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PAROXYSM

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PAROXYSM

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:19 pm

• paroxysm •

Pronunciation: pær-êk-si-zêm • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. (Medicine) A sudden attack of a disease or symptom, as a paroxysm of coughing. 2. Any sudden and violent emotion or action, an outburst, a spasm, or fit.

Notes: The plural of today's word is paroxysms, probably the form most often used: to be in paroxysms of laughter or pain. There is an adjective, paroxysmal and an adverb, paroxysmally, though some prefer paroxysmic and paroxysmically.

In Play: Everyone has seen paroxysms of laughter, coughing, and the like. But paroxysms pop up in wondrous places: "The discovery of the missing funds was followed by paroxysms of finger-pointing in and around the finance office." Now, that is a useful use of this Good Word. Here is another: "The company is staggering under a large debt load brought on by a paroxysm of buying undertaken by the new president."

Word History: In Middle English today's word was paroxism "an attack of illness". It came from Medieval Latin paroxysmus, a word borrowed by the Romans from Greek paroxusmos "irritation; paroxysm". This word is the noun from the verb paroxunein "to stimulate, irritate", based on para- "thoroughly" + oxunein "to sharpen, goad, irritate", from oxus "sharp". The root of oxus is the same as that in English edge, which came from Old English ecg "sharp". In Latin, the same root emerged in acer "sharp", which underlies our word acrid. Oh, yes, acme is based on this root, too, from a related Greek word, akme "point". (Today we thank Katy Brezger, who is very sharp with Good Words like this one and is at the acme of her activity in the Alpha Agora.)
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Postby KatyBr » Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:05 pm

What can I say, it's just downhill from here on....

Kt
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:20 am

Today we thank Katy Brezger, who is very sharp with Good Words like this one and is at the acme of her activity in the Alpha Agora.)

For a while I was under the impression you were referring to her whelks.

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Re: PAROXYSM

Postby Stargzer » Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:43 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote: . . . (Today we thank Katy Brezger, who is very sharp with Good Words like this one and is at the acme of her activity in the Alpha Agora.)


The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

sharp


ADJECTIVE: Inflected forms: sharp·er, sharp·est

. . . 4a. Intellectually penetrating; astute. b. Marked by keenness and accuracy of perception: sharp hearing. . . .

Yes . . .

. . . 5. Crafty or deceitful, as in business dealings: sharp selling practices.

No, let's hope not . . .

. . . 7b. Harsh or biting in tone or character: sharp criticism. 8. Fierce or impetuous; violent: a sharp temper; a sharp assault. . . .

Nah, she's never had a harsh word for a GoodWord . . .

:D
Regards//Larry

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Postby KatyBr » Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:53 pm

It's the 'acme' that bothers me...no where to go from there but down.

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Postby Stargzer » Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:21 pm

KatyBr wrote:It's the 'acme' that bothers me...no where to go from there but down.

Kt
(sharp as a marble!)


Well, maybe it's just a localized peak. In the long run, it could still be all uphill.

Or has your doctor told you you were looking a little peaked lately? :lol:
Regards//Larry

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Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:59 pm

KatyBr wrote:It's the 'acme' that bothers me...no where to go from there but down.


Upward and onward, Katy ! We shall not allow a little acme to get in our way - nor give in to acrimony !...

Henri
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Postby tcward » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:17 pm

KatyBr wrote:(sharp as a marble!)


[...in my best Henri impersonation...]

Caution, Katy! A cracked marble can be dangerously sharp!

[/Henri]

-Tim :lol:
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Postby KatyBr » Mon Oct 03, 2005 2:16 pm

now, you're saying I'm cracked as well? Hurumph!

Kt :lol:
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Postby Spiff » Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:12 am

My marbles were all spheres. How can a marble be sharp?
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Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:45 pm

I think, dear Spaceman, that that was precisely Katy's point. In any event, nice to see you back from your interplanetary adventures and posting again !...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Spiff » Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:06 am

Yes, after I posted I realised what it meant. I guess I was pretty slow yesterday, but what do you expect after two months of holidays and intergalactic travel. :)
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Postby tcward » Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:45 pm

Spiff wrote:...but what do you expect after two months of holidays and intergalactic travel. :)


Many tales! :)

-Tim
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Postby Stargzer » Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:46 pm

tcward wrote:
Spiff wrote:...but what do you expect after two months of holidays and intergalactic travel. :)


Many tales! :)

-Tim


Or, should he have been on safari, many tails! :lol:
Regards//Larry

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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:16 pm

Ponytails ?...

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