Monday, December 29, 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Link Mania: Morbid Micturition

Nick Cave's handwritten dictionary
Drink too much coffee and you will experience "micturition", the "morbid desire to pass water". I speak from experience.


Merriam-Webster Names 'Culture' Word of the Year
Drum roll! Merriam-Webster's word of the year is... "culture"? Hmm. I think I'll go eat some yogurt and ponder this.


10 Unusual Nature Words We Should Use More Often
Including "petrichor" (TWITO, page 111): the pleasant smell of rain on dry ground. Someone should bottle it.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Much Ado about NOTHING: Krampus?

My most unusual Christmas present this year is a wooden goat mask/wall hanging given to me by someone we hired to do some renovations on our house. It has horns and a protruding tongue, and gives off a vaguely Satanic vibe. (An anagram of "Santa" is "Satan", by the way.) Maybe the gifter celebrates Krampus Night instead of Christmas -- Krampus being a half-goat, half-demon anti-Santa Clause of ancient Germanic-origin. It's the thought that counts, but I'm not sure of the gift-giver's thinking here.

Merry Krampus!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Word of the Day: Bruxing

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

bruxing [BRUKS-ing] (verb) [TWITO, page 24]

Nervous grinding and clenching of the teeth

"Desmond's incessant nocturnal bruxing drove his college roommate mad."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Random Sequence: troth

"Before her coming, Maggie was sad, but tranquil, and as she believed herself, free -- Marie left her exalted, miserable, and bound by a solemn promise to hold fast her troth, in defiance of parents, friends, evil reports, the world!"
--"Nobody to Blame" by Marion Harland, Godey's Lady's 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.)

troth = pledged faithfulness or word, fidelity

"betrothed" is related I believe. And if you "keep your word" about something, you have decided to "plight your troth". ("Plight" means to promise there, not that you're putting your fidelity in a pickle.)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Word of the Day: oneiric

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

oneiric [oh-NYE-ric] (adjective) [TWITO, page 102]

Related to or suggestive of dreams

"A fairly common type observed was a state of mental confusion associated with what has been termed oneiric delirium, symptoms of which were associated with a history of concussion and exhaustive experiences."
--John H.W. Rhein, M.D.,"Psychopathic Reactions to Combat Experiences in the American Army," The American Journal of Insanity (1920)

The oneiric John Lennon song "#9 Dream" is often rattling around inside my head.

(photo by me)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Link Mania: Reheated cabbage? When pigs fly

23 Untranslatable Foreign Words That Describe Love Better Than You Ever Thought
All you need is love... or "reheated cabbage"?


Word Buzz: demon, digital nudist, emotional support pig
When pigs fly: Your "emotional support pig" may need emotional support.


21 Phrases You Use Without Realizing You’re Quoting Shakespeare
Most surprising: "Knock, knock! Who's there..."


The Longest English Words to Ever Appear in Literature
Includes "honorificabilitudinitatibus" (TWITO, page 68). Say that 10 times fast.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Word of the Day: illapse

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

illapse (noun or verb) [TWITO, page 71]

To fall or glide into, the act of falling or gliding into something

"What moves thee, if the senses stir not? Light/Moves thee from Heaven, spontaneous, self-inform'd;/Or, likelier, gliding down with swift illapse/By will divine."
--Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

Hmm, gliding into something.... I recall driving a Volkswagen on a gusty winter night in upstate New York and gliding off the road into a snowbank. Car, passenger and driver were unharmed in this illapse.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Photo of the Week (by me)


Happy December! Time to trim the tree. Click the pic for a close-up view. Because you are not a Scrooge.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Brain Dump

I've decided to name my coffee table "tsundoku", the Japanese word for a pile of unread books.

I don't think I would have enjoyed pardoning a turkey when I was a teen. Or even now.

I found myself saying "I have a bad feeling about this" today about a certain situation. Yes, I've seen the new Star Wars trailer.

The most famous living philosopher in contemporary America is apparently Shia LeBeouf.

If you say someone is "low man on the totem pole", is that offensive to Native Americans?

Book title of the day: "Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found". Exactly what it sounds like. (I do not make these up.)

Saw "Interstellar". Wormholes, black holes, plot holes. Sci-fi space is like Swiss cheese.

"It's time to eat grandma." Commas deserve more respect.

Brit slang: "Bob's your uncle!" Meaning, "it's simple". I could use an Uncle Bob.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Random Sequence: such frippery

"Hum -- that means they call themselves 'aristocratic,' the younger folks -- for the old gentleman's always been too busy to care about your frippery called 'social distinctions!'"
--Mary W. Janvrin, "Only a Mechanic", in Godey's Lady Book and Magazine, July 1864

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

frippery (noun) = showy or unnecessary ornamentation, including in language; overly affected elegance

There's a store in my neighborhood that specializes in frippery:
fancy funishings