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Diatribe

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Diatribe

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:59 pm

• diatribe •


Pronunciation: dai-ê-traib • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A tirade, a long, abusive denunciation of someone or something, a protracted harangue.

Notes: Today's Good Word is a lexical orphan for no apparent reason. It comes even without an adjective according to the dictionaries, not even diatribal, which is used about 4500 times on the Web. We could use this word in expressions like diatribal soapbox, diatribal revenge, or diatribal rampage. If you want to use diatribal, you get the adverb diatribally free.

In Play: Diatribes are usually angry, like the one reported here: "When I offered Adam Bahm a hamburger, he exploded in a diatribe, the likes of which I'd never heard, against the practices of meat producers." A diatribe, like a tirade, is long and furious: "Donny Brooke sat across from me, his lips white and teeth set, as though holding back a diatribe against all that was being said at the table."

Word History: Today's word English was acquired via French from Latin diatriba "learned discourse", from Greek diatribe "wearing away time, study, discourse". This word came from diatribein "to wear away, waste time", composed of dia "through, thorough" + tribein "to rub"—and diatribes rub all of us the wrong way. The root of tribein comes from an ancient root ter- or simply tr-. In Russian we see the original root in teret' "to rub". It turns up in Latin terere "to rub (away), thresh". The same root came down through its Germanic ancestors to English as thresh and thread, which we used to make by rubbing two fingers together.
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Re: Diatribe

Postby MTC » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:38 am

Has anyone noticed "tirade," a synonym of "diatribe," is also an anagram?
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Re: Diatribe

Postby Slava » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:39 pm

MTC wrote:Has anyone noticed "tirade," a synonym of "diatribe," is also an anagram?

Not particularly. Aren't a couple of letters missing?
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Re: Diatribe

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:54 pm

An anagram website gave airsted, whatever that means.
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Re: Diatribe

Postby Slava » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:13 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:An anagram website gave airsted, whatever that means.

Without the superfluous 's', airt is Scottish for direction, so airted means someone's told you where to go. :)
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Re: Diatribe

Postby MTC » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:58 pm

Slava wrote:
MTC wrote:Has anyone noticed "tirade," a synonym of "diatribe," is also an anagram?

Not particularly. Aren't a couple of letters missing?


Yes, "diatribe" includes two letters, an extra i" and a "b," that "tirade" doesn't. Nevertheless, "tirade" can be formed from the letters in "diatribe." According to the minority viewpoint, "an anagram does not have to use all the letters of the parent word."
(http://www.goodworksonearth.org/anagram ... romes.html)

Words which use less than all letters from the parent word are called "imperfect" anagrams. Purists and sticklers will recoil from this view. As usual I find myself in sympathy with the minority.
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Re: Diatribe

Postby Slava » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:42 pm

MTC wrote:Words which use less than all letters from the parent word are called "imperfect" anagrams. Purists and sticklers will recoil from this view. As usual I find myself in sympathy with the minority.

I guess I'm a stick-in-the-mud on this one. To me, an "imperfect" anagram is in no way shape or form an anagram. This loose definition simply means words that can be formed from the parent word.

Please don't suggest that 'my' and 'syne' are anagrams of eleemosynary! Or that 'phobia' is one for all fear words.
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Re: Diatribe

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:21 pm

When you are as mad as can be, write a diatribe on your word processor and then delete it. It helps clear the mind.
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Re: Diatribe

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:46 pm

A standard counseling technique used in many variations. Usually the counselor will ask someone to write a letter to the offending person pulling no punches. They will later decide whether to send it. Oddly, it sometimes helps in grief to write such a letter to the departed.
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