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 Words that you don't see everyday

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:32 pm

irenic

PRONUNCIATION:
(eye-REN-ik, eye-REE-nik) MEANING:
adjective: Promoting peace or conciliation.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek eirene (peace). Eirene/Irene was the Greek personification of peace.

USAGE:
"Kate Neal's Hourly Scrutinising floated ecstatically, emphasising irenic calm and harmony."
Peter McCallum; A Beautiful Darwinian Experience; The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); Nov 21, 2009.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering. -Henri Frederic Amiel, philosopher and writer (1821-1881)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:17 pm

macerate

PRONUNCIATION:
(MAS-uh-rayt) MEANING:
verb tr., intr.:
1. To soften by soaking or steeping in a liquid.
2. To separate into parts by soaking.
3. To weaken or to become thin; to emaciate.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin macerare (to make soft, weaken). Ultimately from the Indo-European root mag-/mak- (to knead, to fit) that is also the source of make, mason, mass, match, among, mongrel, mingle, and maquillage.

USAGE:
"The plastic rubbish has been macerated by marine forces and is composed of small particles that float just below the surface, killing fish that mistake it for food."
John Maxwell; Boojum Hunting in the Caribbean; Jamaica Observer (Kingston); Jan 24, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand. -Aharon Barak, law professor, former President of the Supreme Court of Israel (b.1936)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:18 pm

orison

PRONUNCIATION:
(OR-uh-suhn, -zuhn) MEANING:
noun: A prayer.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via French from Latin oration (speech, prayer), from orare (to speak, pray), from os (mouth).

USAGE:
"David Carlin's brilliant title, Our Father Who Wasn't There, mingles orison and lament. It is the apparent opening of a prayer for an absent or lost father."
A Son Searches for the Father Who Wasn't There; The Canberra Times (Australia); Feb 6, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:19 pm

sidereal

PRONUNCIATION:
(sy-DEE-ree-uhl) MEANING:
adjective:
1. Relating to the stars.
2. Measured with reference to the apparent motion of the stars. For example, sidereal time.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin sidus (star).

USAGE:
"The silvery, coarse grain of Maisel's prints in negative makes it hard to tell whether they present day or night views. In several, a darkness looms different from that of sidereal night."
Kenneth Baker; 'Home Movies' Not Like the Ones Your Dad Made; San Francisco Chronicle; Apr 14, 2007.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Oh, how small a portion of earth will hold us when we are dead, who ambitiously seek after the whole world while we are living! -Philip of Macedon, king, father of Alexander the Great (382-336 BCE)

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Tâm hồn an lành là một Mảnh Vườn
Ý an lành là Rễ
Lời an lành là Hoa
Việc làm tốt lành là Quả
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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:20 pm

fluvial

PRONUNCIATION:
(FLOO-vee-uhl) MEANING:
Of or relating to a river or stream.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin fluvius (river), from fluere (to flow). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhleu- (to swell or overflow), from which flow words such as affluent, influence, influenza, fluctuate, fluent, fluid, fluoride, flush, flux, reflux, and superfluous.

USAGE:
"Our fiesta celebration featured a fluvial procession on the Marikina and Pasig Rivers."
Jaime Laya; A Manila-Marikina-Valencia Connection; Manila Bulletin (Philippines); May 16, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion. -Francis Baconn, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)

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Tâm hồn an lành là một Mảnh Vườn
Ý an lành là Rễ
Lời an lành là Hoa
Việc làm tốt lành là Quả
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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:21 pm

rotund

PRONUNCIATION:
(ro-TUND) MEANING:
adjective:
1. Plump; fat.
2. Round in shape.
3. Having a full-toned, resonant sound.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin rotundus (round), from rota (wheel). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ret- (to run or to roll), which is also the source of rodeo, rotunda, rotate, rotary, roulette, and orotund.

USAGE:
"The famously rotund Drew Carey has lost 80 pounds."
Pamela Sitt; Reality Show Shake-ups; Kansas City Star; Aug 3, 2010.

