awkward, evasive, or pretentious prose said to characterize the publications and correspondence of U.S. federal bureaus.
Federalese is the youngest of an unlovely trio, dates to 1944, and has the narrowest reference, being restricted to the federal government. The equally ugly bureaucratese also dates to World War II (1942) and is broader in scope, including state and municipal government. The oldest and most comprehensive term, officialese, dates to 1884. In English the suffix -ese forms derivative adjectives and nouns from names of countries, their inhabitants, and their languages (such as Chinese, Faroese, Portuguese, Japanese, and Brooklynese, too). By analogy with this usage, –ese is used jocularly or disparagingly to form words designating the diction of people or institutions accused of writing in a dialect of their own invention (such as journalese, officialese, bureaucratese, and federalese).
The C.D. program echoes the 1950s mania for bomb shelters, but the 1982 version incorporates a new idea. In federalese, it’s called “crisis relocation,” and, like bomb shelters, a lot of it is laughable.
The language used is bureaucratic gobbledygook, jargon, double talk, a form of officialese, federalese and insurancese, and doublespeak.
liable to sin or error.
Peccable comes from Old French from the Medieval Latin adjective peccābilis “capable of sin, susceptible to sin,” formed from the Latin verb peccāre “to go wrong, make a mistake, act incorrectly, commit a moral or sexual offense.” Peccable was formed on the model of impeccable, which dates from the first half of the 16th century. Peccable entered English in the early 1600s.
In his thought at that sharp moment he blasphemed even against all that had been left of his faith in the peccable Master.
And Mrs. Hancock delivers Mrs. Malaprop’s peccable usages with impeccable aplomb. Nothing offends this lady so much as having someone cast ”an aspersion upon my parts of speech.”
disposed to perceive one's environment in visual terms and to recall sights more vividly than sounds, smells, etc.
Eye-minded “tending to perceive one’s environment in visual terms and to recall sights more vividly than sounds or smells” was originally and still is a term used in psychology. Eye-minded has a companion term ear-minded dating from the same year (1888). A third related term motor-minded “tending to perceive one’s environment in terms of mechanical or muscular activity” dates to the end of the 19th century.
Some persons are “eye-minded.” They particularly enjoy seeing things, and retain visual memories far longer than any other.
He is a good visualizer, and is eye-minded in every respect.
The adjective donnish “bookish, pedantic” is a derivative of the Oxbridge term don “a head, fellow, or tutor of a college.” The English noun comes from the Spanish title of respect Don prefixed to a man’s name, as Don Quixote. Spanish don, Portuguese dom ultimately come from Late Latin domnus, a shortening of Latin dominus “lord, master.” Domnus is also the source of Italian Donno, usually reduced to Don, a title of respect for a man, such as Don Corleone.
Latin domina “mistress (of a household), lady (of the imperial family)” is the feminine of dominus, and the source of French and English dame, Spanish doña, Portuguese dona, and Italian donna “woman, lady of the house” and Madonna, literally “my lady,” not only a title of the Virgin Mary, but also a respectful form of address equivalent to French madame. In medieval Florence Madonna was shortened to Mona “Ma’am,” an informal but respectful title for a married woman, such as Mona Lisa. In the Neapolitan dialect (and other southern Italian dialects), intervocalic d becomes r, Madonna thereby becoming Maronna, the final a falling away, leaving the interjection Maronn’, a cry of exasperation. Donna has become a female given name in some parts of the United States with large Italian American populations. Donnish entered English in the early 19th century.
Sir Richard was not exactly donnish, but there was an element of the academic in what seemed otherwise to be a traditional, bird-slaughtering, upper-rank Englishman.
… [William Safire] founded our On Language column in February 1979 and proceeded to write tens of thousands of words about phrases (fashionable and not), usages (proper and not), roots (definitive and not) and his own donnish taste — not! …
frailty; transitoriness: the caducity of life.
Caducity is an uncommon noun meaning “frailty, weakness of old age.” It comes from French caducité “obsolescence, cancellation,” a derivation of the adjective caduc “obsolete, deciduous,” from the Latin adjective cadūcus “fallen, falling, liable to fall, frail, fleeting.” Caducity entered English in the 17th century.
What remains, the point of the passion, is a fascination with caducity and the relationship of photography to it.
A man … to whom, and to whose colleagues, amid the perishable caducity of human affairs, is largely due the pullulation of literary taste ….
all the time; always.
Everywhen “at all times, always” usually appears in the phrase “everywhere and everywhen.” The word dates from the mid-17th century, but it has never really caught on.
… the Doctor’s time and space machine gives him limitless opportunities to travel everywhere and everywhen—a freedom most of us would love to possess.
Time stood still (that moment was eternal) and it was placeless (ubiquitous, everywhere and everywhen).
either of the apparent extremities of the rings of Saturn or of other planets, especially when viewed from a distance under certain conditions, when they look like two handles.
English ansa comes via French anse “handle” from Latin ānsa “handle (of a cup, a door), a loop, an opening, an opportunity.” As a term in art history or archaeology, ansa means “an incised, decorated handle of a vase.” The astronomical sense “one of the apparent extremities of the rings of Saturn or other celestial bodies” is a New Latin sense dating from the 17th century. Latin ānsa is akin to Old Prussian ansis “hook, kettle-hook” and Lithuanian ąsà “pot handle.”
A distinct dark patch, like a notch, visible near the middle of the ansa, broadest on the face of ring, and extending nearly from the inner to outer edge.
The moon Epimetheus can be seen near Saturn, just above the right ansa, or the portion of the ring that appears farthest away from the planet’s disk in the image.