Search found 345 matches

by George Kovac
Sun Jul 25, 2021 9:31 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Virago
Replies: 10
Views: 9288

Re: Virago

David,

I was entertained by your enlightening list of adjectives used to describe the same traits in male vs female administrators.

I think I have found a solution to my observation that there is no noun to describe the male equivalent of a “virago.” Why don’t we just call them “viagros”?
by George Kovac
Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:36 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Virago
Replies: 10
Views: 9288

Re: Virago

Yes, this is a word to reclaim, in both its positive and negative contexts. Words with multiple meanings and shadings are valuable—humans are complex and contradictory and our usable vocabulary should acknowledge nuance. I think the world is ready for leadership by viragos (mostly in the positive se...
by George Kovac
Tue Jul 06, 2021 12:12 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Spall
Replies: 3
Views: 306

Re: Spall

Yes, Dr GoodWord has a canny knack for selecting topical words—in this case, an unfortunate context. I had only encountered “spall” in relation to concrete—usually in an engineering report in connection with the inspection of commercial real estate. I did not realize that “spall” has a more general ...
by George Kovac
Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:13 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Rentier
Replies: 5
Views: 516

Re: Rentier

Add a little French flavoring to our English vocabulary and we experience different tastes. A rentier may be a jerk or a scoundrel, but “rentier” sounds elegant, amusingly pretentious and, given the right example, almost excusable. (“nuance” after all, is a French concept.) A rentier may be lazy and...
by George Kovac
Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:55 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Hagiography
Replies: 5
Views: 670

Re: Hagiography

I have always thought that "hagiography" is a wonderful word: complex, rich in history, suitable for both sincere spiritual use and as pejorative dismissal of credulous praise. I am a bit offput by the standard pronunciation, with the hard (and harsh) “g.” It sounds like the unpleasant word “hag.” I...
by George Kovac
Mon May 24, 2021 8:54 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Riddle
Replies: 4
Views: 630

Re: Riddle

Here’s a link to the technique of riddling in the production of champagne:

https://www.champagne.fr/en/from-vine-t ... g/riddling
by George Kovac
Mon May 24, 2021 1:21 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Riddle
Replies: 4
Views: 630

Re: Riddle

Thank you for that fascinating etymology, Dr. Goodword. You solved the mystery of “riddle”: it is two unrelated words that morphed to share a common spelling and pronunciation. In biology, early observers sometimes mistakenly think two species are related because they look similar, only to later dis...
by George Kovac
Mon May 24, 2021 12:26 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Concinnity
Replies: 4
Views: 670

Re: Concinnity

A marvelous and useful word to learn. Well worth wider exposure. “Concinnity” is pleasant to the ear and broader in its embrace than “euphonious.” And not a tongue twister like “mellifluous.” As to Slava’s observation that the pronunciation of the first two syllables of “concinnity” reminds her of “...
by George Kovac
Thu May 06, 2021 2:57 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Mediocre
Replies: 8
Views: 1477

Re: Mediocre

The most famous defense of mediocracy was made by Congressman Roman Hruska of Nebraska in March of 1970. President Nixon had nominated to the Supreme Court an undistinguished federal judge from Florida whose name was G. Harrold Carswell. Numerous critics described Carswell as “mediocre” and unqualif...
by George Kovac
Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:14 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Prescient
Replies: 1
Views: 513

Re: Prescient

Perhaps the most famous example of prescience is Cassandra. She is sometimes evoked to dismiss someone (e.g., that fellow employee who does not endorse every rosy corporate prediction) as a “Cassandra” for being too pessimistic (sort of the opposite of being a Pollyanna). But that is only half the s...
by George Kovac
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:27 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Parallax
Replies: 14
Views: 2645

Re: Parallax

I thought we should invite Ogden Nash into this conversation. Here is one of my favorites of his poems, that I learned as a child:

The Lama

The one-l lama,
He's a priest;
The two-l llama,
He's a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-l lllama.
by George Kovac
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:23 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Parallax
Replies: 14
Views: 2645

Re: Parallax

SPELLING: THE TENTH CIRCLE OF "L"? Why even have double consonants, which only challenge our spelling skills, e.g., “occasion?” If the occasional function of a double consonant is to signal a change in the pronunciation of its preceding vowel (e.g., “hummus” is tasty, “humus” tastes like dirt), woul...
by George Kovac
Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:49 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Entourage
Replies: 8
Views: 2781

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: 1055

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: 2320

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...

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