"A few years ago, Japanese watermelon lovers suddenly found the normally rotund fruit sitting squarely on the shelves of supermarkets."
Piali Banerjee; Food or Fool's Paradise?; The Times of India (New Delhi); Oct 19, 2003.

"With his rich, rotund voice, Jonathan Lemalu has thrilled audiences around the world."
Christopher Moore; Powerful Accolades; The Press (Christchurch, New Zealand); Jul 26, 2006.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than "try to be a little kinder." -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

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Tâm hồn an lành là một Mảnh Vườn
Ý an lành là Rễ
Lời an lành là Hoa
Việc làm tốt lành là Quả
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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:22 pm

utilitarian

PRONUNCIATION:
(yoo-til-i-TAYR-ee-uhn) MEANING:
adjective:
1. Emphasizing usefulness and practicality over other considerations such as beauty.
2. Of or relating to utilitarianism: the doctrine that something's value is measured by its usefulness, especially as expressed by greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
noun: An adherent of utilitarianism.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin utilis (useful), from uti (to use).

USAGE:
"Gone is the utilitarian Subaru interiors of old. This new Subaru was downright luxurious."
John Paul; What Hyundai Needs to Sell the 2011 Equus; The Boston Globe; Aug 6, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Remarriage: A triumph of hope over experience. -Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)

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Tâm hồn an lành là một Mảnh Vườn
Ý an lành là Rễ
Lời an lành là Hoa
Việc làm tốt lành là Quả
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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:26 pm

sward

PRONUNCIATION:
(sward)

MEANING:
noun: The grassy surface of land: turf.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Old English sweard (skin, rind).


USAGE:
"While one man's six might bring cheers from the crowd, it brings fear for Mike Robins and his neighbours. They live next to the green sward of Alphington Cricket Club."
Neighbours 'Under Siege' From Cricket Club's Hard And High Balls; Express & Echo (Exeter, UK); Aug 5, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Oh, it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. -William Shakespeare, playwright and poet (1564-1616)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:28 pm

agent provocateur

PRONUNCIATION:
(ah-ZHON* proh-vok-uh-TUHR)
[* the second syllable is nasal]
plural agents provocateurs (pronunciation same)

MEANING:
noun: Someone employed to encourage or provoke suspects into doing something illegal so they can be arrested or discredited.


ETYMOLOGY:
From French agent provocateur (provoking agent).


USAGE:
"Stanislav Beranek was critical over the creation of the role of agent provocateur, who will seek to provoke artificial situations in which someone will accept a bribe."
Cillian O'Donoghue; New Pandur Purchase Inquiry Launched; The Prague Post (Czech Republic); Jul 21, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Now is the time to understand / That all your ideas of right and wrong / Were just a child's training wheels / To be laid aside / When you finally live / With veracity / And love. -Hafez, poet (1315-1390)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:34 pm

spinster

PRONUNCIATION:
(SPIN-stuhr) MEANING:
noun:
1. A woman who has remained single beyond the usual age of marrying.
2. In law, a woman who has never married.
3. A woman whose occupation is spinning.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Middle English spinnestere (a woman who spins), from the fact that in earlier times spinning yarn was one of the jobs done by an unmarried woman.

USAGE:
"Goldy Notay is a spinster whose mother is desperate to find her a husband."
Sarah Lang; Plenty of Pasta Preparation for Curry-Killer Film; The New Zealand Herald (Auckland); Aug 22, 2010.

"Liu Wei has already been compared to Susan Boyle, an unemployed Scottish spinster who became a global phenomenon last year when she stunned judges with her performance."
Armless Man Plays Piano with Toes to Win Hearts in China; Agence France-Presse (Paris); Aug 18, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way. -E.L. Doctorow, writer (b. 1931)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:36 pm

faux

PRONUNCIATION:
(foh) MEANING:
noun: Artificial; fake; false.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French faux (false), from Old French fals, from Latin falsus (false), past participle of fallere (to deceive).

