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Archive for the ‘Word of Week’ Category

It’s been a while since I’ve had a word of the week. Yesterday, not knowing its meaning, I began saying “perspicuity” compulsively. I wasn’t sure if it was a real world – Jen suggested I really mean promiscuity, which is something entirely different. Thankfully, Google is smart enough to guess what I was trying to spell, and, low and behold, it’s a wonderful word. An obscure way to proclaim clarity! Just what I needed for ironic declarations of my own lucidity!

Here she is.

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Cut The Crap

It’s been a while since we’ve had a word of the week. The basic premise, you might remember, involves words that are stuck in my head, not words that are complicated or interesting. These words are not SAT words. Though sometimes they just so happen to be.

“Triage” has got to be my word of the month by now. I’ve been triaging everything – I’m not sure how I got to be so busy, but I’m currently running off a 50 point list that covers through Sunday. But it’s just a process. I have a foundation in place, and I’m investing in tools to get me from where I am to where I want to be. It just so happens that this involves a lot of Bible study, drywall dust, and shelving. It’s going to get better.

I have a sweet tooth. While I’m normally disciplined enough not to buy loose candy from those delicious candy bins in the first place, once I do, I invariably save the best of everything for last. Since this extends everywhere, I’m always discovering new, undesirable, tasks that I should get done before I can do something more desirable – like read or sleep or sit on the couch with no particular agenda. In the end, I do these things too – but they’re slotted into a half hour segment somewhere, and always at the end of the day, when they are oftentimes preempted by whatever new undesirable task I can find to fill the space. I’ve never had any problems visualizing what it would be like to be insane. It’d be like me, only say 30% worse.

So how to maintain that buffer and stay safely (…) on this side of the crazy-zone? Triage.

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Several years ago, on our first backpacking trip, my father, brother and I ran out of water. New Hampshire was dry that summer, and once we got above 3000 feet, there was nothing. We siphoned muck out of puddles (it tasted like peanuts), but ended up going to bed with nothing.

I spent the entire night dreaming of faucets.

The next day, when we got back to the cabin, I marveled at the beautiful, clean water pouring liberally from the sink. One night without water.

This summer, we more or less ran out of food. If you want to see somebody eat a lot of free soup crackers, hang out a trailheads nearby to wilderness. We were rationed low for a while, but probably only really two days were spent in severe deficit. I never enjoyed ice cream and two back to back dinners so much.

A few weeks ago, my cell phone charger stopped working. I have one in the car, but my commute is a mere 12 minutes – I was concocting excuses to drive anywhere, just to get another 10 minutes of charge in. I’ve been postponing a trip to JC Penney (where I will be picking up my delightful top down bottom up cordless shades. Don’t judge me.) until the phone was low so that I could refill it on that half hour (round trip) drive.

Three weeks without a cell phone charger. The end of the world.

Well, the new one came in the mail today, straight from Hong Kong. It seems to work. I’m going to polish it every night.

All is well again. Sometimes you have to go without to really appreciate what you have. Like cell phone chargers.

Meanwhile, I have a word of the week, a real one, for the first time in a long time.

Everything has been germane to everything else this week. I found a bug in the code – I had to chase it down because it was germane to the failure we were having. It wasn’t the cause, but it definitely involved applicable functionality. I don’t know who infected me with that word, but I know it happened within the last week. I appreciate it. Words of the Week are not common these days.

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Toxicity

It’s not exactly standard high-flung Word of the Week material, but “toxic” has infected my lexicon in places where it had never been before recently. The big hitter came from Wall Street, where toxic loans have led to wholesale collapse of capitalism. More recently, Bethany used it to describe my relationship tendencies – this opened up a whole new world for me. I’ve been calling all varieties of interactions, influences and concepts toxic for a solid week now. It has led to a resurgence of the use of medical terminology for figurative use all around. You should be able to buy stock in that. Betting on the abuse of metaphors is a good investment in troubled times.

Actually, if you want a real word of the week, how about pathology. It’s one of my favorite work terms – as one who tests things, I’m always categorizing pathologies.

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Most of the time I know my Words of The Week. If not, I at least remember hearing them. Not so with intransigent, which I neither know nor recall being exposed to. I think I prefer it in its noun form where I’d be allowed to call one who refuses to compromise an intransigent. But I really have no idea, seeing as how I didn’t know what it meant until 4 minutes ago.

Addendum
The rain ended, the skies cleared, and the sun was brilliant. Perfect for pictures. I get in the car, and holy moley, what is that thing? Giant dark cloud – still it’s good light for pictures, so I go to one of my favorite places, the field north of Patapsco by that catholic church. I’m there for 10 minutes, and the storm is now on me. The clouds, ominous. All of the sudden, WHOOOOSH, the gust front hits, gusts over 50 mph. Hands trembling as I try to sheath my camera, tree branches snapping, one 6 foot pillar of log flying 300 feet in the air before coming to rest further down the field. I back peddle down a hill so that I get a 100 foot head start if something some hurling off at me. A hail stone or two twacks me in the face. Awesome, awesome. I hustled my way back to the car, took a deep breath and drove hom. Turns out we had a severe thunderstorm warning – who knew? We just lost 16 degrees in 45 minutes. The wind is buffeting my house.

storm brewingsqual linedark cloud

Addendum 2
A few of us went to Body Worlds 2 in Baltimore this evening. I found it to be a little disturbing, to be honest. I didn’t have the joy of witnessing this, but Michael had a Michael moment when we got to the first full size cadaver. There were dozens of people in there – it was pretty crowded – and Michael was carefully examining the dead person.

“Hmmm,” he said, “I wonder if it’s a guy or a girl.”

Now, I have to tell you, they don’t cut any corners in this exhibit. The guy had a several inch cadaver member and two testes, not even a scrotum to confuse things. Some woman we didn’t know was standing next to him.

“Uhhh, it’s a guy,” she deadpanned. It could not have been more obvious. Michael was trying to adjudicate its sex based on the nipples, and had neglected to check for any of the other tell tale signs.

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A few years ago I discussed the propensity of a prof to ask obscenely simple questions at the Hopkins corporate diploma mill. Today, for my excessively long class at work, we had a guy that asked questions that have up to a thousand different answers, none of which are completely right, but only one of which is acceptable. It’s like when Coach Klim helped out with the mid-distance runners on speed dynamics stuff once my senior year.

“What’s this?” he’d say, holding his one leg up as though mid-stride.

We’d sit there on the track and look at him dumbly for 10 seconds, before he answered what he thought to be obvious. “That’s right, that’s your hip flexor, now what’s this?” as he shifted slightly, and all the sudden the answer would be “box jumps” or “hurdle drills” or something otherwise unrelated.

Today we had the same thing.

“What is this?” he’d ask. The answer was possibly:
“use case”
“systems engineering”
or sometimes
“people”

Never were the questions specific enough to point to a singular answer.

The best one was:
“You have the ‘as is’ and the what?”

