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Renitent

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Renitent

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:26 pm

• renitent •


Pronunciation: ren-ê-tênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Not pliant, inflexible, resistant to pressure. 2. Reluctant, recalcitrant, resisting compulsion, die-hard.

Notes: Although today's Good Word is a tad rare, it is a good word to replace the mundane adjective die-hard, which seems to be crowding it out of our vocabularies. It comes with two nouns to choose from, renitence or, if you need another syllable for your poem, renitency. The adjective itself may be used as a collective noun (in the linguistic sense), for example: "Only the renitent among his followers remained loyal." Remember to spell the last syllable -ent and not -ant.

In Play: The first sense of today's word may be seen in this sentence: "My abs are far less renitent than I would like." The second meaning, "recalcitrant", may be used in a sentence like this one: "The renitent members of the Flat Earth Society even maintain a Web presence."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from renitent(s) "resisting", the present participle of Latin reniti "to resist". This word is composed of re-, an intensive prefix here + niti "to press forward". Niti seems to be related to nictare "to blink, wink", apparently because when they pressed forward, our ancestors closed their eyes. If this is true, English borrowed the base form of this verb as nictate "to wink", and the iterative (repetitive action) form nictitate "to wink". This is about all we know about the origins of today's Good Word. Some have tried to trace the original form into the Germanic languages, but with no persuasive results. (We must not be renitent in thanking Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira, an editor of the GW series, for his suggestion—some time ago—of today's Good Word.)
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Re: Renitent

Postby Slava » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:37 pm

So, someone who resists making amends for evil deeds would be a renitent penitent?
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Re: Renitent

Postby MTC » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:57 am

Flagellants were the original "renitent penitents."
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Re: Renitent

Postby David McWethy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:55 am

In the GoodWord treatise on "Renitent" Dr. G. makes a passing reference to the website of the Flat Earth Society, which I took to be a dry, pithy play on words or tongue-in-cheek humor that must have gone right over my head.

So intrigued, I (of course) had to check it out in order to debunk the notion that there were still good and (apparently otherwise) intelligent people who truly believed that the earth was flat; and that my time was spent on nothing but a fool's errand.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there not only was such a web site, but it's bulletin-board layout bore a considerable resemblance to GoodWord's; the discussion of its correspondents seemed to be sincere and cogent (considering on which side of the issue it seemed to land), although it almost universally contradicted my own earth-shape belief system; and one of its full members, who reportedly lives in New Hampshire from which he posts 15+ a day was Saddam Hussein, Former President of Iraq!

Putting aside the strength of his convictions in the irrefutable proof that the earth is flat; and assuming that his avatar and alleged membership in TFES are real and valid rather than being part of some elaborate (and in abysmally poor taste) ruse, I just have one question that I can't begin to find an answer for: "Why is this man still living?"

Have we really come to the point where there are no moral absolutes--and da***ed few moral "occasionals"--that this man is now allowed to live among us UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES?Someone with more experience in spotting web-site ruses, please correct me, and reassure me that the "membership" of this person is nothing but a tapestry made of whole cloth, as this whole issue is really very upsetting to me.
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Re: Renitent

Postby MTC » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:10 am

I cannot thank Dr. Goodword and Mr. McWethy enough for
alerting me to The Flat Earth Society ("TFES"). After reading Mr. McWethy's post I made a proverbial bee line to the TFES Wiki site
(http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/wiki ... =Main_Page), and found their mission statement: "This website is dedicated to unraveling the true mysteries of the universe and demonstrating that the earth is flat and that Round Earth doctrine is little more than an elaborate hoax." Just as I have long suspected, but have feared to express out loud since that traumatic incident in my high school Geography class many years ago. Ah, old scars pricked, old memories awakened... Still, small enough price to pay for reunion with kindred spirits. Like life-giving water to one parched from his lonely wanderings in the desert. Again, I thank you and the good Dr. Goodword profusely, Mr. McWethy. As for Saddam Hussein, I note his first post was in the year 2007; however, he was hanged on December 30, 2006. This inconvenient fact may bear further investigation. Right now though, the prospect of meeting my peers on a flat surface has left me prostrate, positively floored.