USAGE:
"During movie production, all faux weapons had to be rubber."
Amy Kaufman; T.I. Reworks His Act for Hollywood; Los Angeles Times; Aug 26, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong. -John Kenneth Galbraith, economist (1908-2006)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:37 pm

fait accompli

PRONUNCIATION:
(fay-ta-kom-PLEE) plural faits accomplis (fay-zuh-kom-PLEE, fay-ta-kom-PLEEZ)
MEANING:
noun: A thing accomplished: a done deal.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French fait accompli (accomplished fact).

USAGE:
"Matt Giteau, whose selection was once regarded as a fait accompli, will today begin the toughest selection battle of his illustrious career."
Rupert Guinness; Triple Headache for Deans at No.12; The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); Aug 16, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
While fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace. -Virginia Woolf, writer (1882-1941)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:38 pm

enfant terrible

PRONUNCIATION:
(ahn*-fahn* te-REE-bluh) [* these syllables are nasal]
plural enfants terribles (ahn*-fahn* te-REE-bluh)
MEANING:
noun: A person, especially someone famous or successful, whose unconventional lifestyle, work, or behavior appears shocking.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French enfant terrible (terrible child).

USAGE:
"Once an enfant terrible, who as a young filmmaker challenged censors and outraged conservative critics, Koji Wakamatsu has not mellowed so much as ripened."
Mark Schilling; All's Unfair in Love and War; The Japan Times (Tokyo); Aug 13, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both. -Horace Mann, educational reformer (1796-1859)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:48 pm

dizen

PRONUNCIATION:
(DY-zuhn, DIZ-uhn)

MEANING:
verb tr.:
1. To attire with finery.
2. To dress or decorate in a gaudy manner.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Old English dis- (a bunch of flax on a distaff for spinning).


USAGE:
"Looking at Lily Savage's costumes, I was reminded of Carlyle's description of Madame Dubarry as a 'wonderfully dizened Scarlet-woman'."
Michael Billington; Aladdin: Sir Ian Proves There's Nothing Quite Like a (Panto) Dame; The Guardian (London, UK); Dec 20, 2004.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Walking is man's best medicine. -Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine (460-377 BCE)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:49 pm

subtile

PRONUNCIATION:
(SUT-l, SUB-tuhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Subtle: delicate; fine; not obvious; skillful.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin subtilis (finely woven), from sub- (under) + from tela (cloth on a loom). Ultimately from the Indo-European root teks- (to weave) that is also the source of text, tissue, tectonic, architect, technology.


USAGE:
"The fragrance is quite subtile."
Body scrubs; Coventry Evening Telegraph (UK); Nov 13, 2008.

"Sounds are too volatile and subtile for legal restraints; to enchain syllables, and to lash the wind, are equally the undertakings of pride."
Samuel Johnson; Preface to the English Dictionary; 1755.


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Time engraves our faces with all the tears we have not shed. -Natalie Clifford Barney, Author (1876-1972)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:50 pm

homespun

PRONUNCIATION:
(HOHM-spun)

MEANING:
adjective: Unsophisticated; unpolished; rustic.


ETYMOLOGY:
The word acquired its figurative meaning alluding to something made of yarn spun at home, one that's plain and coarse.


USAGE:
"I hope Britain never junks the homespun simplicity of basic biscuits for garish, fancy packets."
Oliver Thring; Consider the Biscuit; The Guardian (London, UK); Aug 10, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Men of genius are often dull and inert in society, as a blazing meteor when it descends to earth, is only a stone. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (1807-188

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:26 pm

Hades

PRONUNCIATION:
(HAY-deez)

MEANING:
noun: Hell.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek Haides, the god of the underworld in Greek mythology. The word is ultimately from the Indo-European root weid- (to see), which is also the source of words such as guide, wise, vision, advice, idea, story, and history. Hades derives from this root in the sense of invisible or unseen.


