Search found 167 matches

by George Kovac
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Fulgent
Replies: 1
Views: 49

Re: Fulgent

Why do we have "fulgent" and "refulgent"? They mean exactly the same thing. Like "splendent" and "resplendent." As I commented when “resplendent” was the Goodword of the day, "if it ain’t broke, don’t prefix it." We should take especial care to avoid...
by George Kovac
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Paradigm
Replies: 4
Views: 278

Re: Paradigm

Dr. Goodword wrote:

Rhyme was originally spelled rime, as in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


Here is another classic poem title to use as a mnemonic for the proper pronunciation of the Goodword: “Paradigm Lost”
by George Kovac
Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Mores
Replies: 3
Views: 142

Re: Mores

Because of the damage to civility, decency and politesse emanating from Washington of late, it is time to turn Mies van der Rohe’s dictum on its head and concede that the motto for today is “mores are less.”
by George Kovac
Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Jubilate
Replies: 1
Views: 173

Re: Jubilate

Words ending in –ate can be nouns, verbs or adjectives: indicate, vertebrate, intricate, excoriate, ornate, inebriate, celibate. “Jubilate” is both a noun and (a delightful but unexpected) verb. Here is an example of a man who had occasion to jubilate, and the importance of carefully distinguishing ...
by George Kovac
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Schmeer
Replies: 2
Views: 207

Re: Schmeer

Slava, I can't help you with "geschmear." Never heard it. The proper spelling of "schmeer" is subject to differences of scholarly opinion. Leo Rosten in "The Joys of Yiddish" (an essential addition to anyone's collection of dictionaries) spells the word "shmeer.&qu...
by George Kovac
Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Eulogy
Replies: 1
Views: 166

Re: Eulogy

What should you say when someone dies? The ancient Greeks and Jews had different answers to that question. The primary purpose of a eulogy, a proper funeral eulogy, is to praise the deceased. This praise becomes exaggerated for the funeral of a public figure. Greek literature is full of tragic heroi...
by George Kovac
Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Ironic
Replies: 3
Views: 240

Re: Ironic

Iain, it's not just irony that Americans don't understand. Here are some other common words whose primary use hereabouts is, well, just plain wrong: "unique" "literally" "peruse." But, as Dr. Goodword often cautions us, language is not logic, it is usage, the accepted u...
by George Kovac
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Liminal
Replies: 3
Views: 257

Re: Liminal

Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American scholar, is an interesting and controversial author. What is not in controversy is the beauty and clarity of his writing. The first time I saw “liminal” in print was in his 2013 book “Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” (at page 83): “The Jews revered wat...
by George Kovac
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Besmirch
Replies: 2
Views: 186

Re: Besmirch

In discussing “benight” last October, Slava asked "be- "provide with, cause"" So why does behead mean "to deprive of a head"? This is the only be- word I can think of that has this negative meaning. Can anyone come up with any others? I think Slava is right. Based on Dr...
by George Kovac
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Inveigh
Replies: 6
Views: 559

Re: Inveigh

A person given to inveighing and using invective is generally referred to as an inveigher.


I think it would be more fun to call such a person an "invector."
by George Kovac
Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Limbo
Replies: 3
Views: 269

Re: Limbo

Ah, limbo... We use this word all the time to describe an uncertain state: “The company told its lawyers to stop drafting documents until further notice because the proposed merger was in limbo.” “Her application for the assistant’s job is in limbo because a new boss for that department was just app...
by George Kovac
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Flout
Replies: 3
Views: 412

Re: Flout

The classical music radio station I listen to no longer uses "flautist." It's now "flutist." "Flutist” was an unimaginative resolution of your radio station’s prissiness. That choice of euphemism was probably selected by a studio producer who was still scandalized by the bo...
by George Kovac
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Smorgasbord
Replies: 1
Views: 202

Re: Smorgasbord

Today's Good Word is the Swedish word smörgåsbord, comprising smörgås "(slice of) bread and butter" from smör "butter" + gås "goose, lump of butter" + bord "board, table." ... Smör is a cousin of English smear and German schmieren "spread, smear". A...
by George Kovac
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Whataboutism
Replies: 2
Views: 243

Re: Whataboutism

Thank you, Dr. Goodword, for bringing this valuable word to our attention. I assumed “whataboutism” was a nonce word or neologism, a clever coinage by a clever political comedian, and so took Dr. Goodword's discussion lightly. I did not realize the word originated a generation ago. Then, at Dr. Good...
by George Kovac
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Pandemonium
Replies: 2
Views: 264

Re: Pandemonium

Dr. Goodword demonstrates that while English vocabulary is usually the product of slow organic development, sometimes vocabulary can be a deliberate top-down enterprise. "Pandemonium" is a lush, almost onomatopoetic word that packs a punch. It is a word used broadly and often in a variety ...

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