin.
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  #33  
قديم 07-01-2006, 12:04 PM
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Paradigm (Noun)

Pronunciation: ['pæ-rê-dIm]

Definition 1: An example that serves as an archetype or model, or the model itself (see definition 2).
Definition 2: The guiding philosophy of a discipline from which theories, experiments, and teaching practices are derived.
Suggested usage: Any ideal may be called a paradigm, especially if it calls for action: "My mother has a paradigm for housework and that requires the active participation of the whole family."
Etymology: From Greek paradeigma "pattern, model" from paradeiknunai "to compare": para- "alongside" + deiknunai "to show, display, exhibit." The underlying root, *deik-/*deig- also evolved into English "teach" and "token" and turns up in Latin as digit "finger" (originally meaning "pointer") and dic- "speak, say" of English "dictate" and "DICtionary!"
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  #34  
قديم 07-02-2006, 07:27 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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Akimbo (Adjective)

Pronunciation: [ê-'kim-bo]

Definition 1: With hands on hips and elbows out.
Usage 1: This adjective is unusual in two respects: it follows its noun, rather than preceding it, and its use is almost entirely restricted to the _expression "with arms akimbo."
Suggested usage: The "arms akimbo" posture usually connotes truculence or defiance. Ken Strongman, TV reviewer for the Christchurch (New Zealand) Press, coined the _expression "with nipples akimbo" when discussing Marlon Brando's performance as Stanley Kowalski in the film version of "A Streetcar Named Desire." In males, sitting with knees wide apart can carry the same connotation, so there is an obvious use for the _expression "with legs akimbo." It is a short step from there to a wider range of contexts, e.g. "With eyes akimbo, Paula confronted her erring husband."
Etymology: 15th century: "in kenebowe" probably from Old Norse i keng boginn "bent in a curve."
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  #35  
قديم 07-03-2006, 08:55 PM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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Donnybrook (Noun)

Pronunciation: ['dahn-ee-bruk or 'dahn-i-bruk]
Definition 1: A free-for-all or melee; a brawl that is out of control; an uproarious argument.
Usage 1: This word has several synonyms—pandemonium, melee, riot—none as colorful as this word.
Suggested usage: Actually, we hope you never have occasion to use the term but, if you do, use it thus: "Why is it a donnybrook breaks out at every rock concert you two attend?" "She lost her her dignity and the sleeve of her coat in the donnybrook of the after-Christmas sale at the mall." (Another reason to buy on line.)
Etymology: The annual (1204-1867) Donnybrook Fair in Donnybrook, Ireland (SE suburb of Dublin), famous for its brawls. In 1822, a typical fair day's complaints were "for broken heads, black eyes, bloody noses, squeezed hats, singed, cut and torn inexpressibles, jocks and upper benjamins, loodies, frocks, tippets, reels and damaged leghorns, together with sundry assaults, fibbings, cross buttocks, and ground floorings too numerous to mention.
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  #36  
قديم 07-04-2006, 07:34 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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Prosaic (Adjective)
Pronunciation: [pro-'zey-ik]
Definition 1: (1) Pertaining to writing that is not poetry; (2) unadorned, plain, lacking in imagination.
Usage 1: Today's word is the adjective to "prose" which, because it is not poetic, has led to a sense of simplicity and plainness. Unfortunately, in the West plainness and simplicity are disdained, so the term has assumed a pejorative connotation. A plain, unexciting _expression is a "prosaism" and a person who writes prose is a prose-writer—"prosaist" is rarely used any more.
Suggested usage: Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle), in one of his essays on love, expressed the Western contempt for plainness, "There are fewer prosaic minds among the nobility than among the middle class. That is the disadvantage of trade; it makes one prosaic." But we all encounter prosaism all too frequently, "Sally Forth spread a remarkably prosaic luncheon of tuna fish salad on white bread and iced tea for her hapless captive diners."
Etymology: This word was taken from Late Latin prosaicus "prosaic," the adjective of prosa "prose." Latin "prosa" is a shortening of the phrase prosa oratio "straightforward discourse." The adjective "prosa" is the feminine of "prosus," a reduction of "proversus," the past participle of provertere "to turn forward" from pro "forward" + vertere "to turn." We can see the root of "vert-ere" in many Latin borrowings, such as "convert," "invert," "covert." In English the same root that gave Latin vert- became the adverb suffix –ward in "toward," "windward," "inward." Other English descendants of the same root include "worth," "wreath," "wrist," and "wrestle."
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  #37  
قديم 07-05-2006, 07:05 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Budweis (Noun)
Pronunciation: ['bud-vIs]
Definition 1: The German name of the Czech city of Ceske Budejovice.
Usage 1: The city of Cesky Budejovice is called "Budweis" in German so that Budweiser Beer means "beer from Budweis" in that language. The American brewery Anheuser-Busch began using the name in 1876. The problem is that the Czechs have been brewing beer—which they called the Beer of Kings—in their town since thirsty King Premysl II Otakar (son of good King Wenceslas I) founded the city in 1245. Unfortunately for the Czechs, they only began calling their beer Budweiser Budvar in 1895 and ever since that time the two breweries have been locked in a legal battle for rights to use the name.
Suggested usage: The new problem brewing for the US brewer now is that, according to the laws of the new European Union (EU), of which the Czech Republic became a member this past week, manufacturers may use the name of a location only if their plant is situated in that location. So far, however, after a century of legal squabbles, both sides are still brewing beer under the name "Budweiser."
Etymology: By the way, another Czech town, "Plzen," or "Pilsen" in German, has given its name to a type of beer widely called "Pils." The next beer battle in the EU? (Roberto Carosiello of Turin, Italy wondered if linguistics had anything to say about these disputes. Linguistically, all we have to do is keep these words capitalized and we are both grammatical and legal.)
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  #38  
قديم 07-06-2006, 07:51 AM
الصورة الرمزية soubiri
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Epizootic (Adjective)
referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600" />Pronunciation: [e-pê-zo-'ah-tik]

