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Word of the Week

waywiser, n. [‘ An instrument for measuring and indicating distance travelled, esp. by road; spec. a pedometer or odometer. Now hist.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈweɪˌwʌɪzə/, U.S. /ˈweɪˌwɑɪzər/
Forms: 16– waywiser, 17–18 waywizer.

Origin:Formed within English, by derivation. Etymons: way n.1, wise v.1, -er suffix1.
Etymology: < way n.1 + wise v.1 + -er suffix1, although the semantic motivation in sense 1 is unclear.

In sense 2 probably after German Wegweiser (Middle High German wegewīser); compare Dutch wegwijzer (Middle Dutch wechwiser), and also Swedish vägvisare (18th cent. or earlier), Danish vejviser (Old Danish weye wiisser), all denoting a person or object that shows the way (literally or figuratively); compare earlier way-post n. at way n.1 and int.1 Compounds 3.

1. An instrument for measuring and indicating distance travelled, esp. by road; spec. a pedometer or odometer. Now hist.
In quot. 1801: fig.

1651 R. Child Large Let. in S. Hartlib Legacie 80, I say 20. Ingenuities have been found even in our dayes, as Watches, Clocks, Way-wisers, [etc.].

1801 Monthly Mag. 12 98 It is with the spying-glass of conjecture, not with the way-wiser of record, that the bearing of their sources must be made out.

1802 Port Folio (Philadelphia) 17 July 223/2 The improved pedometer, or waywiser, which when worn in the pocket, ascertains the distance the wearer walks.

1969 G. E. Evans Farm & Village xiv. 148 This device works on the same principle as the measuring wheel used by the old road surveyors—a trundle wheel or way-wiser.

2011 B. Johnson Johnson’s Life of London 97 He [sc. Robert Hooke] was to be a familiar figure, striding around the ruins with his ‘waywiser’, his own invention for measuring distances.

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Word of the Week

PCAN-Dongle_both

Dongles can have different endings, not just what you see here.

Dongle: n.

  1. a small device able to be connected to and used with a computer, especially to allow access to wireless broadband or use of protected software.

Words of the Week

I just finished reading Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and have run across several words that aren’t used that much, but have a ring to them. Here are a few:

Vouchsafe: v. to give (something) to someone as a promise or a privilege

Huswife: n. hussy
   I guess now with so many working women, some of which would be hussies, this isn’t needed.

Yare: adj. swift

Forspoke: v. spoke against.

Shakespeare was a genius so he’d have a large vocabulary, but it seems that his audience would have known most of the words he used. Have our vocabularies shrunk? Yes, we use words like computer and telephone, but did they push out words the Bard and his contemporaries knew?

 

Word of the Week

I got an email with a slew of these sentences from my father. I like the sound of this word and the sentences themselves amuse.

Paraprosdokian, n.

The term for a figure of speech in which a sentence or phrase has an unexpected or surprising ending. Often used for humourous effect, and thus heavily used by comedians.

Examples:

  • “Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.”
  • “If I am reading this graph correctly – I would be very surprised.” — Stephen Colbert
  • “If you are going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill
  • >li>”I sleep 8 hours a day. And at least 10 at night.” — Bill Hicks

Reference
“paraprosdokian.” (n.d.) Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Senpai

Word of the Week

Cui Bono: 

  1. 1:  a principle that probable responsibility for an act or event lies with one having something to gain

  2. 2:  usefulness or utility as a principle in estimating the value of an act or policy

I saw this word in a Brookings Institute article on the Panama Papers, a news story that’s grabbed my attention.

Works Cited

“Cui Bono.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 8 Apr. 2016.

Gaddy, Clifford G.“Are the Russians Actually Behind the Panama Papers?” Brookings Institute. Web. 8 Apr. 2016.

Word of the Week

I learned this one a week ago from a friend.

Virtue signaling (n. v.) is when someone hints at their own goodness often by showing someone else’s badness.

For example, my friend read an article by a professor in the liberal arts who was suggesting that her colleague’s must be racist because they have bemoaned the influx of international students with poor English and study skills. The writer stated that she had taught ESL and thought international students were wonderful. By assuming that the other professors were racist she made herself look good.

I’ll use this phrase as it’s something we can all fall prey to. It’s easy to make snap judgements about other’s while giving oneself the benefit of the doubt.

Word of the Week

multiloquence, n. Excessive talkativeness or loquaciousness; prolixity.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌmʌlˈtɪləkw(ə)ns/,  U.S. /məlˈtɪləkw(ə)ns/
Etymology: <  post-classical Latin multiloquentia (Vetus Latina; translating ancient Greek πολυλογία polylogy n.) <  multi- multi- comb. form + -loquentia -loquence comb. form. Compare earlier multiloquent adj. and multiloquiousness n., multiloquy n.
 Now rare.
1760  ‘J. Copywell’ Shrubs Parnassus 147 Where Clamour wages war with Sense, And Oratory centres in Multiloquence.
1846  J. E. Worcester Universal Dict. Eng. Lang.Multiloquence, quality of being multiloquent; loquacity, talkativeness. [Citing J. Q. Adams.]
1893 Temple Bar 97 625 He would invariably flounder astray in his own multiloquence.
1923 Science 6 Apr. 418/1 Perhaps their silence on this matter, as contrasted with their relative multiloquence on the pedigree culture data, is indicative of a capacity to judge the comparative importance of the facts.
1952 Daily Tel. 23 Jan. 4/6 Multiloquence characterised by a consummate interfusion of circumlocution.

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