Word of the Day

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

tsuris

[ tsoor-is, tsur- ]

noun

Slang. trouble; woe.

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What is the origin of tsuris?

Tsuris is from Yiddish tsures, tsores. This, in turn came from Hebrew ṣarā, plural ṣarōth meaning “troubles.” Tsuris entered English in the 1970s.

how is tsuris used?

Graham, I want Jack’s work in the show, don’t give me any tsuris on this.

Marc Olden, Wellington's, 1977

Initially, the series only broadly winked at the reasons for Jack’s slow-burning tsuris.

Manohla Dargis, "Patriarch Faces Future: Who to Lead Nutty Clan When He Is Gone?" New York Times, December 21, 2010
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Monday, November 26, 2018

misinformation

[ mis-in-fer-mey-shuhn ]

noun

false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead: In the chaotic hours after the earthquake, a lot of misinformation was reported in the news.

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What is the origin of misinformation?

Misinformation simply means wrong or false information; it does not necessarily imply deception or lying. Indeed, it is often difficult to determine from the context whether the misinformation is simply a mistake or a deliberate lie. Misinformation is a compound formed from the Germanic prefix mis– (also miss-) “wrong, bad.” (Mis– does not occur in Latin or Greek: in Latin misinformation would be something like mala nuntiātiō; the Greek would be kakḕ angelía.) Information comes ultimately from Late Latin informātiō (stem informātiōn-), one of whose meanings is “instruction, teaching.” Disinformation on the other hand, is deliberately false and meant to deceive. English disinformation is a calque, a loan translation of Russian dezinformátsiya, which is based on the French verb désinform(er) “to misinform.” Misinformation entered English in the 16th century (disinformation entered English in the mid-20th century).

how is misinformation used?

Facebook and other social platforms have been fighting online misinformation and hate speech for two years.

Barbara Ortutay, AP News, November 3, 2018

We’ve got Pinkerton so full of misinformation now that he truly thinks General Lee has a million men under arms, and that we’re fixing to kidnap Lincoln.

Gore Vidal, Lincoln, 1984
Sunday, November 25, 2018

serry

[ ser-ee ]

verb

Archaic. to crowd closely together.

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What is the origin of serry?

The uncommon verb serry has always had a military sense “to press close together in ranks.” Serry comes from French serré, the past participle of serrer “to press together, crowd.” French serrer comes from Italian serrare “to close ranks,” from Vulgar Latin serrāre, from Latin serāre, “to lock, bolt.” Serry entered English in the 16th century.

how is serry used?

Serry your ranks, there,” said the Major amiably as they edged past.

Edmund Crispin, The Glimpses of the Moon, 1977

Fish laid to serry like roofing tiles, glinting in their own oils.

Gregory Maguire, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, 1999

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