Monday, April 27, 2015

Word of the Day: philocomal

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

philocomal [FI-lo-cohm-al] (adjective) [TWITO, page 112]

Characterized by excessive concern with one's hair.

"There were ladies present too; and after some pleasant little discourse, all tending to the glorification of hair-dressing, an eminent professor of the philocomal art there present proceeded to a series of practical and illustrative experiments on the heads of some of the young ladies...."
--George Augustus Sala, Twice 'Round the Clock (1858)

One summer I got my hair cut -- and cut and cut. My (ahem) stylist decided that, since "it's summer now," I needed a short cut. I agreed, thinking he meant "a little shorter than usual." Instead, I got shorn like a sheep. I almost looked like I was ready for boot camp. I became obsessed with philocomal mirror gazing and even went out and bought a fedora. But the haircut grew on me -- literally and figuratively. It looked pretty terrific within a couple of weeks -- or three.
(photo by me)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Photo of the Week (by me)

mod cup figure
This fellow stands guard at the local coffee shop. I think he looks a bit over-caffeinated. Click the photo for a closer view and see what you think. You have nothing better to do (or you wouldn't be here).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Link Mania: Let's 'bang-a-bonk'!

Shakespeare Vocabulary, Part 1
It's Shakespeare's birthday (and also his death day)! Can you say "moiety"? I'm so glad my name isn't Jake Froward.


17 weird ways to say weird
Including my fave, "ostrobogulous" (TWITO, page 105). Zonky, flaky, zany, wacky -- the letter Y apparently signals weird.


50 Old British Dialect Words to Incorporate into Conversation
"Why call it beer when you can call it 'cuddle-me-buff'?" Indeed. (Go ahead. Ask someone if they would like to "bang-a-bonk". I dare you.)


24+ Brilliant New Words We Should Add to a Dictionary
I don't normally post slang words and neologisms, but these were too good to pass up. And I hate to admit it, but I sometimes do have a chairdrobe and even a floordrobe.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Random Sequence: matutinal

"Then came upon the scene of matutinal industry the invaluable Burley, to assume his share of house-wifely cares."
--Marion Harland, "Taking Boarders for Company", in Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, November 1864

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

matutinal (adjective) = of or relating to the morning

I usually go for a long walk in the morning, on my way to the train. You might call in my matutinal constitutional.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Brain Dump

The timeliness of all material existence transcends the functioning of the body, brain, and indeed, the mind of the knower, defined and experienced as an infinitely imploded but free-flowing point of cognition. Each mental object is perceived as an ideal system for closed-truths that must remain faithful to preconceived definitions if they are to be comprehended at all. On the other hand, any ideal system of possible psychical processes that are defined as truths will remain subject to potential cognitive epiphanies that may reconfigure the mental image, defined as the revelation of perception qua perception. Consequently, the unstable subject will "believe" himself to be engaged in "clear thinking", cogitating (and indeed, conjugating) all the essential moments of the absolutely immanent. How do you like them apples?

corruption (negative)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fish Food for Thought

philosofish 28 small

More clip-art philosophy by me (and Albert Einstein). Click here for the BIG fish.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Word of the Day: gobemouche

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

gobemouche [GO-buh-moosh] (noun) [TWITO, page 61]

This word refers to someone who swallows flies. It can also refer to someone whose mouth is always open -- a silly, gullible person or a boor. It's also the name for a type of bird.

"You dunno nuffin. You nuffin but one big fool ob a Gobemouche. I spec you nebber heerd dat we win de battle ob Bunker Hill -- eh?"
--Albert Taylor Bledsoe, "The Gobemouchian Ideal of Government", in The Southern Review (1868)

A bug flew into my mouth once when I was a kid. I managed to spit it out, but the odd feeling stayed with me for a long time. "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly...."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Link Mania: It's the 'squircle' of life

Top Ten Impressive Words with Mundane Meanings
Including "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokon". But my favorite here is "circumloquacious", which refers to using a lot of big words to avoid answering a question. Useful if you're in politics.


Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes makes sense of his big vocabulary
Basketball player uses big words, including "catawampus" (TWITO, page 29). Sportswriters are forced to use dictionaries. One word I didn't know: "succedaneum".


12 Shapes You Didn't Know Had Names
Including "squircles". They're everywhere. It's the squircle of life.


12 Old Words that Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms
Do you ever "wend" without a way? Includes "shrift" (TWITO, page 135).

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Photo of the Week (by me)


You may wish to meditate on this mandala. Click it for a closer view.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Random Sequence: encomiums of salubrity

"They heard an enthusiastic description of the beauty, salubrity, facilities for hunting, fishing, and other out-door sports of Roaring River, mingled with allusions to the refined hospitality they were to enjoy, and the high standing of their fellow beneficiaries of the present season; an account tallying so exactly in all particulars with Miss Jemima's written encomiums, that an unpleasant suspicion stole upon the minds of the auditors that he was a partner in the concern, and had had his instructions to puff it upon all convenient occasions."
--Marion Harland, "Taking Borders for Company", in Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, August 1864

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

salubrity (noun) = the state of being healthful

encomiums (noun) = expressions of high praise

All encomiums are due to those whose sobriety leads to salubrity. Try saying that at your next AA meeting?

The weird thing about this bound copy of Godey's (an American magazine) is that the issues are all from the 1860s, and there is not a single unambiguous mention anywhere of the American Civil War.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Word of the Day: scobberlotcher

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

scobberlotcher [SKOB-er-LOT-cher] (noun) [TWITO, page 132]

An idle person

"We cannot tell which class was affected by your Mr. Beeston, but it is pretty clear that Aubrey himself was a Scobberlotcher."
--Charles Isaac Elton, William Shakespeare, His Family and Friends (1904)

I'm not a scobberlotcher, but I like the idea of having a few idle, serendipitous days. Something might happen. I might see something out of the ordinary. I might meet someone or go somewhere. I might stay up all night and sleep all day. I might have an adventure, or just hibernate. I might even stumble across something to write about. Weeeee!

(photo by me)

Monday, April 06, 2015

Link Mania: Smell the 'petrichor'

Fiercety, Seriosity, Debonairity: 14 Abstract Nouns We Need to Bring Back
I like a "fewty" of these, especially "rigorosity". It sounds more rigorous than "rigorousness". Use these to inject some "outrageousty" into your conversation.


12 wonderful words from TED
Are you an introvert, an extrovert, or an "ambivert"? TED (not just my brother's name) stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design -- and yaking about them.


32 Totally Not Weird Non-Sexual Fetishes You Might Have
Including "logophile" -- which is what you are and why you fetishize my blog and Facebook page, right? (Leave it to Buzzfeed to find a way to include a picture of Beyoncé here.)


32 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The English Language
Not all of these are unusual, but there are some I didn't know. A few are in TWITO, including "bombinate" (page 23), "cromulent" (page 36), and "petrichor" (page 111). "Petrichor" shows up on so many of these lists. I wouldn't call it beautiful, but it's definitely, uh, redolent.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Photo of the Week (by me)

Oh right. Spring. Good Friday, Easter, and so on. Click the pic for a closer view. You know you want to.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Random Sequence: connubial

"That is true," cried Ben, rushing to the rescue just in time to save poor Simmons from an expressive connubial 'Ahem' -- "very true. I want no better proof of that than the modern game called SCANDAL. Do you play it?"
--Kormah Lynn, "A Few Friends", in Godey's Lady's 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.)

connubial (adjective) = of or relating to marriage or a married couple's relationship

I've seen this word before, used only in the phrase "connubial bliss", but was never sure what it meant. I suppose there is also such a thing as "connubial misery" too.