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RECALCITRANT

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RECALCITRANT

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:24 pm

• recalcitrant •

Pronunciation: ri-kæl-sê-trênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Unrelentingly defiant, rigidly obstinate or adamant, unwilling to give an inch, immovable, perversely refractory or intractable. 2. Unruly, ungovernable, willful, headstrong.

Notes: Today's word is related to the verb recalcitrate, which originally meant, not to dig the heels in, but to kick backwards, like the proverbial obstinate jackass. The attitude itself is recalcitrance, though some very articulate folks insist on recalcitrancy. We are not recalcitrant on the issue and accede to their wishes.

In Play: The mind of a stubborn person may be changed but once we become recalcitrant, persuasion does not work: "Unfortunately, the boss has taken a recalcitrant position (sense 1) against playing computer games during business hours." Let us hope the boss does not encounter a recalcitrant employee (sense 2) who insists on game breaks when staring at the screen for hours leaves her eyes crossed.

Word History: This word comes to us from Late Latin recalcitrant-, the present participle of recalcitrare "to be disobedient". In classical Latin this verb meant "to kick back", based on re- "back" + calcitrare "to kick" from the noun calx, calc- "heel". The root turns up in many Indo-European languages, usually referring to a joint: Russian koleno "knee", German Hals "neck", Greek skelis "hip, thigh". In English we find it in a verb that merged with shelve: shelve "to slope gradually". (Today's Good Word is a gift from the recalcitrant William the Mysterious of the Alpha Agora, who adamantly refuses to release his family name.)
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:48 am

How fortunate indeed, that we don't know anybody for whom such a description would be apt !...

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Postby Flaminius » Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:07 am

But how about recalsitrant?
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:43 am

FlaminiOUS, you're so mischievOUS.

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Postby Flaminius » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:23 am

BD, don't disappoint me by faking that you have never thought of it.

Just makes me wonder how one of the major pillars of the other Agora pronounce his nom de plume? I must confess that I have not had the chance to have a personal audience with him but never doubted it is other than [si.tran].

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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:47 am

I always mentally read it as sih-TRAN. But I don't know squat about that, only about cnidarians.

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Postby Apoclima » Tue Jun 21, 2005 4:15 pm

Henri:
How fortunate indeed, that we don't know anybody for whom such a description would be apt !...


I immediately thought of someone too!

By the way, the accent shifts according to the family of the language being used!

Germanic - SIH-trahn

Latinate- sih-TRAHN

Sanskrit- SIHT-rahn

Arabic- siht-RAHN-(ih)

Very funny folks!

And don't think this will affect my love for you all, which, of course, is joyously recalcitrant!

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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:00 pm

Mine is not there. I guess I don't belong to any group.

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Postby tcward » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:11 pm

Mine isn't there either. I have been pronouncing it SIH-tran all along... hmm.

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Postby Apoclima » Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:16 am

Anything is fine really! Just don't call me late for dinner!

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Postby M. Henri Day » Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:04 pm

Apoclima wrote:... Just don't call me late for dinner!


But Apo, «No human thing is of serious importance», and dinner, while nice, is rarely divine....

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Postby Apoclima » Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:46 pm

Perhaps not "serious importance." But dinner isn't really about eating, is it? One can eat alone! It is the companionship and fellowship that are really important and that is where we often approach the divine!

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Postby KatyBr » Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:26 pm

Apo, I think you deserve a prompt invitation to Dine, Whether or not someone considers you Devine. You are very special.......

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Postby Stargzer » Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:55 pm

Apoclima wrote: . . . and that is where we often approach the divine!

Apo


Alas, the late Divine departed this world in 1988, just as he was about to portray a character on the TV sitcom "Married... With Children."
Regards//Larry

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Postby Apoclima » Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:33 am

You're goofy, Larry!

In fact, I just rented a movie with Tracey Ullman in it, whom I consider to be THE most talented comedienne and character actress of all time, but when I started to play it, I saw that it was "Directed by John Waters" and my heart sank.

I watched the movie hoping to glean a bit of Tracey's genius, but quickly realized that I had a great knot in my stomach, on the edge of nausea, and that it was just a matter of time before I exposed myself to an image that would keep me vomiting for many days or years to come.

There is nothing funny or interesting about Divine, and John Waters is a sick pathetic person.

And shame on Tracey for making such an ugly unfunny movie!

Thanks for the memories, Larry!

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