Definition 1: Temporarily and unusually prevalent among animals or animals of a certain species, especially a disease.

Usage 1: Today's word is another forgotten lexical soul, now regularly (mis)replaced by epidemic "temporarily and unusually prevalent among people." Just as the antonym of "epidemic" is endemic "regularly found among a people or people of a region," enzootic means "regularly found among a species of animal or animals of a specific region." Today's word is used as a noun, too, as "epidemic" serves both functions.

Suggested usage: When discussing animal diseases in future, we suggest the restoration of "epizootic" to its proper position: "The foot-and-mouth epizootic in Great Britain caused enormous economic losses." Although its reference is generally limited to diseases, it is no more lacking metaphorical applications than any other word: "The clang of the dog dish on Jack Russell’s back porch occasions an epizootic outbreak of tail-wagging throughout the neighborhood."

Etymology: From Greek epi- "(up)on" + zoon "animal" + -otic "related to a specific condition or disease" paralleling "epidemic" from epi + demos "people" + -ic. The Greek root zo- derives from the Proto-Indo-European gwoi-/gwei- "to live" which turns up in the English adjective "quick" which originally meant "alive." "Azoth," an old word for quick-silver, comes from Arabic "az-zauq," borrowed from Old Persian zhiwak "alive" from the same source. (Persian but not Arabic is a related Indo-European language.) The Persian stem is a close relative of Russian zhivoj "alive.

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  #39  
قديم 07-09-2006, 07:24 AM
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Badly (Adverb)
referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600">Pronunciation: ['bæd-li]

Definition 1: In a bad fashion or manner; to a great degree; very much.

Usage 1: Today's word has long been under assault when used as an overcorrective to what was never a problem in the first place. It's taking the place of its shorter sibling, the adjective "bad," in reference to physical and emotional feeling. The adjective "bad" describes the noun it modifies, the pronoun subject "I" in the sentence "I feel bad." That means that I might have a cold (physical use) or feel a bit blue (emotional). In the sentence "I feel badly," "badly," the adverb form, modifies the verb "to feel." Thus, it more likely connotes that I'm wearing gloves.

Suggested usage: With other verbs, the distinction is clearer. We can only say (correctly) "I need the book badly" or "I want the book badly" for here only the verb may be modified, not the subject. All this points up the fact that the adverbial suffix -ly is another endangered grammatical marker in English. In the southern US life goes "real slow," rather than "really slowly," showing an even deeper erosion. It may be time to think of linguistic ecology and English as an endangered language. A side note: the use of "bad" to mean "good" or "formidable" (as in "one bad dude") has been around since at least 1850. How is that for cool?

Etymology: Today's word wasn't always as ubiquitous as it is today. In fact, it appears mysteriously at the beginning of the fourteenth century as "badde." The best guess is that it comes from Old English bæddel "a hermaphrodite" and badling "an effeminate man." From those words—both negative in warlike Anglo-Saxon society—we got "badde" and then "bad," standing for something that's just not right.
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  #40  
قديم 07-11-2006, 07:43 AM
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افتراضي _MD_RE: كلمة اليوم Word of the Day

Migrate (Verb)referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600" />Pronunciation: ['mI-greyt]

Definition 1: To move from one location or locality to another.

Usage 1: The noun is "migration," the adjective, "migratory," and the agent noun, "migrant." The suffix -ant (or -ent) is used to mark the agent (person doing something) of intransitive Latinate verbs. "Migrate" is intransitive and derives from Latin (see Etymology), so migrants are called "migrants" rather than "migrators." "Resident," "descendent," and "dependent" are other examples. Reference of the more specific forms, immigrate ['im-ê-greyt'] "to migrate to a place" and emigrate ['em-ê-greyt] "migrate from a place," is usually limited to people making permanent changes of residence.

Suggested usage: The metaphoric side of this verb is only seldom mined for its exquisite expressivity: "The band's style has migrated over the years from a sort of smooth jazz to blatant New Wave." It is perfect lexical choice for any slow transition, "Mindy's primary interest has slowly migrated from shopping for clothes to repairing trucks."

Etymology: From Latin migrare "to migrate." From the PIE stem *mei-gw- "move" based on *mei/moi "to change or move." With the suffix -to the same root turns up in Latin mutare "to change" and mutuus "in exchange" on which "mutual" is based. English "mad" shares the same origin via Germanic ga-maid-yan "changed" underlying Old English *gemædan "made foolish or insane." For more on PIE, check our new FAQ sheet, linked to the front page.

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