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the quality or state of being mild or gentle, as toward others.
The English noun lenity is a borrowing of Old French lenité or Latin lēnitat-, the stem of lēnitās “softness, smoothness, gentleness,” a derivative of the adjective lēnis, from which English has lenient and lenition. Lenity entered English in the mid-16th century.
He confined the knowledge of governing within very narrow bounds, to common sense and reason, to justice and lenity, to the speedy determination of civil and criminal causes …
… I have relaxed, as I believe I may depend on her observing the rules I have laid down for their discourse. But do not imagine that with all this lenity I have for a moment given up my plan of her marriage …
to use the mind; think or think about.
The verb cerebrate is a back formation from the noun cerebration, which is a derivative of the Latin noun cerebrum “brain, understanding.” Cerebrum is a derivative of a very widespread, very complicated Proto-Indo-European root ker- “uppermost part of the body, head, horn, nail (of the finger or toe).” This root has many variant forms and is related to the Latin noun crābro “hornet” (English hornet comes from the same root), Greek kár “head” and kéras “horn,” and German Hirn “brain.” Cerebrate entered English in the 19th century.
To think, then, is to cerebrate. To worry is to cerebrate intensely.
If you simply retire to your own room, shove your backside into an excessively sprung easy chair, and there grimly cerebrate, the chances are that you will eventually do no more than crawl into bed — to wake up six to eight hours later with an unsolved conundrum and a filthy headache.
to make a crunching sound, as in walking over snow, or as snow when trodden on.
Crump was first recorded in 1640-50. It is imitative of the sound of something crunching underfoot.
With the new snow flattening sounds he felt almost deaf or dreaming. His boots crumped down into it.
The horses’ hooves crunched in the snow, the wagon wheels creaked through it and, behind, the march of several hundred feet crump–crumped along.
complex or intricate: a deal requiring Byzantine financing.
The English adjective Byzantine originally applied to the city of Byzantium (later Constantinople) and the art, architecture, and history of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire. The most common current sense “complex, intricate” dates from the first half of the 20th century. Byzantine entered English in the 18th century.
“We’ve had the process referred to as byzantine, shrouded in secrecy, opaque. Yet this is the process that Congress designed, a process that not only demands confidentiality, but strict confidentiality. This is the system we’re tasked to administer,” Grundmann said.
Over the course of two hundred pages I had improvised a byzantine system involving highlighter, underlines, and marginal punctuation marks.
Slang. courage; nerve; determination.
Moxie originally was the trademark of a carbonated soft drink that was created by Dr. Augustin Thompson, a homeopathic physician who was born in Maine and spent his professional life in Massachusetts. Dr. Thompson patented his beverage in 1885 and promoted it as a “nerve tonic” or “nerve food.” Moxie, the drink, has always been associated with New England: Calvin Coolidge liked it; Ted Williams endorsed it on the radio; the state of Maine made Moxie its official soft drink in 2005. Moxie’s lowercase sense “courage, spirit, vigor” entered English in the 20th century.
“The only safe thing is to take a chance,” she told Nichols, who was both amazed at her moxie and inspired by her trust in him.
He’s not a natural singer … but like the kid in the school play who sells the thing by sheer force of moxie, Crowe handily wins us over.
the process of forgetting.
Oblivescence dates from the late 19th century and is a later spelling of obliviscence, which dates from the late 18th century. The spelling oblivescence arose by influence of the far more common suffix -escence. The English noun is a derivative of the Latin verb oblīviscī “to forget,” literally “to wipe away, smooth over.” The Latin verb is composed of the prefix ob- “away, against” and the same root as the adjective lēvis “smooth.”
Would that our sins had built-in qualities of oblivescence such as our dreams have.
Even in reasoning, the gratifying confirmatory instance sticks in the mind, while the negative cases all go glimmering into oblivescence.
of or relating to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it.
The Greek noun epistḗmē “skill, knowledge, scientific knowledge, science” is a derivative of the verb epistánai “to know how (to do), believe (that), be acquainted with, know, know as a fact.” The verb is composed of the prefix epi- “on, over” and stánai “to stand.” Various languages use different prefixes plus the verb to stand to express intellectual comprehension: in Greek one “stands over”; in German verstehen means literally “stand before’”; and in English one “stands under.”
Debates over epistemic principles sound abstract, but they have enormous practical repercussions. For instance, in order to decide policy matters (like what to put in our textbooks and what to teach in science classrooms) we need to decide on the facts.
The US is experiencing a deep epistemic breach, a split not just in what we value or want, but in who we trust, how we come to know things, and what we believe we know — what we believe exists, is true, has happened and is happening.