We stared blankly. A few people mumbled possible answers, spanning several engineering disciplines, playing pin the tail on the dumb question.

“To be” was the answer.

Addendum
I am pleased to announce my first word of the week in quite some time. The Little Prince, apart from being generally pretty wonderful, reintroduced me to a charming word – Coquettish. It’s been rattling around in my head all day long, in an almost sing-songy chirp.

Addendum 2
The most effective motivation
To get one last rep
Is to know
That if you don’t
The bar will fall on your neck.

What a rush.

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As far as I can tell, as a single American citizen making less than $75,000 per year, I will be receiving a $600 check in the mail.

I can’t fathom why.

I think the idea is that I’m supposed to give it to someone else, ASAP. Now, I’m no economics expert, but if I owned a business and I knew that 100,000,000 morons would be $600 richer for no good reason, I’d immediately raise my prices. Watch retail values surrounding check delivery, see if that happens. I believe this is what they call “inflation” – it’s the same thing that would happen if the minimum wage was raised.

Only that would be helping poor, unskilled laborers.

And this is helping rich, upper middle class people like me. People who, frankly, do not need help.

I suppose if I were to do my patriotic duty, I’d dump the money into a new gadget or something. They should have figured out some way to hand out the $600 in VISA/MasterCard/Discover (whichever credit card companies paid to be involved) gift cards. That way I’d have to spend it. As it stands, I’ll probably squirrel it away or donate it to foreign missions. Take that Federal Government!

That’s what you get.

Addendum
You know how there are some words that you never see in the written word, but often use in speech? I’ve often thought that I should write those down. There’s a good “c” one that I can’t remember now, but I did happen upon conniption as an example as I was pondering it.

Finicky was the word that I was attempting to use just now, before I realized that I couldn’t spell it as I had never written it before. Turns out both 1 and 2 n’s is acceptable.

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Confronting Heat

I have two Words of the Week brewing at the moment. These aren’t the kinds that assert themselves non-stop for two straight days, it’s more of an accumulated impact of several weeks of occasional exposure. The first is from an unlikely source, “Extreme Weather“. Not known for its literary merits, this book is a good source for terms that can be applied to extreme weather. Instead of saying “impacted by hot and dry,” the author often relied on the verb desiccate. I, unsurprisingly, am interested in using it in non-weather contexts. A whithering, searing glare, for instance, can be desiccating. In a lot of ways, you can using it in the same fashion that you’d use eviscertate, which is good because I need more words for destruction.

The “Word Biblical Commentary” collection of semi-technical exegetical commentaries are typically dripping with enormous and convoluted words known only to the excessively erudite. It’s from these books that I get words like escatological. If I could ever remember what sotereological meant, I might pick that one up too. I’d have to pronounce it consistently too, which isn’t going to happen any time soon. Still, most times the big theological words are too complicated for me, and I don’t bother trying to use them.

The author of the Galatians WBC, Longenecker, is obsessed with the phrase vis a vis. It seems like he uses it almost every page. It used to annoy me and I think that it does sound snobby (it is French after all), but I’m starting to warm to it. The book of Galatians is rather contentious, as Paul is constantly opposing some false doctrine with his counter examples and the like. He presents his argument for freedom vis a vis the nomistic tendencies of the Judaizers. There’s another word used constantly, nomism, which has some subtle differentiation (in a Christian sense) vis a vis legalism, the belief in justification by the works of the law. Vis a vis, then, can be any type of confrontation, be it oppositional or just for comparison sake – it is literally what it means in French, face to face. You can have a face to face with your boss, or, if you’re the manager of the Braves, an umpire. Very different face to faces, but accomplished with the same snobby French phrase.

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Now You Tell Me

It took me until page 800 before Amy Vanderbilt finally explained to me how to arrange an audience with the Pope. You do it through some North American College in Rome. Eventually you receive a reply back (via courier) in Italian, which you, of course, speak. If you have a hard time discerning some detail, you shouldn’t hesitate to bring it to the manager of your hotel, who has undoubtedly dealt with this numerous times before.

You mean to tell me there were 800 pages worth of more important things to tell me about than that? Something is amiss.

I also learned today that unmarried women aren’t allowed unescorted in bars. Like, they’ll be thrown out. True story.

Addendum:
I forgot to mention, I have a word of the week. It’s courtesy of ESPN 2’s Sports Guy, even if he’s a gigantic corporate whore these days.

Eviscerate is a fantastic term to describe the total annihilation of someone. It’s a rich man’s replacement for the crude term “pink sock” championed by my team my freshman year. Many guys showed up to leagues that year with pink shoes – I, even I, thought that was far too crass. Now, if eviscerate could be represented symbolically somehow, not requiring a pink sock, I’d be OK with that.

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It’s been stuck in my head for two days now, so I’d say we have a legitimate Word of the Week this week. The word is cow. Good word, right? I’m interested in the verb, which means to be intimidated, bullied, or struck with fear because of something. The definition doesn’t mention this, but I tend to hear this term describing little kids or awkwardly intimidated teenagers. Like “Little Billy hid behind his mother the entire party, the clown had him completely cowed.” I’d define it as intimidated in a comical or irrational way. You can be cowed by something in a rational, though still comical, way. Like if you’re John Kruk in the all star game 10 or 12 years ago and Randy Johnson wizzed a fastball over your head. It was comical, though he had just cause for concern. Either way, it is a disparaging or belittling way to describe someone’s fear of something, though I wouldn’t call it maliciously so. While it probably has the same roots as “coward” which is a nasty, mean and hurtful sort of word in most situations, it sounds too much like ole Bessy the Bovine (not to be confused ole Bessy the Jankowski) to be anything but playful.

While we’re on the topic, which is a better cow name, Betsey or Bessy? I need to know, it will help shape the way I view the world.

In another topic, I just checked and I have used only 11 of my 120 hours of vacation so far this year, while offsetting that with 30 or 40 hrs of OT (which correlates to probably 100 real hours of OT, just uncharged). I do this in every aspect of my life, squirrel away good things to enjoy later. The question is, will “later” ever come, and if it does will I be cognisant enough to enjoy the fruits (or I guess nuts) of my labor? This is another good example of why human life on this planet is not particularly super. You’d have to look up Genesis chapter 3ish to understand why.

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Time With Gaps

I just looked at the Word of the Week archive page and was flabbergasted to see that yesterday was my first WotW this year. Preposterous!

I decided while I was writing yesterday’s post that uproarious isn’t that good of a word afte rall. It wasn’t really a word of the week, more a word of the half hour. Since Adam surprised me with a word that I have rarely heard spoken in conversation, it has been wedged in my brain, in true WotW form.

