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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.
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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

How I love onomatopoeia!

tohubohu: \TOH-hoo-BOH-hoo\
noun
1. chaos; disorder; confusion.

Quote:

Learn this: joy is not merely joyful; it is great. So be lovers gaily then, the devil! and marry, when you do marry, with the fever and the dizziness and the uproar and the tohubohu of happiness.
— Victor Hugo, translated by Charles E. Wilbour, Les Misérables, 1862

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

Quantum Entanglement: noun

“the way elementary particles become intertwined when they interact”

I heard Neil Tyson DeGrasse explain this concept tonight while watching CNBC. At the quantum level we can’t see or perceive what’s going on but basically everything’s connected or could be. Spiritually, I’ve known that for a long time.

References

Woldchover, N.(2014.)  Wired. “New Quantum Theory Could Explain the Flow of Time.” Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/2014/04/quantum-theory-flow-time/ on October 23, 2015.

Word of the Week

From the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Day:

étourdi, n.
[‘ A thoughtless, irresponsible, or foolish person (esp. a man); a scatterbrain. Cf. étourdie n.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /eɪtʊəˈdiː/, /eɪtɔːˈdiː/, U.S. /ˌeɪtɔrˈdi/
Forms: 17 etourdie rare, 17–18 etourdi, 18– étourdi.
Etymology: < French étourdi (1614 or earlier), use as noun of étourdi étourdi adj.
Compare étourdie n. and slightly earlier étourdi adj., étourderie n.
A thoughtless, irresponsible, or foolish person (esp. a man); a scatterbrain. Cf. étourdie n.[a1689 J. Reresby Mem. & Trav.(1904) 135 The Low Dutch call the High, muffes, that is, etourdi, as the French have it, or blockhead.]
1768 T. Mortimer National Debt No National Grievance 147, I am not the first etourdi to whom you have given a full hearing.
1794 H. W. Paget Let. Sept. in G. C. Paget One-Leg(1961) iii. 45, I must begin this letter by owning that I am the greatest Etourdi that ever lived yet that I am always lucky enough to get well out of every Scrape.
1802 M. Charlton Wife & Mistress III. v. 130 Mr Nevarc sent an intimation that I should not expect him, the etourdihaving encountered a friend.
1847 Thackeray Vanity Fair(1848) vi. 45 ‘I beg a thousand pardons..,’ said the young étourdi, blushing.

1993 D. Wood Benjamin Constant 62 A lost scholarly Eden where he had first formed the idea of being more than an étourdi, an aimless young scatterbrain.

Works Cited

“étourdi, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 7 October 2015.

Word of the Week

sciolistn.
[‘ A person whose knowledge is only superficial, esp. one who makes much of it; a pretender to learning.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈsʌɪəlɪst/,  U.S. /ˈsaɪələst/
Etymology: <  post-classical Latin sciolus (see sciolous adj.) + -ist suffix. Compare sciolus n.
 depreciative.
 A person whose knowledge is only superficial, esp. one who makes much of it; a pretender to learning.

1612  A. Hopton Concordancy of Yeares sig. A8v_ (note) , All whose workes fairly written..were, by religious pretending Sciolists, damn’d as diuelish.
1656  T. Blount Glossographia To Rdr. sig. A4, Every..homebred Sciolist being at liberty..to coyn and innovate new Words.
1705  W. Lewis tr. E. Herbert Antient Relig. Gentiles x. 131 But the inquisitive Sciolist..will endeavour to find out second Causes for those things which proceed directly and solely from the most wise Counsel of God.
1778  V. Knox Ess. I. xvi. 107 Contemptible sciolists, who called themselves theatrical critics.
1817  S. T. Coleridge Biographia Literaria I. iii. 58 In proportion as a still greater diffusion of literature shall produce an increase of sciolists.
1880  A. C. Swinburne Study of Shakespeare 18 The last resource of an empiric, the last refuge of a sciolist.
1939 Sewanee Rev. 47 112 Non-Shakespearean sciolists put the burden of proof that William Shakespeare wrote the plays on the shoulders of acknowledged Shakespeareans.
1973 Financial Times 5 June 20/5 Any identification of the Smithian system with this point of view is a sure sign of the sciolist or the charlatan.
1991  I. Sinclair Downriver(1995) iv. 93 A sciolist, call him Sonny Jaques, with a gold stud earring, and a doctorate in Romance Languages.
Derivatives
 scioˈlistic adj. that is a sciolist; characteristic of a sciolist.

1830  S. Wells Hist. Drainage Great Level of Fens I. viii. 147 Those navigation laws, which more degenerate legislators and sciolistic quacks have in modern times dared to abrogate.
1870  J. R. Lowell Among my Bks. 2nd Ser. 298 Sciolistic theorizing and dogmatism.
2004  W. F. Buckley Miles Gone By ii. 107 Another reason for giving up Firing Line is the progressive exasperation one feels over sciolistic preparation and exegesis.

Word of the Week

pluranimity, n.
[‘ Diversity of opinions; (also) an instance of this.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌplʊərəˈnɪmᵻti/, /ˌplɔːrəˈnɪmᵻti/,  U.S. /ˌplʊrəˈnɪmᵻdi/
Etymology: <  classical Latin plūr-, plūs more (see plus prep., n., adv., and adj.) + -animity (in unanimity n.). Compare pluranimous adj.
 rare.
  Diversity of opinions; (also) an instance of this.

1647  N. Ward Serm. before House of Commons 13 The Lord mingles a perverse spirit amongst them, there is nothing but contradiction and prevarication, objections interjections, puzlings and counterpuzlings, pluranimities and pluranimosities amongst them.
1907  W. De Morgan Alice-for-Short ix. 95 Whatever innate ideas on the subject of oil-painting he possessed, had been disorganised and carefully thrown out of gear by the want of unanimity, or presence of pluranimity, in his instructors.

Word of the Week

Here’s a word I’ve never heard before. I wonder if I can get this to be widely used.

ogdoad \OG-doh-ad\ noun
1. the number eight.
2. a group of eight.

Quotes
The monad, [that is,] the one tittle, is therefore, he says, also a decade. For by the actual power of this one tittle, are produced duad, and triad, and tetrad, and pentad, and hexad, and heptad, and ogdoad, and ennead, up to ten. For these numbers, he says, are capable of many divisions, and they reside in that simple and uncompounded single tittle of the iota.
— Hippolytus (170–235), The Refutation of All Heresies, translated by J. H. MacMahon, 1851

Origin
Ogdoad came to English from the Late Latin in the early 1600s and ultimately derives from the Greek ógdoos meaning “eighth.”

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