Monday, November 27, 2006

How many of your friends pick up a dictionary looking for one word, and wind up reading the whole thing?

Who's asking: Linda Brown, Sherman Oaks, CA

Today is a do-it-yourself question, because I am swamped to the point of panic and had no business taking all that time off this past weekend. (I did, however, see two highly entertaining movies: The Departed and Casino Royale. Check them out. That Daniel Craig is one fine, fine... uh... actor. He's a fine actor, yes indeed he is.)

I suspect you are looking for validation of your own habits, Linda, and I am happy to give it to you. At a guess, I'd say all my friends are dictionary browsers -- because if you aren't someone who appreciates the entertainment value of a dictionary, I don't think we should be friends any more.

To prove my point, I challenge everyone who visits today to open a dictionary to any page, and post a cool random word in the comments section. I'll start:

rin-der-pest (rĭn'dər-pĕst) n. An acute, often fatal, contagious viral disease, chiefly of cattle, characterized by ulceration of the alimentary tract and resulting in diarrhea.

Isn't knowledge a wonderful thing? Leave your own discoveries below.

8 comments:

Linda Brown said...

You're right, Clair: it is my deep need for validation that has prompted this question. A cute boy in 6th grade accused me of reading the dictionary every night before bed, and I've never gotten over it. Having the nickname of "professor" at age 12 is just plain hard on a girl.

mordacious (môrˈdā sh əs) adjective, formal. 1. denoting or using biting sarcasm or invective. 2. (of a person or animal) given to biting.

Anonymous said...

Words you could actually drop into conversation, and in exact alphabetical order in _American Heritage_:

ses-qui-pe-da-lian -- adj. 1. Long and ponderous; polysyllabic. 2. Given to using long words.

ses-sile -- adj. 1. Bot. Stalkless and attached directly at the base (sessile leaves). 2. Zool. Permanetly attached or fixed; not free-moving.

"Comic Book Guy from 'The Simpsons' is mordacious, sessile, and sesquipedalian. Reminds me of me."

-- Ed

JJ said...

I won't leave a discovery but I will validate. The love of words is the first step on the way to addictive reading and writing. And there is no 12 step program.

Anonymous said...

I also went to see The Departed this weekend. If you like Scorsese this is a great movie. I, however, am not a big fan. Everytime you think this movie is over (or should be) a sub-plot is forgotten, more people die horrible deaths, and the movie goes on for 15 more minutes.
James

Anonymous said...

Today's discovery from wordsmith.org

prise (pryz) verb tr.

1. To force open or part something with a lever.

2. To extract information from someone with difficulty.

http://wordsmith.org/words/today.html

- Scott L.

Michael D. said...

From the Book of Funk & Wagnall we find

har-py -- n. 1. a rapacious, predatory person, especially a woman. 2. A large, crested, voracious tropical Amercian eagle.

Four entries further down we find:

har-ri-dan -- n. A hateful old woman; vicious hag.

Wasn't the "house mother" in "Annie" named, Ms. Harridan? Don't harp on it too long.

Will and Sarah said...

Hey Clair. We love your blog. We went with Arne to see the "New Bond" this weekend. We all really enjoyed it.
Love Will and Sarah

and because I loved Stranger in a Strange Land.....

grok (grok) v. 1.To understand thoroughly and intuitively. 2. to communicate sympathetically.

Running from my House said...

I also enjoyed Daniel Craig for his..um... acting skills.

mmmm

my favorite was his response to the shaken or stirred question!