The word is interstitial, and while the majority of the Dictionary.com definitions are buried in biological and scientific terminology, the commonplace definition is hidden within the even more obscure form interstice. Interstices are the intervening spacing between things, be they biological tissue, mineral lattice, artistic repetitions or, most commonly, time. Most often you’ll hear the word in the phrase “interstitial period” which implies a period of time between events, especially periodic events. You might accurately call the time between classes in high school an interstitial period, but describing banal events with high flung phrases is pretentious (like that sentence, for instance, or this entire post. Somebody punch me in the stomach and call me a nerd). I like my interstitial periods to be between Roman civil wars or epochs of global ice ages.

I am quite certain I’ve never written this word down before today at work on a sticky pad, nor have I ever spoken it aloud. But I love it just the same. Not as much as eschatological but that would be asking a lot.

Addendum:
Don’t think I haven’t been all over TC Gonu in the Arabian Sea. This is the first observed cat 5 strength cyclone in that part of the world. As it is currently in the Gulf of Oman, it is also the first recorded TC ever in that body of water, regardless of strength. Though it weakened significantly from it’s impressive central pressure of 904 mb from this morning, it is still a cat 2 storm, barreling parallel to the coast of Oman. Here’s a place that barely gets any rain getting 8-12 inches. Really, though, it’s the economic impact that will be hardest felt. This is a major oil producing area, and it’s a major choke point for oil transport. When people engineer structures, they build them to withstand plausible environmental scenarios – a major hurricane when no TC has ever hit the area is hardly an eventuality that would rank high on the list of design concerns. Offshore platforms in the South China Sea, Gulf of Mexico or North Sea must be built to withstand massive storms. Gulf of Oman? Not so much. I’m interested to see where this goes from here.

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Uproarious

I have a Word of The Week, at long last. It’s not even a good word, but I did jot it down on a little sticky note more than a half hour ago, which qualifies it as a special word. I approve of Adam’s purchase of season 2 of Cheers. The uproarious episodes have him laughing uproariously upstairs. An uproarious uproar sometimes.

Actually, now that I think of it, I don’t like uproarious as an adjective for laughter. I only like uproarious for commotions, perhaps over-ripe joviality turned unruly type commotions.

Meanwhile, I was walking down the hall at work today bemoaning how busy my life was in general to myself. I forced myself to wear the immobilizer boot all night last night as my tendon was sore, and it left me under-slept and cranky. I even had dreams about Terminator like human-robots chasing me around. I would going to go flee – I was in my mud room in Goshen – but I couldn’t find my right combination of running shoes and orthotics. You see, if properly equipped, I’d be awesome at fleeing from Terminator like human-robots. I can run for long stretches and I am apt to explore so I know every trail/shortcut for miles around. Seriously, if you ever want to sneak up on Sykesville, I’m your guy. If I don’t die at least. So only stressful sleep, and I wake up pissy.

Anyway, I was trying to come up with some imagery to describe my plight as I walked down the hall. So I’m like one of the water girls from the Bible, with a big jug of water balanced on my head. And it’s raining pretty hard. And I’m maybe wearing the sort of skirt someone might have worn 4000 years ago, but that’s besides the point. It’s an image. It’s raining into the pot, but I can’t let it spill. So I have a straw or something feeding it into my mouth, and I’m drinking it. And I’m walking on a rope bridge, whose rigidity is directly related to the cohesiveness of my mind for that day. Do you see me there, a 4000 year old girl in a shirt with an earthenware jug on my head complete with faucet into my mouth? Walking in the rain on a rope bridge, dangling over the ravine or somesuch? Of course, at this point I realize that I can’t do this forever without peeing. So I’m peeing too.

Eventually I decided that my plight was kind of funny, and my day got better.

The end.

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Items

1) Two words of the week today/this week – neither of which I formerly knew how to say out loud, which doesn’t matter for not many would be able to tell the difference. One is a Gibbon favorite, extirpate, meaning to annihilate completely (a good word for defeated armies etc). Next is resplendent which took me 5 times to spell correctly enough for dictionary.com to offer a suggestion. It’s a positive term meaning glowing, radiant, that sort of thing. I don’t think you use it for people. Though I might in the future, since that how I like to use the English language; improperly.

2) The pastor at church today (Max Powers, filling in for the normal Pastor on this “Pastors Take Vacation” Sunday in most churches’ liturgical calendar) made the point that people allow Santa more room for judgment than God these days. As in, Santa can dictate whether we’re naughty or nice, but if God judges someone, we get up in arms about intolerance and such.

3) I saw an unmarked police PONTIAC today. That’s just a travesty. It took me a while to identify Crown Vics at night, since they are some of the most generic vehicles on the road – now you want me to incorporate Pontiacs into my vehicular lexicon? Virginia uses Chevy’s. There should be regulations on this. If you pay enough attention to the cars around you to identify x varieties of unmarked cop cars, you should be allowed to speed. But x + 6 models? That’s just unfair.

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A word popped into my head this weekend. Words of the week are typical for me, except this isn’t a word. I don’t remember what it meant, but it was reminded of it as I slept in my brother’s room.

Actually, before I mention the words, my mother has a habit of opening windows throughout the house during the day. When I was a kid, tearing through the house looking for open windows as the rains came was a favorite pasttime. We almost invariably left one or two open (especially when we, in mimickery of mother, were the ones to open them in the first place), and a soggy window sill resulted. For Sunday evening at least, the rain didn’t come. My brother’s bed is oriented such that the window is directly next to your head. I reached to close the blind before going to bed but then paused and left it open. I haven’t slept next to an open window that I could see out of for somewhere between 10 and 15 years. But for the first 10 or 15 years of my life, I did almost every night. The rememberance of the way the night air feels in the summer; the way the trees, bugs, and creatures harmonize in the moonlight; and the way the stars glimmer on the horizon – it was almost overpowering. I have not had such an intense desire to be 8 years old again in a long time: to love baseball, to be mystified by Venus all summer long, to watch the sun set from my bedroom window, to imagine what world’s existed in every house on the street. I was left in awe by the simple beauty of an open window. It was almost more than I could take, but I left it open the remainder of the night. It reminds me a song. “Remember the Day” by Pink Floyd. Look it up.

Anyway, the word was buchresnatchel. It was of my brother’s creation, along the same lines as Bip, Duv, and Kinker. Now, Bip came about naturally, from his inability to pronounce “Eric” – “Er-ip” to Er-bip” and then to simply Bip. He called me Bip until he was about 12 and I was near 16. I, in response, coined “Duv”, pronounced “Doove.” I don’t think it had any etymology, I think it came from thin air because I hated Bip for the longest time. I don’t know where Kinker came from either, but that was apparently my last name. Bip Kinker. That’s what he called me. Then one day, almost over night, Stephen became far too cool for all of that – to this day I don’t quite understand how that happened so quickly. He stopped flapping his fake wings and everything. It was like Adam and Eve in the garden suddenly realizing they were naked, and end of innocence and a beginning of self-consciousness.

Boo-kerr-snah-tchel, it had a usage, but I can’t even conceive of what it was. It might simply have been a filler – something that you say when you want to say a complicated erudite word. Like “erudite” only without meaning. A little kid’s way to be as smart as any Oxford grad. Who knows. I guess Stephen might.

