WOTD


“Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.”

I feel this way about the new watch I picked up in Seoul.  It’s a nice watch, looks expensive and hefty, and nice leather wristband.  I’ve worn it to several business meetings and people praise it.  I feel like a million bucks, and none of them know the secret.

That I bought it for $10 from a street vendor. =)

(Thanks to Rob from Spain for this quote.  I’m hoping my brother will read this and smile.)

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CNN reports that the faux-word “truthiness” is Word Of The Year. (Criag of Craig’s List also mentions this on his blog.)

“Truthiness” was credited to Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, who defined it as “truth that comes from the gut, not books.”

“We’re at a point where what constitutes truth is a question on a lot of people’s minds, and truth has become up for grabs,” said Merriam-Webster president John Morse. “‘Truthiness’ is a playful way for us to think about a very important issue.”

Colbert reportedly said, “Truthiness now joins the lexicographical pantheon with words like ‘squash,’ ‘merry,’ ‘crumpet,’ ‘the,’ ‘xylophone,’ ‘circuitous,’ ‘others’ and others.” Hey, look at that, we mentioned circuitous only the other day!

This word does not remind me of anything other than my never-ending frustration with misplaced fear.  It goes to show that any logical person would never win a presidential election or do well in marketing or sales.  In order to change perceptions you need to understand what they are (not what you think they are or think they should be) and then what factors facilitate their prevalence.  Much like psychoanalysis, only when you understand the reasons for a certain “truthiness” can you ever hope to change it.

I picked up a book a while back titled the 48 Laws of Power (you can read the laws here). It’s a lot like the The Art of War remixed with the I-Ching. Before bedtime we read a different law and enjoy the wonderful stories that accompany them. Although we skip all around the book, last night was “Law 4: Always Say Less Than Necessary”.

When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

During the reading of this law we came across the word taciturnity, which means “habitual silence, or reserve in speaking” or “the keeping of one’s thoughts and emotions to oneself“. The word is a noun so don’t use it incorrectly.

And article titled Speak More Powerfully By Saying Less states, “If brevity is the soul of wit, taciturnity is the backbone of conversational power.”

This word reminds me of:

  • a poem (see below)
  • which reminds me of my grandmother
  • which reminds me of story telling
  • which reminds me of Garrison Keillor
  • which reminds me of the-art-of-the-pause
  • which is tangentially related to the word taciturnity

Poem: A Wise Old Owl, Mother Goose Rhymes (1700s)

A wise old owl
lived in an oak;

the more he saw
the less he spoke;

the less he spoke
the more he heard.

Why can’t we all be
like that wise old bird.

Today’s word-of-the-day (WOTD) is brought to you by my Mom, who recently trumped me by using it in a sentence, which caused me to say, “Circuitous?  Is that a medical term?”

The word circuitous means, as per my Mom’s definition, “round about indirect route“.  It is an adjective (my type of word and regular celebrity here on the WOTD list).  It means “having a circular or winding course” or another meaning of “not being forthright or direct in language or action“.  I like the second definition better than the first.  It has more of an adventure theme and makes me think of a sinister villain.

This word reminds me of:

  • My Mom and Chipmonkey, who reminds me that I like to be the one pop-ing big words
  • which reminds me of Packetshard, who has a large vocabulary
  • which reminds me of The Economist, which is a great source of news
  • which reminds me of money and world affairs
  • which reminds me of how the war in Iraq is the only thing covered by the news
  • which reminds me of American Dreamz, the movie we saw last night.

It seems every WOTD is an adjective — I really love them but would be happy to include other parts of speech if someone suggested one.

frenetic is a hard word to get a definition for because every definition would rather tell you the origin of the word than actually define it:

Etymology: Middle English frenetik insane, from Anglo-French, from Latin phreneticus, modification of Greek phrenitikos, from phrenitis inflammation of the brain, from phren-, phrEn diaphragm, mind

It means “frantic or frenzied” and is commonly associated with aggressive growth or rate of speed.  Frenetic reminds me of:

  • growth
  • which reminds me of companies
  • which reminds me of employees
  • which reminds me of myself
  • which reminds me… that I should get back to the movie instead of this blogging.

Today’s words of the day (OWTD) are: ostensibly and spurious in revolution to the “linguistic embargo” placed upon a friend of mine.

ostensibly is an adverb version of the adjective ostensible.  It means “to all outward appearances” or something that is “intended for display“.  This word reminds me of:

  • a predicate adverb (although I don’t know what this means)
  • which reminds me of a <pause> and semicolon (;)

spurious is an adjective, which I’m learning is a part of speech I’m liking more and more.  It means “of illegitimate birth” or “outwardly similar or corresponding to something without having its genuine qualities” (my preference).  This word reminds me of:

  • a waste of time
  • which reminds me of to-do lists and deadlines
  • which reminds me of the things I should be doing rather than blogging!

Here’s the word of the day (WOTD): magnanimous meaning: generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness: to be magnanimous toward one’s enemies.

Now, it is an adjective:

  • which makes me think of descriptive words,
  • which makes me think of commas,
  • which makes me think of Eats, Shoots & Leaves,
  • which reminds me of Jacob,
  • which reminds me of the homework I have not started for school this week,
  • which makes me hope that my professor this semester is magnanimous in his grading system like last quarter.