USAGE:
"The monstrous Greek debt and budget deficits have pushed the country to the very door of economic Hades."
Eric Reguly; Ireland; The Globe and Mail (Canada); Apr 1, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner ... on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. ... That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that. -Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:27 pm


never-never land


PRONUNCIATION:
(NEV-uhr-NEV-uhr land)

MEANING:
noun: An idealized imaginary place where everything is perfect.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Never Never Land in J.M. Barrie's play Peter Pan (1904).


USAGE:
"The movie Alamar comes perilously close to turning into an escapist fantasy of abandoning civilization for never-never land."
Stephen Holden; A Boy's Slice of Paradise Is Time Alone With Dad; The New York Times; Jul 14, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Be good and you will be lonesome. -Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:45 pm

ivory tower

PRONUNCIATION:
(EYE-vuh-ree TOU-uhr)

MEANING:
noun: A place or state of privileged seclusion, disconnected with practical matters and harsh realities of life.


ETYMOLOGY:
Translation of French tour d'ivoire, from tour (tower) + de (of) + ivoire (ivory). The term was first used in the figurative sense in 1837 by literary critic Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804-1869).


NOTES:
The term is often applied to academia for its supposed preoccupation with lofty intellectual pursuits. While the term in its figurative sense is first attributed to the French critic Sainte-Beuve, it is found in the Song of Solomon 7:4 in a literal sense: "Your neck is like an ivory tower."


USAGE:
"In a democratic system, the true leaders have to remain constantly in touch with, and reach out to, the people and not remain like a king in an ivory tower."
C L Manoj; The Agony of the Hereditary Turks; The Economic Times (New Delhi, India); Aug 9, 2010.

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A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest. -Douglas William Jerrold, playwright and humorist (1803-1857)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:25 pm

la-la land

PRONUNCIATION:
(la-la land)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A place or a state of being out of touch with reality.
2. A place known for frivolous activities.


ETYMOLOGY:
Finally, a fictional land that is named after a real place. The term la-la land is coined from the initials of the city of Los Angeles, home of Hollywood, alluding to the fictitious nature of the movies, sets, etc.


USAGE:
"Stockwell Day is in the la-la land of Republicans, who for decades whipped up (white) fear of (black) crime and kept building prisons across America until there was no more money to build."
Haroon Siddiqui; Harper's Ottawa Becomes Republican La-la Land; The Toronto Star (Canada); Aug 8, 2010.


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages. -Isak Dinesen (pen name of Karen Blixen), author (1885-1962)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:26 pm

deify or D-F-I

PRONUNCIATION:
(DEE-uh-fy)

MEANING:
verb tr.:
1. To make a god of.
2. To revere or idealize as a deity.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin deificare, from deus (god) + -ficare (to make), from facere (to make). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dyeu- (to shine) that is also the source of diva, divine, Jupiter, Jove, July, Zeus, and Sanskrit deva (god).


USAGE:
"India has given birth to so many reformers of organized religion that one wonders if it is a natural cycle: each of them shows common people the simple but neglected path to a personal faith, but they deify him into a divine status he never wanted, establishing an institution, and the circle begins all over again."
Ananda Lal; Spiritual Cycles; The Telegraph (Calcutta, India); Sep 11, 2010.

Explore "deify" in the Visual Thesaurus.


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. -Nelson Mandela, activist, South African president, Nobel laureate (b. 1918)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:55 pm

extenuate or X-10-U-8

PRONUNCIATION:
(ik-STEN-yoo-ayt)

MEANING:
verb tr.
1. To reduce or attempt to reduce the severity of (an error, an offense, etc.) by making partial excuses for it.
2. To lessen or to make light of.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin extenuare (to lessen), from ex- (out) + tenuare (to make thin), from tenuis (thin). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which is also the source of tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, and detente.


USAGE:
"The apology made clear that Shaftari believed that nothing could extenuate the wrongs he had done."
Robert F. Worth; 10 Years After a Mea Culpa, No Hint of a 'Me, Too'; The New York Times; Apr 17, 2010.

"Big bust, small lower half -- wear fitted jeans and tuck in your blouse to extenuate your waist."
Lindsay Clydesdale; A to Zoe of Fashion; Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland); May 11, 2010.