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The plan was to leave for the Poconos at 4:30 yesterday afternoon. A relaxing long weekend with my family in the woods – I’d get reading done, get the opportunity to absorb my running death and think about my divergent future plans. It was going to be nice.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Today I’m in work, complete with a failing unit and the associated night club fire drill – the one where everyone runs for the door, gets stuck trying to escape and is incinerated. Furthermore, I stepped on some girl’s foot in volleyball last night. While I think she took the worst of it, I woke up with an annoying sprained foot as well. At least I’m already too injured to run, otherwise I’d be really annoyed that I became too injured to run playing volleyball.

So I traded a peaceful vacation for work and a sprained foot.

Wah, waah, wah, sniffle.

Anyway, two words of the week this week. I’ve been brewing these for a while. First, we have strictures stolen from a preening friend’s away message. Second, there’s meritocracy a social concept that should be employed everywhere, despite my opinion that there’s a negative connotation to the word. You know who gave it that connotation? Stupid people, that’s who.

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Three For One

Whenever someone uses a word that is not part of my current repertoire, I run the risk of having my mind latch on to it, repeating it over and over again, until I am forced to look it up and use it regularly. It’s a blessing AND A CURSE. Anyway, inculcate induced that particular compulsive disorder on Sunday, and low and behold, it’s now your Word of the Week! How exciting, it’s been a while.

But wait, there’s more! Not only do Words of the Week arise from external sources, they also occasionally bubble up from within. Recalcitrant is of the latter variety. I believe what happened in this case was that I had two opposing entries in my brain’s vocabularly tables for this word. Whatever little figmentary librarian keeps track of such things in my head noticed that my definition had been flip-flopping and brought it to the attention of my subconscious, which eventually decided that I should think of it at random while exiting 695 at Edmonson a few days ago. It turns out that I was confusing recalcitrant (meaning stubborn with a negative connotation) with reticent meaning withdrawn in a thoughtful manner.

This sort of thing is pretty typical. What is unusual is that when I put these words into dictionary.com, I spelled all three correctly on the first attempt. Amazing. “Repertoire,” however, was a different story.

By the way, a few days ago I decided that people should give me medals for accomplishing assinine things. I can’t remember what it was that I did that first made me think to myself, “wow, that was clever, I should get a friggin medal for that,” but I remember explicitly that it was a waste of a good thought, given the comparative uselessness of the situation from which it arose. Anyway, spelling three SAT words correctly, in a row no less, that’s the sort of thing that should get me a medal. Awards in Appreciation of Assinine Acheivements. That can be the governing body that awards the medals. The question is, how does one say the acronym? The inaugural AAAA medal will be awarded to whoever best states it.

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Confusing

While describing the mental states of the parties involved in awkward social exchanges, I started collecting good words for confusion. Here’s how to use them, according to me:

awestruck: this is positive, if someone leaves you awestruck you are definitely impressed.

befuddle: this is more like “stumped”, in that if I befuddle you, you don’t think less of me. It’s more of a personal confusion.

bewilder: similar only more discombobulated. Bewilderment has an element of non-awe inspiring amazement involved, but also builds in an element of surprise.

dumbfound: I like this as a more powerful “confound.” This is less positive than awestruck, typically someone does something ridiculous to leave another dumbfounded, but it’s not so negative as to condemn the one who dumbfounds another.

dumbstruck: dumbfound is more positive than dumbstruck, however. If I’m rendered mute by your idiocy, I’m dumbstruck.

flummox: a personal favorite and one time word of the week, flummox is my catch-all for confusion. I will, for instance, be flummoxed if I can’t figure out how to remove the water tray from the dehumidifier. I’ll be flummoxed if something you say is a little too wonderful or a little too stupid for me to understand. It’s a fancy word that rests on the tip of my tongue, ready for those pesky occasions when I’d like to appear intelligent but have no couth. Stripped of my couth. Uncouthed.

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Unwritten Words

Some words are never written, only spoken. Take, for instance, this week’s word of the week, shyster. I’ve never seen that word in print before. I especially like the word etymology.

This is not a traditional word of the week, as it has not been wedged in my brain, hammering into my consciousness at a rhythmic interval, pushing, shoving its way to the outside world. In fact, I have had very few words like that recently. There was one a week ago, but I can’t remember it. It was not an exciting or complicated word, but a good word nonetheless. It was also not “spurious”, which was the word that immediately came to mind when I tried to remember what last week’s word was. Why should spurious come to mind? I have no idea.

Addendum
Previously I was obsessed with the word “riveted” for a few minutes. Someone used in a sentence with its standard meaning (enthralled, give or take), only using it grammatically as though he were speaking of the act of riveting bolts into an airplane wing or somesuch. It was masterful. I never had consciously made the connection between the original meaning and the standard meaning before.

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Here’s a word of the week for you, as introduced to my head on the way to Wal-Mart after scheming for several minutes prior. Subterfuge, which I had to look up, apparently means roughly what I thought it meant. The awkward pronunciation is important, and I relish the opportunity to say “fuge” as it sounds potent to me. Subterfuge, yes, that’s a real word of the week, usurping the de facto words of the week “loath” and “ilk“. Interestingly, I’ve been misusing loath in my head for years now, apparently. I’ve used it more as a term for disdain than mere reluctance. It’s apparently not so strong as I thought it was. So, go back to all the times I used loath and think of it over again in that context. I’ll try to rectify my errors, though I fear it may be too late for me now.

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I claim that a lot of things bother me. This really isn’t true, I merely take pleasure in whining. Bitching and moaning, those are my two favorite pasttimes. This is, of course, why I have a blog, so that I can whine to the world and the world can listen and commiserate with me in my annoyance.

Very few things actually bother me, though that doesn’t stop me from pointing out these semi-troublesome tendencies for my own amusement. If that makes me an awful person, well, so be it. Under that umbrella, I am somewhat annoyed when people spell things on the phone. Now, occasionally it is useful to give an example to the person you’re speaking with to facilitate their differentiation of similar sounding letters. For instance, b and v sound the same, so I might say “b as in bravo” and “v as in vector”, or whatever it is the fancy mil-speak people use as their convention. But, seriously, every single letter in a 10 letter word? Is that necessary? I think not. A few seconds ago a guy across the hall used “T as in Tom” at least five times in the span of spelling out an entire sentence.

I have done it before, mind you. Some people don’t hear well. I typically pick strange combinations, also for my amusement. For instance, “j as in juxtaposition” or “p as in panda bear”. Eventually I want to start confusing my phomenes. Like “f as in phone”, or equally useful “p as in phone”…or maybe “g as in gnome”. I could use words that either don’t exist or other people don’t know. Like “e as in escatological” or “r as in rappotauntilous”.

