Word of the Day

Sunday, November 18, 2018

shunpike

[ shuhn-pahyk ]

noun

a side road taken instead of a turnpike or expressway to avoid tolls or to travel at a leisurely pace.

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What is the origin of shunpike?

Shunpike is a blend of the verb shun and the noun (turn)pike. The word was originally an Americanism and dates from the mid-19th century.

how is shunpike used?

… she proposed to Mr. Morris that he should take the shunpike for a change.

Frank R. Stockton, The Captain's Toll-Gate, 1903

Shunpiking is real,” he said, using an old term for avoiding toll roads.

Phil Patton, "The Virtues of Avoiding Interstates," New York Times, August 5, 2007
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Saturday, November 17, 2018

conurbation

[ kon-er-bey-shuhn ]

noun

an extensive urban area resulting from the expansion of several cities or towns so that they coalesce but usually retain their separate identities.

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What is the origin of conurbation?

Conurbation is a coinage of Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932), Scottish sociologist and city planner. The formation of conurbation is simple enough: the Latin prefix con-, a form of the prefix and preposition cum-, cum “with, together with,” urb-, the stem of urbs “city, capital city, large town; the City, i.e., Rome” (unfortunately urbs has no known etymology), and the common noun suffix -ation. Conurbation entered English in 1915.

how is conurbation used?

By 1984, there may well be several giant urban conurbations in the world which will make the present Greater Tokyo, New York and London look rather puny.

Ruth Glass, "Cities in 1984: Stability and Strife," New Scientist, July 16, 1964

Then the conurbation spread and Hallowgate became part of the North Tyneside sprawl.

Ann Cleeves, Killjoy, 1993
Friday, November 16, 2018

scienter

[ sahy-en-ter ]

noun

a mental state in which one has knowledge that one’s action, statement, etc., is wrong, deceptive, or illegal: often used as a standard of guilt: The court found that the company had the requisite scienter for securities fraud.

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What is the origin of scienter?

In English scienter is both a noun and an adverb used in the law; in Latin scienter is an adverb only and is not restricted to legal usage. Latin scienter “skillfully, expertly; knowingly, consciously” breaks down to scien(t)-, the inflectional stem of the present participle sciēns from the verb scīre “to know, know how to” (scientia “knowledge, science” is a derivative of scient-), and the Latin adverbial suffix -ter, which is regularly used with adjectives and participles whose inflectional stem ends in -nt- (the t of the -nt- is dropped). Scienter entered English in the 17th century.

how is scienter used?

Now, there is absolutely nothing in this case to prove that he had any guilty knowledge to the effect that his account was too low to meet the draft in question. You have proven no scienter whatever.

Arthur Cheney Train, The Confessions of Artemas Quibble, 1911

Lawyers say that Stewart’s insider-trading case will come down to a question of scienter. Did she know she was doing something wrong when she sold her ImClone stock?

Andrew Feinberg, "Are You Guilty of Insider Trading?" Kiplinger's Personal Finance, January 2004

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