Word of the Day

Word of the day

Saturday, February 24, 2018

tutti

[ too-tee ]

adjective

Music. all; all the voices or instruments together.

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What is the origin of tutti?

The Italian word tutti means “all,” i.e., all the instruments or voices of an orchestra together. Tutti is the masculine plural of tutto “all,” from Vulgar Latin tottus (unattested), from Latin tōtus. Tutti entered English in the 18th century.

how is tutti used?

He used to say that music could be either about almost nothing, one tiny strand of sound plucked like a silver hair from the head of the Muse, or about everything there was, all of it, tutti tutti, life, marriage, otherworlds, earthquakes, uncertainties, warnings, rebukes, journeys, dreams, love, the whole ball of wax, the full nine yards, the whole catastrophe.

Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, 1999

You will hear the very obvious difference in volume between the tutti notes and the immediately following music, which is still forte but is played by fewer instruments.

Robert Nelson, Carl J. Christensen, Foundations of Music, 2006
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Word of the day

Friday, February 23, 2018

Rasputin

[ ra-spyoo-tin, -tn ]

noun

any person who exercises great but insidious influence.

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What is the origin of Rasputin?

Grigori Efimovich Rasputin (c1871-1916) was a Russian peasant and self-proclaimed mystic and holy man (he had no official position in the Russian Orthodox Church). By 1904 Rasputin was popular among the high society of St. Petersburg, and in 1906 he became the healer of Alexei Nikolaevich Romanov, heir to the Russian throne and the hemophiliac son of Czar Nicholas II and his wife, Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and a carrier of hemophilia). In December 1916 Rasputin was murdered by Russian noblemen because of his influence over Czar Nicholas and the czarina.

how is Rasputin used?

… the dynamics of the situation do not permit him to be a Rasputin, whispering in Nixon’s ear.

David Nevin, "Autocrat in the Action Arena," Life, September 5, 1969

Others have described Isaacs as “a Rasputin or Svengali-like character in Kerner’s life who exploited his undue influence over the governor and led him astray.”

Cynthia Grant Bowman, Dawn Clark Netsch: A Political Life, 2010

Word of the day

Thursday, February 22, 2018

fantasticate

[ fan-tas-ti-keyt ]

verb

to make or render fantastic.

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What is the origin of fantasticate?

Fantasticate was first recorded in 1590-1600.

how is fantasticate used?

Parallel universes are another trope borrowed from the repertory of science fiction. They are a marvelous convenience for authors who want to fantasticate at a high rpm without having to offer a rational explanation for the wonders they evoke.

Thomas M. Disch, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of, 1998

She also fantasticates about food, and her Catholicism surfaces in her lingering on the cannibalism at the heart of the eucharist.

Marina Warner, "From high society to surrealism: in praise of Leonora Carrington -- 100 years on," The Guardian, April 6, 2017

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