On a somewhat related topic, I live on Greenlow Road now, which is a name for which everyone requires a spelling. I have settled into “Greenlow – green like the color, l-o-w, one word.” People seem to understand it.

Addendum
The word of the week is officially flummox this week. It has provided me with countless pleasurable thoughts of late.

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The WotW this week isn’t really a word, at least not in this language. As part of my “don’t go to class” initiative, I have been reading somewhat more. Thus far I’ve only read a handful of books, but I’ve supplemented them with a series of randomly selected short stories from a book I got at the Thrall Library Used Bookstore a few months ago. Recently I read a rather pointless and excessively sad story by Rudyard Kipling titled “Without the Benefit of Clergy”. In it, the young native wife of the British official continuously refers to the women of his own land as “the white mem-logs”. Now, I don’t know what mem-log could possibly mean. I have an inkling that it has something to do with mammory (or however one spells that), but I might just be making that up. Regardless, I plan on calling women of my own kind white mem-logs whenever possible. I might add “filthy” if conditions warrant it.

Speaking of filthy, Michael “Tell Me When It’s Over” HannaH and I are watching the Sci-Fi Channel’s miniseries “Dune”, based on novels by Frank Herbert. In said miniseries, there are two women in Paul Artrades’ life. One is a robust (perhaps “bountiful”) middle eastern woman named Chaney with a proclivity for removing her shirt at widely separated, though gratuitous occasions, while another is a sickly though elegant white mem-log, the daughter of the emperor whose name is irrevelant because I have forgotten it. Naturally, Michael, who whines “Wait, are they married?! Wait, they must be married right? Are they not married? They’re not married?! That’s dirty!” whenever Paul and Chaney make-out, likes the middle eastern one. I, following my pattern, prefer the sickly white mem-log. Unfortunately, it looks like Paul is going to stay close to home with Chaney, which is upsetting to me. I hate it when my pony loses. Regardless, none of this is particularly important to the plot, as Sci-Fi writers tend to relegate romance to the back burners. It’s not like they’re familiar with the themes anyway, they are, after all, sci-fi writers. They don’t need weepy love stories, as women don’t come to sci-fi for emotional fulfillment, unless they are disturbed and strange women who crave emotional affection, despise humanity, but still want to love bipedal male (or possibly androgenous) life forms.

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No Excuse

I now have the internet in the Ville, leaving me with no excuse for not posting. Other than, I guess, not having anything to say, but it hasn’t stopped me for, what, about 5 years, so I don’t think it should stop me now.

Now, Hanlon, while defending his honor or somesuch on AE’s site used the word “sophistry” the other day. In typical word of the week fashion, I have been unable to expunge it from my head. It’s sophistry this, sophistry that, here a sophistry, there a sophistry; it’s almost like an internalized tourette’s syndrome until I blurt it out in public or on the website. Unbelievable, I’m actually honest to goodness insane, I love it.

Meanwhile, we have sophistry. Now, I will feely admit here, because I’m a generally honest person, that I was unclear on the definition of sophistry. Given the word etymology, I want to modify the definition such that it indicates that not only is the argument fallacious, but it is cast under the pretense of academic import. Namely, I claim knowledge, give my spiel as though I am both brilliant and articulate, when really I’m all jargon.

Here, riddle me this my English scholar friends…I wanted to go with “all jargon no [substance]” where substance is replaced with a similar word starting with a j or a g sounding like a j. Genuineness is the closest I could come, but I hate using words whose part of speech is artificially manufactured via suffix. Don’t you?

Confidence is very sexy, don’t you think? Now, imagine I’m a 68 year old wrinkly TV cowboy. How about now? Still sexy?

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Botulism

It seems appropriate for me to post, as I haven’t done it in 4 days. I move in two days, after which time things will open up slightly. Of course, a heart stopping season of 24 starts on Sunday (ON FOX), meaning that I won’t have to snort my weekly coke for a few months. Good thing, I hate buying narcotics from middle schoolers. Plus, it tastes vaguely like sugar going down.

Anyway, I don’t learn too many words from my brother, but after requiring his assistance in rendering “bucolic” a few weeks ago, I credit him with its incorporation into my vocabulary.

I will not, however, use it when I speak. You see, it sounds disgusting. I hate words that sound disgusting, unless they are meant to describe disgusting things.

Words should feel like the reaction they are supposed to evoke. If you want to sound academic, use words from textbooks in long sentences with copious syllables prancing amidst prepositionals phrases. If you want to sound like a snot, use words whose terminating phonemes can be extended abnormally and sprinkle in enough adverbs to clog a toilet. If you want to sound, well, bucolic, use short words and sentences with simple structures, while truncating any sound which might require a skilled tongue to produce. For humility, speak slowly and consider your words carefully, while for condescension speak in a beat of rhythmic words…until the last sentence when you must draw it out in order to allow for the response that you clearly doubt will be offered.

You see, there are a lot of ways to talk. Using bucolic to describe cow manure is acceptable. Otherwise, stick to pastoral.

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Words For Sectarians

Someone was grappling for a word last night. Having chosen “egocentric” as her first guess, she requested a word from the resident freelance dictionary.com spokesperson…me (which people here will find amusing given my tendency to abuse words). I gave her “megalomaniacal” which is sort of like egocentric only more psychologically disturbed. In fact, I love dictionary.com’s definition for it, it’s the most over the top, dramatic word to describe delusional self-love. It’s the melodramatic way to say egocentric.

With zero tolerance and roughly 95 pounds worth of girth to distribute her four sips of grape flavored candy drink, she was already two-thirds drunk at the time. So, instead of meaning egocentric, she was attempting to find a word for the distrust/fear of foreigners. I gave her “jingoistic” which is a fantastic word for patriotism at the expense of one’s opinion for outsiders, and then “xenophobic” at which point I think she decided I was creating words for my own amusement. I was forced to try to spell them, but is never a happy occasion for me.

It didn’t occur to me until this morning that she was really trying to say “ethnocentric“. Instead of learning this word in English class, they force it down your throat in 10th grade Global Studies, using it to refer to colonial period China. Ethnocentric this, Boxer Rebellion that, Sun Yat-Sen blah blah blah; it is the axis upon which the 10th grade Global Study world turns. So, in conclusion, the fear of Russian orphans named Sasha (of both genders) is an ethnocentric policy, so long as you consider yourself to be ethically, culturally and morally superior to Russians.

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I like the word niggling but sound like a racist whenever I use it.

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Farious Family

I have, as is my custom, had a word caught in my head constantly these last few days. Multifarious, which I had to look up, means what I thought it meant. It’s like “ambidexterous in things.” I was looking for this word a few months ago, while describing someone (or something in this case) who is, as I called it, ubiquitous. I had meant “having a skill in nearly every arena”, which is not exactly what ubiquitous means. It is, nonetheless, how I use the word.

