Thursday, August 21, 2014

Random Sequence: A Piscatory Story

"Georgie was really pale when Norris, with the help of his clasp-knife, had freed the creature from the coil of twine, and rolling him up, unceremoniously thrust him into the covered basket provided for their booty. It was plain that she was too timid or too sensitive to cultivate the piscatory art with any hope of success."
--from "Taking Boarders for Company" by Marion Harland, in Godey's Lady Book and Magazine, October 1864

(I found a bound copy of several issues of Godey's in my basement and have been flipping through the dusty pages.)

piscatory = of or relating to fish or fishing
.
I use this old book to fish for unusual words, and that's not a bad catch.

fish face

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Link Mania: What a Bangarang!

Big, Beautiful Words You Need To Start Using Immediately
But I already do...

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11 Common Words That Will Boost Your Scrabble Score
And the one with the highest score? "Maximize"!

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Words in the news: bangarang
"Bangarang" is a great word, but so is "hooroosh" (TWITO, page 68), which has the same meaning: an uproar, a great fuss.

"What a hooroosh is aloft there! I would e'en take it for sublime, did I not know that the colic is a noisy malady."
--Herman Melville, Moby Dick (1851)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Word of the Day: kipple

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's...

kipple [KIP-uhl] noun

Useless trash, junk, or rubbish, coined by science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick in his book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

"'I have to clean up this room,' said Hiram. 'Irrelevant kipple seems to multiply around me like rabbits in heat.'"
--TWITO, page 80!

television

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Random Sequence: Propitious Weasels

"At nine o'clock, therefore, on the evening of my return, I set out in search of my weasels. The weather was magnificent and the moon at the full. No night could have been more propitious, nevertheless my vigils were vain, for no sign of a weasel appeared, and after waiting till midnight I returned home."
--From "A Ghost Story", translated from the French by Mrs. Annie T. Wood, in Godey's Lady Book and Magazine, April 1864

(I found a bound copy of several issues of Godey's in my basement and have been flipping through the dusty pages.)

"propitious" (pro-PEH-shus) = having a good chance of success; favorable

I does seem odd to think of a nocturnal weasel sighting as propitious.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Link Mania: Not-So-Naughty Words


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Quote of the Day: Julian Barnes

"Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren’t. I'm not surprised some people prefer books."
--Julian Barnes

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Word of the Day: nephelococcygia

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's...

nephelococcygia [NEF-el-o-kok-SIJ-ee-uh] noun

Cloud gazing; the act of looking for and finding shapes in clouds; also, when capitalized,the name of "Cloud Cuckoo-Land" in Aristophane's The Birds

"Terrence spent Saturday prostrate in the yard and in nephelococcygia, finding inspiration in the thunderheads."

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TWITO, page 95!

clouds4

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Random Sequence: Don't Be 'Discomboborated'

"Good-morrow friend, how do you feel to-day."
"Pretty well; how are you?"
"Oh, sir, the intense frigidity of the circumambient atmosphere, combining with the porosity of the earth, and joined with the humidity of the climate has discomboborated my respiration and affected my theoreticks."
--from The Casket, Volume 1, 1826

circumambient = surrounding
discomboborated = confused, upset or frustrated
theoreticks(theoretics) = theories, ideas

Lately, my theoreticks are discomboborated by circumambient construction noises. Is that a power winch or a dying whale I hear?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Link Mania: The Top 10 Invented Words



Brought to you by my book's Facebook page. And now back to our regularly scheduled program of breathing.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The T&T List: Zen Books that Never Were

Zen and the Art of Dishwashing
Zen and the Art of Coffee Drinking
Zen and the Art of Shoe Tying
Zen and the Art of Telephone Dialing
Zen and the Art of Stair Climbing
Zen and the Art of Tooth Brushing
Zen and the Art of Showering
Zen and the Art of Peeing
Zen and the Art of Shirt Buttoning
Zen and the Art of Floor Sweeping
Zen and the Art of Dusting
Zen and the Art of Vacuuming
Zen and the Art of Weeding
Zen and the Art of Lawn Mowing
Zen and the Art of Stamp Licking
Zen and the Art of Hair Combing
Zen and the Art of Recycling
Zen and the Art of Window Washing
Zen and the Art of Parallel Parking
Zen and the Art of Bill Paying
Zen and the Art of Pot Stirring
Zen and the Art of Nail Hammering
Zen and the Art of Email Checking
Zen and the Art of Door Locking
Zen and the Art of Pillow Fluffing
Zen and the Art of Cork Screwing
Zen and the Art of Can Opening
Zen and the Art of Water Boiling

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"After enlightenment, the laundry." --Zen Proverb