Search found 185 matches

by George Kovac
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Bravo
Replies: 3
Views: 128

Re: Bravo

Penelope Wilton’s indefatigable character Isobel Crawley never failed to demonstrate that she had better breeding than the condescending and haughty branch of the family that lived upstairs in Downton Abbey. After a local recital, Isobel applauds the female performer with cheers of “brava!”
by George Kovac
Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Comprehend
Replies: 4
Views: 287

Re: Comprehend

Slava, I apprehend the gauntlet you have thrown at my feet. En garde! So, here's my attempt to distinguish apprehend from comprehend , both of which can mean "understand" or "recognize." Apprehend is the rarer of the two near synonyms, and has a more specialized meaning. When use...
by George Kovac
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Shambolic
Replies: 4
Views: 289

Re: Shambolic

Slava wrote: Americans are currently witnessing the shambolicification of their country's international credibility. Personally, I would go for a mathematical metaphor, and call it the fractalization of America. My on-line research says that fractal theory is "useful in describing partly random...
by George Kovac
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Congeries
Replies: 5
Views: 420

Re: Congeries

singular noun that looks plural: premises (meaning a specific area of real estate, as in "the premises is the headquarters of a tech company") plural nouns that we often mistake for singular: data, media plural noun that we now accept as singular: agenda adjective that looks like a noun: c...
by George Kovac
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Punctilious
Replies: 2
Views: 200

Re: Punctilious

Punctilio is a word delightful to the ear, and a word known to every lawyer because this rare word appears in a famous quote from a legal opinion studied by every first year law student. Meinhard v. Salmon was a 1928 lawsuit involving the duties that one partner in a joint venture owes to the other...
by George Kovac
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Honorificabilitudinitatibus
Replies: 2
Views: 144

Re: Honorificabilitudinitatibus

Hear this wonderful word pronounced at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SIKqOPIGt0 Now that takes concentration and practice.

This word is beautifully orchestrated with a flawless chorus line of alternating vowels and consonants.
by George Kovac
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Congeries
Replies: 5
Views: 420

Re: Congeries

Congeries belongs to that congeries of English words that look plural but are singular. Other examples are biceps , kudos , (and for the pedants among us, opera ). In print, the usage of congeries cries out for the comfort of a plural verb, but that would be wrong. Here’s an example of a writer who...
by George Kovac
Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Attorn
Replies: 4
Views: 309

Re: Attorn

True that. Fiction has a hard time catching up with reality. My friends accuse me of making up entertaining (but false) stories to illustrate an amusing point. I never do that. (Well, almost never.) So I fact-checked myself about the online sale of one's soul to the devil. It actually happened, pret...
by George Kovac
Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Attorn
Replies: 4
Views: 309

Re: Attorn

Attorn is not an arcane word in legalese, at least among those of us attorneys who practice real estate law. “NDA” (for “non-disclosure agreement”) is in the news a lot lately because of the controversies involving women who are pressured or paid to enter into agreements to not disclose the stormy (...
by George Kovac
Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Monster
Replies: 3
Views: 299

Re: Monster

Years ago, for a research project, I read American medical journals from the late nineteenth century. "Monster" was used routinely as a descriptive word for infants born with severe physical deformities. The usage was clinically neutral, not inflected with any horror, shaming, insensitivit...
by George Kovac
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Youthquake
Replies: 2
Views: 243

Re: Youthquake

"Youthquake" is a word that has taken on a horrible relevance this week, especially for those of us living here in south Florida, not far removed from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 souls were murdered last week. The revulsion and anger of the students who survived has resul...
by George Kovac
Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Rhapsody
Replies: 3
Views: 291

Re: Rhapsody

Iain,

I couldn't agree with you more. :lol:
by George Kovac
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Pinchpenny
Replies: 2
Views: 242

Re: Pinchpenny

Dr. Goodword’s definition lists “niggardly” as a synonym for pinchpenny. I do not disapprove. Its use in this context is wholly condign. But that brings to mind recent controversies about uses of particular words that others find offensive. Yes, of course, I am aware, as most folks who study languag...
by George Kovac
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Rhabdomancy
Replies: 2
Views: 280

Re: Rhabdomancy

I agree with Luke that the word is too obscure and particular to warrant widespread usage. Nevertheless, here is my attempt to apply it metaphorically:

"Unable to find credible evidence of communist infiltration, Senator McCarthy resorted to rhabdomancy."
by George Kovac
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Machinations
Replies: 2
Views: 268

Re: Machinations

And let's not overlook one of the earliest examples of machination, deus ex machina

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