Incidentaly, the word roots for multifarious and nefarious are completely different. I spent 5 minutes in the car yesterday trying to figure out what the “ne-” prefix meant, as well as the “-fari” word root. I was unable to do it. Luckily, I didn’t have to. For those of you who don’t know about nefarious, and there is at least one of you, it means wicked in a manipulative sort of way. Dictionary.com will tell you that it is simply wicked, but it is missing the nuances of the meaning. One hatches nefarious schemes. The intentional running over of a squirrel on the road, while wicked, is not nefarious, as it is not premeditated. A nefarious action is one which is malicious with intent to be wicked or manipulative. I use it to describe whenever I’m intentionally trying to manipulate something, as being manipulative is, at some level, always somewhat wicked.

I would also, erroneously so it seems, use maniacal to describe a wicked plot. Dictionary.com gives no hint of this, but when I think of maniacal, I don’t think of simply insane, I think of deranged yet cognisant of ones wickedness. Occasionally insane myself, I am able to use maniacal and nefarious almost interchangeably when describing my plans of global conquest and universal oppression.

Furthermore, I notice that I have linked on either side of this comparatively profound post within the last month. I think I’d rather people read that post than the prattle that resides on either side. It is worth noting that these sort of posts occur when I am not in class.

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Words of Wisdom

There are three words of the week this week.

First, I am reading intensive exegetical commentaries again. For some reason, every thirteenth word in nearly all of the commentaries I’ve ever read has been “eschatology“. But, I have spoken of “eschatological” before, I am not prepared to speak of it again. The new word from this commentary (and I have looked it up before, just never declared it a word of the week) is pericope. Since its pronounciation sounds rather ridiculous to me, I am fairly certain one is not supposed to say it out loud. It’s one of those textbook only words. The commentaries use it extensively to discuss origins of certain portions of text, or to reference sources for other portions of text. Incidentally, the reliance of biblical scholars on Christian Apocryphal texts is mind-boggling. I never knew how much of what we believe is actually extra-biblical in origin. Heck, the Catholic church might as well add two dozen more books the the Bible, given how heavily they lean upon dubious texts. For protestants, it is the liturgical material which is heavily reliant, evangelicals tend to ignore it, but we are less erudite in general.

But the two real words of the week are conflagration, a volatile metaphorical maelstrom, and flummox a word meaning to confuse and disorient. I stole flummox from an email Matt wrote me recently, and it has been caught, like a fishbone in my throat, ever since. I’d really like a more applicable simile, as I’ve never had a fishbone caught in my throat. Perhaps it’s like ocean water lodged in the inner cavity of my ear.

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I don’t like economics. I don’t much care for politics either. Both are far more important than I’d like for them to be, considering how boring they are. In fact, I consider both to be immaterial in the greater scheme of things. However, they love themselves, those politicians and economists, and we all live in their world, so occasionally you have to pay attention to them.

Three things recently got me thinking about economic conundrums. It bothers me that I can’t figure out how to fix things; every solution is self defeating. In the same way that communism clearly doesn’t work because it ignores human nature entirely, capitalism has pitfalls in that it makes the dredges of society (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) unnecessary as it evolves into a global and comprehensive system. Unnecessary people don’t get money, people without money can’t buy food (and use what little money they do have to try to forget that they don’t have much money, in many cases) and people who are hungry eventually become violent. Class warfare leads to counterintuitive systems like Communism. Rinse, repeat.

1) Big Business Stagnates
I recently spoke to someone at work, regarding a possible change in assignment. I have often been annoyed by our propensity to build upon proven designs, and he pointed out how most of our equipment is based upon a big program from 20 years ago. It is a very cost effective technique; take something you know works and skip all the overhead required to do the background research. I eventually launched into a diatribe about how big corporations stagnate by making their products too formulaic, dropping them off the cutting edge and allowing little companies to innovate and out manuever. He agreed with me that our company is headed in this direction. This malady, in many ways, is a good thing, when one views the economy as an organic whole.

Except my company employs 125,000 people. When we start losing contracts due to our excessive girth, we cut jobs. When you look at groups of 125,000 people, it’s easy to dehumanize, but for each one of those layoffs, you have family torn asunder, lives ruined, dreams shattered, all because the company got so big it was forced to standardize its practices for cost efficiency.

And guess what, 50 years ago we were the little guy. 50 years from now, the next little guy will be us. How does one break this cycle? This is a question which might not have an answer. It applies to more than just corporations, it applies to nations, religions, sports teams, you name it.

Addendum

2) Unions
Incidentally, this could prove useful. Meanwhile, the public transportation workers in NYC have brought unions to the foreground once again. I dislike unions. If I deserve to be fired, by all means, fire me. If I deserve a raise, give it to me. If the company needs to layoff people, don’t lay me off because I’m younger than some senior incompetent person. For God sake, if I want to fix something or carry my monitor across the room, don’t get your union panties in a bunch when I do it. Shoot, if you need to beg for work and get all catty when someone else does the work which is allotted for you, then you’re not particularly useful anyway.

I sometimes wonder if the guy that stands by the escalator and occasionally pushes the cart slowly down the hall is in a union. I have no idea why he still works. It disgusts me sometimes that he gets a pay check. I wonder if he once walked in on someone important while he was banging his secretary. And maybe he had a camera. I can’t figure it out.

But, as always, there’s another side to the story. You should be able to organize, it’s your right to organize. Strikes are potent, and if you can pull it off, more power to you. I find nothing wrong with strikes. It’s good to protect the little man against the big, bad corporate bullies. Presumably, you can organize into a group large enough that they can’t fire all of you. Then, you can throw bricks through the windows of the scabs, maybe beat them up after work, stuff like that. More power to you, you bunch of hypocritical cretins. If you want to fight oppression, don’t accomplish it through oppression. Man, I hate people.

Addendum 2
3) Local Businesses
The radio station had a 30-second sob story dedicated to local businesses. It implored the consumer to buy local good and support local businesses, instead of doing the shopping online. Implicit in the argument was the understanding that insodoing we would be paying more money.

Now, why would I want to pay more money if I could get away with paying less? The problem is that the end game to this scenario is that all local establishments go out of business, as our economy becomes for efficient. As a consumer, I get more for less, but then the unskilled labor in my hometown all the sudden has no job. How does one negotiate this? On one hand, our capitalism is leading to a more efficient economy to the consumer. On the other hand, however, it threatens to collapse the entire community structure. A quandry to be sure. Luckily, Matt knows the solution to all of our woes. He will apply all varieties of Randian philosophy in his comprehensive proof.

And this is why I don’t like economics. None of the answers actually work. They rely on the amoeba-like evolution of a capitalist system which cannot be so over-arching that it meets every demand of every man, especially when it is guided by the hand of the federal government, an entity which is itself resistant to change.

This is why I would rather think about the word of the week. I have three this week.