I remain respectfuly and gratefully yours,

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Last edited by MTC on Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Renitent

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:31 am

David: I am surprised that you are surprised. Of course there is a Flat Earth Society and though it is incredible to us, no more incredible than any number of philosophies, religions and pseudoreligions. This includes, for me, some extreme fundamentalist and extremely liberal "Christian" groups. I personally know some flat earthers. They have explained that the Moon landing was an elaborate hoax, filmed in Hollywood while all the astronauts were here on terra firma.

Never underestimate the fertile human mind. The Queen told Alice, “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

And yes, they deserve the right to their beliefs and the right to propagate them.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Renitent

Postby gailr » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:04 pm

It is widely believed that for anything you can think of a site already exists on the internet. I found the Flat Earth Society a few years ago while researching for a paper; there are boards refuting every known fact, with varying degrees of reason.
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Re: Renitent

Postby call_copse » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:37 am

@Mr McWethy

Surely Poe's Law is the only answer here?
'Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.'
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law)

Or is it really feasible for such a belief to exist in the modern world? I'd sooner give creedence to the Flying Spaghetti Monster myself.
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Re: Renitent

Postby David McWethy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:40 am

I believe that call_copse has eloquently and succinctly brought public attention to a problem I've had to deal with all my adult life: Far too many times, what I might write or say (thinking that anyone "with the sense to pound sand in a rat-hole" would realize that it was obviously meant to be in jest, without the slightest intent that it be taken seriously) would nevertheless cause a reaction in which the kindest replies called me everything but a good milk-cow.

Yet, on the other side of the coin, things to which I attach great importance and solemnity--such as marriage vows--the other party (it has seemed on three occasions) has treated them as if they were....well, you get the idea: My "learning curve" to date has seemed more like a straight line.

It’s as unlikely as President Obama being re-elected, but if I should ever find myself in a similar situation in the future, for the sake of streamlining the process, my plan at this time is to just marry someone I greatly dislike; buy a house in her name; give her half of all my worldly possessions except copyrights; and move on with my life.

I can’t imagine that—once the dust has settled—the consequences would be any worse than those which resulted in the past.

And, with due deference to Nathan Poe:
:-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-), :-)
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things...."
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Re: Renitent

Postby MTC » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:01 am

I learned something new--always a risk on the Goodword forum--Poe's law. Personally, I avoid using emoticons, viewing them as a crutch for the verbally challenged, but still never mind a smiley face directed my way. Hey, no inconsistency there! Enjoying a good send up as much as the next man, maybe more, I probably should tag many of my posts with a :-)
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Re: Renitent

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:55 am

Indeed, two or three times on this forum, I've been taken seriously when I thought this erudite group would easily get it. But then I am perpetually accused of dry humor, whatever that is.

I too learned something new. Never heard of pounding sand in a rat hole. Maybe I'm too dense :D
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Re: Renitent

Postby gailr » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:21 pm

call_copse wrote:I'd sooner give creedence to the Flying Spaghetti Monster myself.

You'd be welcome amongst us Pastafarians, call_copse... Image
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Re: Renitent

Postby MTC » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:35 am

Once again, gobsmacked on the Goodword site! First The Flat Earth Society, now Pastafarianism. Will the epiphanies never end? I feel like Saul must have felt as he bit the dust on the road to Damascus, or better yet, like Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss' character in Close Encounters) when the clouds parted, and he finally understood the inspiration for his compulsive mudbuilding. Now at last I understand the compulsion to build mounds of steaming spaghetti on my dinner plate. Too early, perhaps, to cast off my worldly goods and devote myself to the Pastafarian cause, but I'm thinking about it, I'm thinking about it. Thank you, gailr, for spreading the Gospel of the Great Noodle. Your selfless evangelism will have its reward.
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Re: Renitent

Postby call_copse » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:52 am

gailr wrote:
call_copse wrote:I'd sooner give creedence to the Flying Spaghetti Monster myself.

You'd be welcome amongst us Pastafarians, call_copse... Image


I've cast my lot in the Discordian camp Gail. Though I'll give due consideration to his noodly appendage, like any sincerely held beliefs.

'Discordianism is centered on the idea that both order and disorder are illusions imposed on the universe by the human nervous system, and that neither of these illusions of apparent order and disorder is any more accurate or objectively true than the other.'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordianism

The calendar is a bit of a pain to implement on a computer though so I'll keep to Gregorian for that at least.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordian_calendar
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Re: Renitent

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:49 pm

And the official science is chaos theory!
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