Search found 333 matches

by George Kovac
Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:49 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Entourage
Replies: 8
Views: 1274

Re: Entourage

The au courant Americanism for "entourage" is "crew." Iain, as usual, is correct in describing the distinction between "posse" and "entourage." A posse always has a leader. In Western movies, the familiar phrase is that the sheriff " organizes a posse" to hunt down the bad guy. I.e., a posse require...
by George Kovac
Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:02 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Fug
Replies: 3
Views: 236

Re: Fug

:oops: Dr GoodWord is too polite to mention the short American history of this word. Though the debate seems quaint by current standards, Norman Mailer had a serious problem with his publisher over using realistic dialog as actually spoken by American GIs in his novel “The Naked and the Dead.” The h...
by George Kovac
Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:48 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Pierian
Replies: 10
Views: 620

Re: Pierian

An excellent GoodWord—an inspired choice. “Pierian”can function as sort of an adopted adjective for “afflatus,” a noun that has no acceptable adjectival offspring. (“Afflatulent”? I think not.) To help me commit the word to my permanent vocabulary, let me do what Miss Katz taught us to do in third g...
by George Kovac
Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:07 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Obeisance
Replies: 1
Views: 190

Re: Obeisance

Dr Goodword’s discussion of “oyez” brings to mind the Spanish idiom “oye” which here in Spanglish-speaking Miami sometimes even punctuates English conversation. “Oye” literally means “hear” or “listen” but idiomatically it means “hey”. It is used as a content-less placeholder to get a listener’s att...
by George Kovac
Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:48 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Lacuna
Replies: 4
Views: 5031

Re: Lacuna

Lacuna is a beautiful word, usually confined to architectural or academic contexts. We should expand its use. In architecture it is an essential feature of certain styles of classic design (as in coffered ceilings, or a false window added to balance the symmetry of adjacent real windows). The word o...
by George Kovac
Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:01 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Insurrection
Replies: 1
Views: 264

Re: Insurrection

As I have noted many times before on this site, so many of our problems--in many contexts--are rooted in prefixes. Some folks mistake an insurrection for a resurrection. Some folks think they hear afflatus when the only sound is flatus. And some folks cross the line from fervid to perfervid.
by George Kovac
Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:44 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Stochastic
Replies: 16
Views: 3412

Re: Stochastic

This term has leapt the boundaries of its origins in theoretical mathematics and found application in finance and, now, political science. Has its original meaning been intellectually distorted or has it been expanded in an enriching manner? That is of interest to readers of this website as etymolo...
by George Kovac
Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:39 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Stochastic
Replies: 16
Views: 3412

Re: Stochastic

This term has leapt the boundaries of its origins in theoretical mathematics and found application in finance and, now, political science. Has its original meaning been intellectually distorted or has it been expanded in an enriching manner? That is of interest to readers of this website as etymolog...
by George Kovac
Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:25 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Scatology
Replies: 5
Views: 818

Re: Scatology

Misterdoe wrote Scatology should be about singing songs you don't know the words to. :) Very clever pun, sir. But someone has already written a mainstream song about actual scat. When my children were young they enjoyed the popular songs of the “Animaniacs.” Their songs were amusing, educational and...
by George Kovac
Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:25 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Scatology
Replies: 5
Views: 818

Re: Scatology

Hmmm...

See my post of earlier today about “afflatus.”

To paraphrase that post: Perhaps one vowel does not make much of a difference, as the expression "not one iota" suggests. But if that vowel is epsilon, well, that results in the difference between scatology and eschatology.
by George Kovac
Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:37 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Afflatus
Replies: 2
Views: 392

Re: Afflatus

Perhaps one vowel does not make much of a difference, as the expression "not one iota" suggests. But if that vowel is alpha, well, that results in the difference between afflatus and flatus.
by George Kovac
Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:30 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Anthropocene
Replies: 5
Views: 992

Re: Anthropocene

...and looking ahead to a bright future with a hop, skip,and a geological jump we land on the Post Anthropocene. Whoops! Nobody home. Hear, hear! Awareness and criticism of the environmental cost of the Industrial Revolution are widespread today, but some observers expressed alarm two centuries ago...
by George Kovac
Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:51 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Tow
Replies: 6
Views: 896

Re: Tow

The same PIE word emerged in Latin as ducere "to lead, direct, draw", the root of which we see in borrowings like conduct, deduct, reduce.

Though etymology is not my strong suit, I believe “educate” also derives from that source.
by George Kovac
Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:22 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Psephology
Replies: 3
Views: 580

Re: Psephology

So, would the study of “fake polls” (to use the phrase we heard so often lately) be called “pseudopsephology”?
by George Kovac
Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:15 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Circumcyclation
Replies: 9
Views: 1261

Re: Circumcyclation

In praise, sort of, of the practice of creating new words... Anand Giridharada, in an August book review in the New York Times Book Review section, invented the word "saxophonely" to describe the book under review: "Sometime between then and now, the writer Kurt Andersen argues in his essential, abs...

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