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PENCHANT

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PENCHANT

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:50 pm

• penchant •

Pronunciation: pen-chênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: 1. A predilection, inclination, or tendency. 2. A liking or desire for.

Notes: Penchant is out there all by itself; there are no related words, not even a plural, since it is a mass noun. The only trick is to remember that it ends on -ant, since many words similarly picked off from French spell the same ending -ent.

In Play: Today's Good Word started out meaning only a tendency or inclination: "Rachel's penchant for fact-free commentary on political issues only increases her potential as a future political candidate." More recently, however, it has been leaning more toward the sense of a liking: "Barnaby's penchant for fast cars costs him more in speeding tickets than gas—even at today's prices!"

Word History: This Good Word is the present participle of French pencher "to incline" from Vulgar Latin *pendicare, a variant of Classical Latin pendere "to hang". This root is also visible in other English words borrowed from Latin or French, such as depend, suspend, pendulum, and appendix—all things which hang in some sense. The original PIE root, *(s)pen- "to draw out, stretch" had a Fickle S, that is to say, an initial S that appears in some Indo-European languages but not in others. Latin didn't keep it but English did in words like spin and the name of one of the best spinners around, spider.
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Postby gailr » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:54 pm

Firstly, there is no such person as Death. Second, Death's this tall guy with a bone face, like a skeletal monk, with a scythe and an hourglass and a big white horse and a penchant for playing chess with Scandinavians. Third, he doesn't exist either.
-Neil Gaiman

-gailr
who has a penchant for Neil Gaiman novels.
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Postby Stargzer » Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:26 am

gailr wrote:
Firstly, there is no such person as Death. Second, Death's this tall guy with a bone face, like a skeletal monk, with a scythe and an hourglass and a big white horse and a penchant for playing chess with Scandinavians. Third, he doesn't exist either.
-Neil Gaiman

-gailr
who has a penchant for Neil Gaiman novels.


Ah, yes; The Seventh Seal!
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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