Search found 19 matches

by Don
Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:34 pm
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Jaded
Replies: 2
Views: 3087

Jaded

As in "jaded government official". According to my dictionary, it means "worn out or wearied, as by overwork or overuse". But the dictionary can only offer a "?" on where it comes from.

Don
by Don
Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:13 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: RUBESCENT
Replies: 5
Views: 5898

Rubescent

Notes: We need sisters like this semantic sister of red for all adjectives: why not adjectives meaning "becoming old", "becoming blue", "becoming cold", and so on? Other languages do this easily. Chinese and Korean have a suffix word, "hwa", which one can add at the end of practically any noun to s...
by Don
Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:17 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: SOLIPSISM
Replies: 14
Views: 11711

Solipsism

1. Mark Twain evidently was fascinated by solipsism. His short story, "The Mysterious Stranger", concludes expressing a solipsistic point of view. 2. "It cannot be proved or disproved." This is false. It follows logically from certain premises as to how we know things. It is difficult, though not im...
by Don
Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:17 pm
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Republic
Replies: 10
Views: 7233

Republic

1. Sorry, Perry. I had overlooked your 1604 date. I agree with your observation that apparently, by that time or earlier, "republic" was widely regarded as a form of government where authority resides with the people rather than in a monarch. That is, I think, consistent with the second of my posts ...
by Don
Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:50 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Republic
Replies: 10
Views: 7233

Republic

Regarding my suggestion that our modern usage of "republic" might have arisen at the end of the Middle Ages, to provide an alternative to feudal conceptions. Recall that Hobbes and Rousseau, each in his own way, propose theories of government where the people are sovereign (instead of some divinely ...
by Don
Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:27 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Republic
Replies: 10
Views: 7233

Republic

gailr - You're getting closer, but still don't seem to me to focus on the right questions. 1. "[H]ow does a term describing an assembly of people become a description of governing that people?" You seem to insinuate a false premise. It's not clear to me that "republic" in its various languages ever ...
by Don
Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:00 pm
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Republic
Replies: 10
Views: 7233

Everyone agrees that "republic" comes from the Latin, res publica , meaning (roughly) 'things pertaining to the public'. Dictionaries say this, I said it, and Perry said it. There's no uncertainty or disagreement as to that point. The question is: What does this have to do with our notion that "repu...
by Don
Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:41 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Republic
Replies: 10
Views: 7233

Republic

Following is my understanding. Our word comes from Latin, Res Publica , which means "things pertaining to the public". The Latin, in turn, is a translation of the title of Plato's dialogue, Politeia . (I've heard that Cicero did the translation.) In Attic Greek, Plato's title means "system of govern...
by Don
Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:46 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: POTAMOPHILOUS
Replies: 4
Views: 4552

Old politicians are said to get "Potomac fever". That is: Just about everybody in Washington originally came there from some place else; but when they lose their original jobs, some of them try to stay on - e.g., working as lobbiests. We say they contracted Potomac fever while in Washington. So I gu...
by Don
Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:39 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: ENNUI
Replies: 10
Views: 8636

Following is the beginning of Robert Benchley's satire, sixty years ago, of Dickens. Christmas Afternoon What an afternoon! Mr. Gummidge said that, in his estimation, there never had been such an afternoon since the world began, a sentiment which was heartily endorsed by Mrs. Gummidge and all the li...
by Don
Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:40 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: MERETRICIOUS
Replies: 1
Views: 2694

meretricious, merit, and tumeric

That was very good. Thanks. I had no idea . . .

Don
by Don
Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:03 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: for good
Replies: 23
Views: 14454

for good

"He's gone for good." One might regret that he's gone, so how is it that using this expression forces allusion to goodness? Is there a fundamental meaning common to all differing uses of "good"? Or do we have here a collection of homonyms, each with its own, distinct word history? Also, "He's gone f...
by Don
Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:07 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: REPAIR
Replies: 7
Views: 6883

FEL TEMP REPARATIO

Doug - Thanks. That was fascinating. I don't have Latin and don't know coins, but nonetheless suggest the Romans may have had Dr. G's intransitive sense of "repair" in mind. It probably would have been controversial and impolitic for Constantine and his successors to imply they were transitively "fi...
by Don
Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:34 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Sententious
Replies: 8
Views: 4391

Sentences and Opnions

Sentences Per Dr. G, the Latin “sententia” means “opinion, sentiment, intent”. This usage echoes traditional doctrines of logic. Aristotle in De Interpretatione and the Posterior Analytics distinguishes (among other things) assertions, which can be true or false, from (syllogistic) arguments which s...
by Don
Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:11 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: SANCTION
Replies: 25
Views: 19238

I also greatly appreciated gailr's Wikipedia on "auto-antonym". I don't, however, want to lose track of my original question - whether we've got (a) one word with two meanings, or (b) two words, each with its own single meaning. The Wikipedia article smudges that issue, saying it both ways. The smud...

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