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I had been trying not to think about it. Now, though currently locked in fierce battle with an odd sort of post-partum depression, I am looking to the future. A chunk of time has just broken loose from its moorings; as it drifts aimlessly away, there’s a void left in its stead. All told, the two classes took up about 12 hours a week, with more surrounding tests etc. More important than the reimbursement of that time, however, is the removal of the pall of doom which has hung above my head for a few years now. While I did well in general, probably finishing the program around the halfway point of my majors in the field of competence, I rather despised the constant reminder that I was far from the best. Being exposed as a mediocre mind is never a comfortable revelation for me, and I will enjoy not having to face it on a daily basis. The removal of that yoke from my neck will be more freeing than the replacement of my time. The ability to exist without constantly worrying about having failures exposed should be almost blissful. That’s not to say I won’t find some other blunt object that I can beat myself up with, I have a few candidates lined up already, but at least they won’t involve the possibility of coughing up $2200 worth of company reimbursement money.

The time does exist, however, and I have a few initiatives which I hope to enact to properly utilize it. In no particular order I hope to:

1) Take more pictures. I will be purchasing a Canon Digital Rebel XT after Christmas, along with two lenses (Sigma 18-50 f2.8 and Canon EF-50mm 1.8 prime, if I remember correctly). This is a real camera, and I would like to use it as such.

2) More weights/workouts. Currently I can only do it twice a week. I have a nice little circuit right now, and I hope to do that circuit 4 times a week, though leaving the weight portion only on two of them. Come spring, this time will be snapped up by extra running, as the strength phase will be wrapping to an end sometime in May probably. It would be good if I had non-weight workouts all year round, ideally.

3) More work. I haven’t been as good about work recently. I want to put in the solid 7:00-5:15, which will allow for me to…

4) Run more. A weekly 12 miler and weekly workout, with typical runs floating toward 8 instead of 6. More time at work leaves more time to run during lunch.

5) 24. It remains to be seen if Ben and I can push Bible study back to Tuesday night, preempted by Keifer.

6) Read more. I was going to read the Brothers Karamazov, but it seems like too much of a mental strain and commitment for right now. Instead, I’m now centering on Herman Hesse’s “Beneath the Wheel”, which I read several years ago. Thereafter, I’ll reevaulate. In fact, I’ll take suggestions if you have them. I’d like to lean toward classic works of literature for the time being, as opposed to non-fiction or special interest books.

7) Research more. I was doing a crappy job at that. Now that I have hours and days worth of resources pouring in, I look forward to chewing through it.

8) Bed earlier. Though this has less to do with school than other factors, including Miss Creaky Upstairsovich and other.

9) Be More Sociable. We’ll see how that works out. I’m even considering allocating a weeknight for going out. Once racing season starts I might have to, as a Sunday morning race eliminates both Friday and Saturday nights.

10) Cook More/Eat Better. I used to make myself dinner every night. I made sprawling salads, topped with several meats and all varieties of wholesome vegetables. However, with no time to prepare such things, I have not been able to use my vegetables quickly enough to justify buying them, as they have been prone to spoil on me. My food expenditures have been miniscule the last two months, with my grocery bill running around 66% of normal. It’s not that I’ve eaten out more either, I think I just haven’t eaten. Weighing in around 152 bodes well for running fast though. Unfortunately, my mother has a “get Eric fat as quickly as possible” whenever I come home. 13 pounds in 14 days is the record.

Even though I think this word is used mostly by people who go looking for words in thesauruses, “pall” is the word of the week. I’ve needed to use it for a few days now, but have resisted since I think it’s tacky.

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Of Import

For whatever it’s worth, the word of the week for this week is import, in the “carrying significance” sense. As always, I have no idea why this is the word of the week. Someone implied that I am a recipient of dictionary.com’s word of the day and steal my WotW from that. Both statements are false, the WotW gets stuck in my craw and I can’t get it out. I’m not going to bother looking up how to spell “craw” either. It might really be “jaw” for all I know, idioms be damned.

I have 3 class periods left, a review tonight for my easy class (which I will actually sit through, making it the first time in 4 weeks that I’ve sat through that class), and then two finals next week. For all of my ulcer-iffic stress, I’m actually better off than I have been heading into the finals since my second semester, Spring of 2004. I need a 69 to get a B in Optimization and a 72 to get a B in Stats, both neglecting the curve, which is very likely to exist. If I took the test today, I think I’d get right around that 69 in Optimization, and probably about an 85 in stats. Regardless, it is my plan to put in about 12 hours of studying into Optimization (which will make me confident of an 85, I expect) and another handful into Stats, which I could ace if the stars align. There are certain grades which will land me an A as well, but I don’t care to know what they are. I technically still have one C to burn (you’re allowed one C over the whole program). So long as I get at worst one B and one C, I graduate. Which is good, because then I don’t have to kill myself.

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Exhibit A

Before I forget, requiem is the word of the week. Why? Because I had to look it up a few minutes ago. It means roughly what I thought it meant. Furthermore,
mustard, 34 degree rain, traffic jams, old people in training classes, the color purple (especially in conjunction with gold), deer ticks, green peppers, vodka, little crappy punt-able dogs, people that are late all the time, optimization homework, Paul Pierce, Meet the Parents, Nascar, elderly drivers on cell phones, arachnids in general.

Otherwise, everything else is mildly amusing, at worst.

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No, Seriously

It’s too soon to have another word of the week, but it’s never too early to randomly introduce the temporary category of “phrase of the week”.

We’ll make it a memorial to my Grandfather Alfred/Fritz “For Crying Out Tears” Furst. How is it that he had two first names anyway? I’ve never understood that.

1) do violence: One might say, “I’d go on a four day coke binge, but it’d certainly do violence to my plans to become pope.” The phrase is used to link a cause with a negative effect, especially when that effect is a concept. One does violence against ideas more often than he does violence to corporeal entities.

2) begrudge the privelege: As in, “I have a towel if you want to borrow it, though I wouldn’t want to begrudge you the privelege of wandering around the building naked and wet”, or, more recently, “I wouldn’t want to begrudge you the privelege of roasting chestnuts on an open fire when it’s 76 degrees outside.” Used almost exclusively in a sarcastic tone, this phrase can take either privelege or opportunity as its main predicate and is used to contrast a sensible alternative with a foppish null hypothesis.

I could use all of these at work with something such as:
Identifying the pathology might begrudge me the opportunity of spinning my wheels for the next three months until they finally fire me, but it would undoubtedly do violence to my edict to not break the record for schematic RNs.

An RN is a revision notice. I’m already up to revD with revE in the works. If I had to tender a guess, I’d say I’ll hit H before all is said and done. If I make it much past that, you can watch for the 4 day coke binge, now that’s good blog material.

Other language based goals:
1) Use “voraciously” to describe an activity other than reading. Poor voraciously has been typecast.

2) Use “profusely” to describe something other than fluid flow or thanksgiving. People always bleed profusely and they offer thanks profusely, but the word is capable of so much more.

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Word, Word In My Head

It is my custom to become obsessed with words for week long chunks of time. Due to ridiculous amounts of annoyance in class and at work, however, my mind has not have the occasion to latch onto anything useful in the past few weeks. Months really. Some might even argue years.

