Word of the Week

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esprit de l’escalier: wit of the staircase : repartee thought of only too late, on the way home

I learned this on Ash Wednesday during the prayer ceremony I attended. This French phrase is a pithy expression to capture that feeling of suddenly thinking of the perfect response after a conversation is finished and you’re probably back home ruminating on what transpired.

The priest used the phrase in terms of the story between Jesus and the rich, young man who followed all the commandments but turned away from Jesus because he didn’t want to give up all his belongings. In some ways that isn’t a perfect fit, but this phrase sure is useful.

This is the second, or bonus word of the week. I loved two discoveries and didn’t want to possibly forget this phrase. 

Word of the Week

Octothorpe, n., Another word for hashtag or pound sign.

I found this on Codeacademy.com where I’m doing some homework for my library class. I think it’s rather pompous of Code Academy to use it.

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.


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

[‘ 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.
 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.
 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

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.

Word of the Week

As we’ve gotten some very humid weather here in Illinois lately, muzzy seemed like a good choice.
muzzyadj. = ‘ Of a place, occasion, etc.: dull, gloomy, tedious. Also, of the weather: misty, foggy; muggy.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈmʌzi/,  U.S. /ˈməzi/
Forms:  17–18 mussy,   17– muzzy,   18– muzy Eng. regional (Northumberland).
Etymology:Origin uncertain. Compare mosy adj.

This word is the earliest attested of a group of words of similar form and meaning, all first attested in the 18th cent., including muzz v.muzz n., and muzzle v.2 In later use indistinctness and (especially mental) confusion are key elements of most of the senses of each word in this group. This group of words perhaps show shortening of forms of mosy adj. with a raised long vowel (compare forms in -oo--ou- s.v.).

 colloq. and Brit. regional.

1. a. Of a place, occasion, etc.: dull, gloomy, tedious. Also, of the weather: misty, foggy; muggy.

1728  M. Delany Autobiogr. & Corr.(1861) I. 159 The town is mussy, though very full. I have not been at an assemblée this winter.
1754  A. Murphy Gray’s Inn Jrnl. No. 80, Sunday the most muzzy Day in the year.
1770  S. Foote Lame Lover i. 12 A damn’d muzzy dinner at Boodle’s.
1821  S. T. Coleridge in Blackwood’s Edinb. Mag. 10 253 Here have I been sitting, this whole long-lagging, muzzy, mizly morning.
1890  P. H. Emerson Wild Life 97 Muzzy weather a coming—wind and rain from the sutherly.
1998 Independent 5 Jan. ii. 3/4 (captionLord Owen recalled how he had found it useful to carry a pin which he could drive into his thigh at particularly muzzy moments.
 b. Of persons, their actions, manner, etc.: dulled, drowsy, spiritless; confused, mentally hazy; dazed and unfocused. Cf. sense 2.

1729  M. Delany Autobiogr. & Corr.(1861) I. 195, I returned from the Duchess of Norfolk’s Assembly, (muzzy enough, not having met with agreeable conversation).
1730  J. Miller Humours Oxf. i. i. 8 Your Fellows of Colleges are a parcel of Sad, Muzzy, Humdrum, Lazy, Ignorant old Caterpillars.
1761  J. Hawkesworth Edgar & Emmeline 7 What, always muzzy, with a dismal countenance as long as a taylor’s bill!
1827  Scott Jrnl. 28 Feb. (1941) 28 Discontinuing smoking..leaves me less muzzy after dinner.
1883 Sat. Rev. 10 Nov. 586 A sentimental Celt may regard himself, in his muzzy Celtic way, as being an ill-treated rightful heir of any land which chances to belong to a ‘Saxon’.
1943  L. Woolf Let. 26 Aug. (1990) 480, I..have developed a violent cold in the head which perhaps accounts for why I felt so muzzy in the brain.
1984  B. Breytenbach Mouroir 134 The buses stop and they get out, dull and muzzy.
 c. Of something presented to the mind or senses: vague, hazy, indistinct; imprecisely defined.

1744  Ld. Orrery Let. 9 Feb. in Papers(1903) II. 184 This is a very muzzy Letter, a true representation of my present condition.
1771  T. Gainsborough Let. 21 Mar. (1961) 143 I’m sorry your Chalk Drawings got Rubb’d as they were muzzy enough at first.
1832  W. Irving in Life & Lett.(1866) III. 26 His form is still fine on the stage, but his countenance is muzzy and indistinct.
1849  Thackeray Pendennis(1850) I. xxxi. 302 We may expect that his view of the past will be rather muzzy.
1867 Art Jrnl. 29 123/3 The execution..is vague and muzzy to a fault.
1899 Contemp. Rev. June 830 A growing tendency to see everything blurred and muzzy.
1940  E. Pound Cantos LII–LXXI liv. 41 Fou-Y saying they use muzzy language The more to mislead folk.
1951  N. Monsarrat Cruel Sea iv. i. 290 It’s a very small echo… Sort of muzzy, too.
1977 Church Times 2 June 11/4 The ecclesiastical institution is weaker; its boundaries are muzzier.
1997  E. Hand Glimmering i. i. 6 He propped his elbows on the balcony beside his friend, blinking at the muzzy violet light.

 2. Affected by alcohol; dazed or fuddled from drinking.

a1795  T. Campbell Diary(1854) 19 We went to the Coffee house in the evening, where almost all the Gownsmen we saw were tipsy… The next night also, we went to another Coffee house, and there the scene was only shifted, all muzzy.
1795  J. O’Keeffe Irish Mimic i. ii. 21 With glass of wine we’ll cheer our woe, And wipe our muzzy faces.
1848  Thackeray Pendennis(1850) I. v. 45 His muzzy, whiskified brain.
1852  R. S. Surtees Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour x. lix. 333 Leather, though somewhat muzzy, was sufficiently sober to be able to deliver this message.
1892  J. Payn Mod. Dick Whittington II. 133 He was ‘muzzy’ in the morning; he was ‘elevated’ in the afternoon; but at six o’clock, punctually, he was drunk.
1910 Truth 16 Apr. 1 His Worship: ‘Was the accused sober?’ Witness: ‘Well, he looked muzzy.’ His Worship: ‘What do you mean by that?’ Witness: ‘He looked either drunk or a shingle short.’
1956  O. Welles Mr. Arkadin ii. iv. 128 The abandon of a woman..whose head was muzzy with the champagne.
1981  M. Keane Good Behaviour xxxiv. 228 He didn’t take in what I was saying, a bit muzzy probably after all that port and brandy.