Explore "extenuate" in the Visual Thesaurus.


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood. -Henry Miller, writer (1891-1980)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:12 pm

excommunicate

PRONUNCIATION:
(verb: eks-kuh-MYOO-ni-kayt, noun and adj: eks-kuh-MYOO-ni-kit, -kayt)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To formally exclude someone from a group or community, especially from a religious community.
noun: A person who has been excluded in this manner.
adjective: Having been excluded.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin excommunicare (to put out of the community), from ex- (out of) + communis (common). Ultimately from the Indo-European root mei- (to change or move) that has also given us commute, mutual, migrate, common, mistake, and immune.

NOTES:
There's censorship of books, and there is censorship of humans. Excommunication is a fancy word to describe the latter.

USAGE:
"Aquinas had responded that we ought to die excommunicated rather than violate our conscience."
Fr Joe Borg; Respect and responsibility; The Times (Valletta, Malta); Sep 5, 2010.

Explore "excommunicate" in the Visual Thesaurus.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The lust for comfort murders the passions of the soul. -Khalil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:13 pm

custos morum

PRONUNCIATION:
(KOOS-tohs MOH-room, -ruhm)

MEANING:
noun: A guardian of morals; censor.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin custos morum (guardian of morals, laws, etc.).

USAGE:
"A self-righteous soul can identify himself as custos morum."
William Safire; Delicious Delicto; The New York Times; Mar 30, 1986.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
No iron spike can pierce a human heart as icily as a period in the right place. -Isaac Babel, author (1894-1940)

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Re: Words that you don't see everyday   Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:14 pm

In Saudi Arabia a woman in public has to be covered head to toe or risk arrest (see 1, 2). In India it's socially acceptable if a woman's torso and legs are clad. In the US it's tolerable as long as her top and bottom are not exposed. And in Europe anything (or nothing) is fair game.
Which one of these configurations is correct? Who decides? Well, here is an idea: Why not let a woman decide for herself? The same goes for books. Instead of banning certain books, why not let a reader decide what books he wants to read, and what books to buy or borrow?

Unfortunately even in these modern times there are Comstocks and Bowdlers around us. To highlight the issue, librarians, booksellers, and readers celebrate the freedom to read by observing Banned Books Week during the last week of September every year (Sep 25 - Oct 2 this year).

In A.Word.A.Day this week we'll feature five words related to censorship.


fatwa

PRONUNCIATION:
(FAHT-wah)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A ruling on a point of law given by an Islamic religious leader.
2. A severe denunciation.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Arabic fatwa (legal opinion, decree), from afta (to decide a legal point). Ultimately from the Semitic root ptw (to advise) that also brought us the word mufti.

NOTES:
Although the word has been recorded in the English language since 1625, the incident that brought it into worldwide consciousness took place in 1989. The most infamous of all fatwas took place on February 14 that year when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran pronounced a death sentence on the novelist Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses.
Khomeini could simply have written a book of his own countering Rushdie's. Why not fight ink with ink instead of with blood?

In Islam a fatwa could be a ruling on any point (such as the fatwa against ads for dog chow, see below), and most fatwas are about day-to-day life. But given the ease with which fatwas seem to call for murder, the word is now synonymous with extreme condemnation of someone, up to death. The latest fatwa victim is a Seattle cartoonist.

USAGE:
"Ads promoting pet foods and shops selling pet accessories, especially for cats and dogs, have been banned by the fatwa. Based on shariah, a dog is essentially unclean."
Fatwa Bans Pet Ads; Tehran Times (Iran); Aug 25, 2010.

"By not having read carefully my extremely carefully thought-through text, many scooter riders contacted me most angrily because they thought I'd inferred [read: implied] that all scooter riders are fascists... I have nothing against scooters -- I had quite a romance with an old Lambretta myself once -- so please withdraw your fatwa."
Barefoot Doctor; Global Warning; The Observer (London, UK); Jul 14, 2002.

Explore "fatwa" in the Visual Thesaurus.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. -Jules Renard, author (1864-1910)

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