Word of the Day

Word of the day

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

sic

[ seek; English sik ]

adverb

Latin.

so; thus: usually written parenthetically to denote that a word, phrase, passage, etc., that may appear strange or incorrect has been written intentionally or has been quoted verbatim: He signed his name as e. e. cummings (sic).

learn about the english language

What is the origin of sic?

People may be familiar with the motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Sic semper tyrannis “Thus ever to tyrants.” Usually, English sic appears alone, usually written in italics within square brackets, [sic], showing that the preceding misused or misspelled word is correctly cited, as, for instance, “marshal [sic] law” for “martial law.” Sic comes straight from the Latin adverb sīc “thus, so,” which is the source of Italian , Spanish and Catalan , and French si, all meaning “yes.” A related Latin word, the conjunction “if,” is the source of Italian se, Spanish and Catalan si, and French si, all meaning “if.” Sic entered English in the second half of the 19th century.

how is sic used?

Would love to take a new look at you’re (sic) new book. … Is Clint Reno still you’re (sic) agent?

Ted Heller, Pocket Kings, 2012

In her remarks, she flattered her audience as “smart people who also happens [sic] to be rich and powerful.”

Avi Steinberg, "Can a Robot Join the Faith?" The New Yorker, November 13, 2017

Listen to the word of the day

sic

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

delegate

[ noun del-i-git, -geyt ]

noun

a person designated to act for or represent another or others; deputy; representative, as in a political convention.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of delegate?

English delegate ultimately comes from Latin dēlēgātus “appointee,” a noun use of the past participle of the verb dēlēgāre “to appoint, assign,” a compound of the prefix dē- “away (from here)” and the simple verb lēgāre “to send as an envoy, depute,” a derivative of the noun lex (stem lēg-) “law” (source of legal and, via Old French, loyal). Formerly in U.S legal and constitutional usage, a delegate was the title of a representative of a state in the First Continental Congress (1774), and later the title of the representative of a Territory in the U.S. House of Representatives. Delegate entered English in the 14th century.

how is delegate used?

By the end of Super Tuesday, more than a third of all convention delegates will have been pledged nationally.

George Skelton, "California won't be a kingmaker on Super Tuesday. But it's the gatekeeper to the final stretch," Los Angeles Times, February 13, 2020

By the mid-1960s, Nixon was still regarded as a joke by the national press and the national party structure, but he found himself with more and more friends at the party’s local level, friends who would eventually be delegates to the 1968 Republican Convention.

Gregg Easterbrook, "The Perpetual Campaign," The Atlantic, January 1983

Listen to the word of the day

delegate

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day

Monday, March 02, 2020
Today's Word of the Day was selected by NASA

astronaut

[ as-truh-nawt, -not ]

noun

a person engaged in or trained for spaceflight.

learn about the english language

Why NASA chose astronaut

Calling all astrophiles! Today, March 2, NASA begins accepting applications for their next class of astronauts. Do you have what it takes to become a "star sailor"? Watch this video to find out!

What is the origin of astronaut?

Astronaut entered the orbit of English speakers in the late 1800s from the realm of science fiction. The first recorded instance comes from an 1880 novel by Percy Greg called Across the Zodiac: The Story of a Wrecked Record, in which Astronaut is the name of the narrator’s spacecraft. The sense under discussion today, “a person engaged in or trained for spaceflight,” emerged in the 1920s, decades before the launch of Sputnik (1957) marked the beginning of the Space Age. Astronaut is a compound of astro– “pertaining to stars or celestial bodies or to activities, as spaceflight, taking place outside the earth’s atmosphere,” from Greek ástron “star, constellation,” and –naut a combining form meaning “traveler,” from Greek naútēs “sailor.” 

how is astronaut used?

In the latter part of the twentieth century, those fantasies [of conquering space] were replaced by actual vehicles which could venture into space and a daring new breed of hero—the astronaut.

Colin Burgess, Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's First Astronauts, 2011

From the very beginning this “astronaut” business was just an unbelievable good deal. It was such a good deal that it seemed like tempting fate for an astronaut to call himself an astronaut, even though that was the official job description.

Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff, 1979

Listen to the word of the day

astronaut

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00
Word of the Day Calendar

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Word of the Day Calendar