Word of the Week

simulacrum: noun, plural sim·u·la·cra [sim-yuhley-kruh] /ˌsɪm yəˈleɪ krə/.

  1. a slight, unreal, or superficial likeness or semblance.
  2. an effigy, image, or representation:a simulacrum of Aphrodite.


  • Morality demands “the good,” and not a simulacrum or make-shift.
    Henry Jones
  • Indeed, I was not so much impressed by the reality as I had been by the simulacrum in my dream of sunrise in the moon. John Munroe

I ran across while reading Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer. I’m not sure the main character is that erudite that he’d actually know and use this highfalutin’ word.


“simulacrum.” (n.d.) Dictionary.com, Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/simulacrum on March 28, 2019.

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

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

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.
  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.