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    Wednesday, September 12, 2018

    reticulation

    noun [ri-tik-yuh-ley-shuhn]
    a netlike formation, arrangement, or appearance; network.
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    What is the origin of reticulation?

    Reticulation Is a derivative of the adjective reticulate (and the noun suffix -ion), of Latin origin. Reticulate comes from Latin rēticulātus “covered with a net, having a netlike pattern,” a derivative of the noun rēticulum “small net, a network bag,” itself a derivative of rēte “net (for hunting, fishing, fowling).” Reticulation entered English in the 17th century.

    How is reticulation used?

    ... Ralph Marvell, stretched on his back in the grass, lay gazing up at a black reticulation of branches between which bits of sky gleamed with the hardness and brilliancy of blue enamel. Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country, 1913

    Her appearance has changed as well, and I don't mean just the intense reticulation of lines and wrinkles, the true stigmata of life. Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman, 2013

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  • Word of the day
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    Tuesday, September 11, 2018

    atweel

    adverb [uh-tweel, at-weel]
    Scot. surely.
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    What is the origin of atweel?

    Atweel is an alteration and contraction of Scots (I) wat weel, (I) wot well in standard if archaic English, meaning (I) know well in modern standard English. Unsurprisingly, atweel is found only in Scottish authors, the two most famous being Robert Burns (1759–1796) and Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832). Atweel entered English in the 18th century.

    How is atweel used?

    Atweel, I can do that, and help her to buy her parapharnauls. John Galt, The Entail, 1823

    Atweel, I dinna ken yet. George MacDonald, Robert Falconer, 1868

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  • Word of the day
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    Monday, September 10, 2018

    tautology

    noun [taw-tol-uh-jee]
    needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in “widow woman.”
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    What is the origin of tautology?

    Tautology comes from Late Latin tautologia, a borrowing of a Hellenistic Greek rhetorical term tautología “repetition of something already said.” The second half of tautology is clear enough, being the same suffix as in theology or philology. The first element tauto- needs some clarification: it comes from tò autó “the same,” formed from the neuter singular of the definite article and the third person pronoun (the combination of tò autó to tautó is called krâsis “mixture,” which appears in idiosyncrasy “personal temperament”—a “personal blend” as it were. Tautology entered English in the 16th century.

    How is tautology used?

    Take away perspective and you are stranded in a universal present, something akin, weirdly, to the unhistoried — and, at the risk of tautology, perspective-less — art of the Middle Ages. Geoff Dyer, "Andreas Gursky's photos visually articulate the world around us, framing modern society," Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2015

    ... the central moral question is whether we are going to use the language of tautology and self-justification – one that gives us alone the right to be called reasonable and human – or whether we labour to discover other ways of speaking and imagining. Rowan Williams, "What Orwell can teach us about the language of terror and war," The Guardian, December 12, 2015

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  • Word of the day
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    Sunday, September 09, 2018

    sweeting

    noun [swee-ting]
    a sweet variety of apple.
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    What is the origin of sweeting?

    Sweeting is an obvious noun formed from the adjective sweet and the noun suffix -ing “one belonging to, descended from.” The sense “sweetheart,” not used nowadays, dates from about 1300; the sense “a variety of sweet apple” dates from the 16th century.

    How is sweeting used?

    ... I do give her the frut of two appel trees one a sweeting ye nothermost of ye sweetings in ye Lower yard and ye westermost tree by ye highway. "A Trip to Old Harwich," The Owl, September 1903

    They be not righteous actions that make a righteous man; nor be they evil actions that make a wicked man: for a tree must be a sweeting tree before it yield sweetings; and a crab tree before it bring forth crabs. John Bunyan, A Discourse Upon the Pharisee and the Publican, 1685

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  • Word of the day
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    Saturday, September 08, 2018

    caboshed

    adjective [kuh-bosht]
    Heraldry. (of an animal, as a deer) shown facing forward without a neck: a stag's head caboshed.
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    What is the origin of caboshed?

    Caboshed, also spelled caboched and cabossed is a technical term in heraldry referring to a beast decapitated behind its horns. The -ed shows that the variant spellings are all past participles of the very rare and obsolete verb cabochen, cabachen “to behead (a deer or other beast) right behind its horns.” The English verb comes from the French verb cabocher (past participle caboché), a derivative of caboche (Old French caboce), a pejorative northern French dialect (Norman, Picard) word meaning “head” (literally “cabbage”). Caboche may be a development of Latin caput “head.” Caboshed entered English in the 16th century.

    How is caboshed used?

    ... an heraldic shield featuring a lion's head caboshed, with medusa hair, a single bulging eye, a beard, and tusks ... John Clute, Appleseed, 2001

    A fanciful menagerie flourished on the banners: the caboshed boar of Janos of Hungary, the naiant dolphin of a Sicilian Norman, the salient-countersalient white stags of Conrad's men, and everywhere the Templars' Pegasus. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Crusader's Torch, 1988

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  • Word of the day
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    Friday, September 07, 2018

    locavore

    noun [loh-kuh-vawr, -vohr]
    a person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised, or produced locally, usually within 100 miles of home.
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    What is the origin of locavore?

    Locavore was coined in 2005 by Jessica Prentice (born 1968), an American chef and author, and a co-founder of Three Stone Hearth, a community-supported kitchen in Berkeley, California. Locavore is a compound of English local, from Latin locālis “pertaining to a place” (from locus "place") and Latin vorāre “to swallow ravenously,” which also appears in devour “to swallow down, gulp down,” carnivore “meat eater,” and herbivore “grass eater.”

    How is locavore used?

    The pomegranates, Boston lettuce, and tomatoes came from out of state--it was hard to be a complete locavore in New England during the winter. Steven Raichlen, Island Apart, 2012

    The locavore movement aims to capture that flavor difference and promote sustainable, community-based agriculture by favoring "low-mileage" foods over ones that have traveled long distances to arrive at your plate. Christie Aschwanden, "The Locavore," Runner's World, October 2008

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  • Word of the day
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    Thursday, September 06, 2018

    cyclopean

    adjective [sahy-kluh-pee-uhn, sahy-klop-ee-uhn]
    gigantic; vast.
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    What is the origin of cyclopean?

    English cyclopean comes from the Latin adjective Cyclōpēus, a borrowing of Greek Kyklṓpeios, a derivative of the common noun, proper noun, and name Kýklōps, which the Greeks interpreted to mean “round eye” (a compound of kýklos “wheel” and ōps “eye, face”). The most famous Cyclops is Polyphemus, a crude, solitary shepherd living on an island whom Odysseus blinded in Homer’s Odyssey. Hesiod (ca. 8th century b.c.) in his Theogony names three Cyclopes; they are craftsmen who make Zeus’s thunderbolts, and whom the Greeks often credited with building the walls of ancient Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos, and the acropolis of Athens, all constructed with massive limestone blocks roughly fitted together without mortar. Cyclopean entered English in the 17th century.

    How is cyclopean used?

    ... large ships’ vents hang from the two-story-high ceiling, like Cyclopean worms poking their heads in to check out the space. Colin Stokes, "The Ship," The New Yorker, May 16, 2016

    And ahead, the great cyclopean edifice reared like a giant's curse against the darkness: too dense a black, too severe. Storm Constantine, The Way of Light, 2002

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