Anyway, I recently adopted the word pathology, definition number 3 to be precise. Sometimes I adopt happy words. Occasionally, my words are lofty and religious. Now, however, they are diseased. Nothing works, everything has some underlying deficiency leading to failure. Especially everything at work, and I do mean everything. I don’t think one part of the current project has gone as planned, all new pathologies, a new one every day.

I might jump off a cliff, really.

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WotW

The word of the week was going to be “aplomb”, as, even though I don’t think I’ve ever used it in a sentence, it has been caught in my head for the past few days. However, recently I have used the word “untenable” several times, almost spasmodically. It is spasmodic overuse of the English language which started the idea of the Word of the Week in the first place. I am proud of the word untenable for rising to the challenge.

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As I continue to put large quantities of thought into the recent events, I have a few dangling thoughts, opinions and expected impacts that I will be sharing regardless of whether anyone wants to hear them.

1) Why are we so hellbent on rebuilding New Orleans? Now, I understand that portions of New Orleans MUST continue to exist, for the sake of working refineries, housing said workers, and supporting those workers with goods and services. But why must we rebuild New Orleans to its former glory? New Orleans didn’t start as a mistake. It started as a French outpost, understandable given its strategic location, and admittedly has quite a bit of history associated with it. Incidentally, in AP History, 11th grade, I did a report on the Battle of New Orleans, the bloodiest battle of the War of 1812, though it was fought after the treaty was signed, unbeknownst to those on the front lines. Over time, however, New Orleans grew bigger than its britches, hemmed by patchwork engineering endeavors and stitched together through a system of limited levees.

Over time, it became an mistake, one which was exposed this week. But here we are, talking about doing it all over again. Listening to Bush speak of it exemplifies the sort of arrogance that Americans are known for throughout the world. We are thumbing our noses at logic here, all for the sake of proving to ourselves and the rest of the world that we will not be bullied or told what to do, even by weather. The best we can do if we rebuild is create a new system of water works and levees, perhaps stronger than before, but still prone to the same sort of disaster, simply because topography demands that vulnerability. Perhaps it will take a stronger storm or a more direct hit next time, but this sort of tragedy can be repeated so long as we continually open ourselves up for it. New Orleans wasn’t destroyed by an enemy, our defiance is now directed against nature. Surely we should rebuild the World Trade Center in some manifestation, it shows our indomitable spirit against the evils of terrorism. What does rebuilding New Orleans show?

Here’s the crux though: what prevents the state of Louisiana from sinking into the ocean without New Orleans? I don’t mean literally, but really, what else does that state have going for it? Without New Orleans, Louisiana is a larger version of Delaware, only with more alligators. If you think Louisiana was poor before, just wait until it loses its New Orleans tourism industry.

2) Louisiana could survive without New Orleans, however, though it requires opening ourselves up to a similar disaster from a financial standpoint. The talk is of more refineries now, as opportunists are bundling the skyrocketing gas prices into the human disaster to push the agenda they’ve been trying to champion for years. What dumb luck those guys stumbled upon, who would have thought they could finagle the moral high ground out of their stance? This will lead to drilling in Alaska and additional refineries, of that I am fairly certain. Gas was high before, and now it’s absurd. It will remain absurd for years. Johny Everyman, who is this week’s word of the week, thinks in terms of quick fixes, and despite the fact that it would be at least 5 years before our oil could start coming in from Alaska and refined in our new plants, he will hear the seemingly commonsense solutions of certain politicians and support the legislation.

Meanwhile, I think the good ole boy network, and the OPEC consortium is in a bit of a bind. This is also potentially the best thing that could have happened to the hybrid/alternative energy people. People will be receptive to the idea of hybrid cars, solar cells, wind power and even nuclear power as they continue to get pillaged both at home and on the road. If big oil and OPEC aren’t careful, we actually WILL decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, simply because people will soon get fed up with $5 a gallon, which is where I think we’ll be in a month. To be simplistic here, there are two parts to supply and demand, it is left as an exercise to the reader to figure out what they are. At the moment, prices are high because supply is low and demand is high. The day will come however, when supply will recover, but demand will have been lessened. Once that happens, Texas and the Gulf Coast both fall into the ocean, while Alaska sighs as its second gold rush fails to convince the rest of the country that it would be fun to live in the artic. At least OPEC takes the shock stick away from our nation’s nuts.

3) I have always been a fan of the New Orleans Saints, which is a historical curiosity for another post, and now I am afraid I won’t be the only one. I liked being the only one. You want a prediction? The notoriously inconsistent Aints start winning some games, the nation rallies behind them (as they won’t have a home game all season), and they make it into the playoffs, advancing a round or so. They give the people of New Orleans hope, and the rest of the nation feels good about itself. Then, next year they suck again, and given that Hilary Duff will again be bigger news than New Orleans, the rest of the nation will vacate the bandwagon. The people of New New Orleans will see the Saints in the repaired Superdome, which will still reek of feces, sucking like old times, and they will realize that they didn’t actually get to see any of the games in the Aints’ one good season of the past 20 years. Hopefully they’ll get some TVs in the tent communities, and the refugees will all gather round and have some good old fashion football based bonding this fall. That would bring people joy, justifiably so, I’d love to be with those people if the Saints were doing well.

4) People keep bitching about how we help all the other countries, but that they don’t help us. These are people who are sweeping under the rug the fact that the United States’ first relief promise to Indonesia was $300,000 after the tsunami, or, roughly the cost of Trent Lott’s porch. Meanwhile, they continue to ignore the fact that 50 countries have offered money and support in the recovery efforts. Will we take their help? Hell no, we’re the US, we don’t need nobody’s charity. Granted, the only reason why China offered assistance was to try to rub salt in our wounds, but we’re a friggin one man band, harmony is not in our constitution.

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Oxymoronic

In what is becoming a consistent, gimmicky, and altogether boring for everyone involved, tradition, the word of the week is rumored to be “monosyllabic“. Despite having rarely, if ever, said this word outloud, I love the way it sounds. Mono-sill-lab-ick. It’s that “lab” in the middle there, it just knocks you down. Plus, despite meaning, “characterized by monosyllables”, monosyllabic has 5, count them, 5 syllables.

Now, I like this word as a chracterization of someone’s speech, as opposed to as a technical description. For instance, a simply-spoken, terse, or bland person’s speech might be said to be monosyllabic. In fact, I would say that one can use large words and still be monosyllabic, so long as each syllable is segmented and emphasized independently, as though it’s its own word. So, to me, monotonous and monosyllabic blend partially into each other. Ben Stein, especially in his Ferris Buhler cameo, was particularly adept at this delivery.

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It’s looking like mendicant is in the lead for this week. I’ll let you know.

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I finally have added a Word of the Week category to my moveable type (MT) interface to this blog. It’s getting to the point where a word rams its way into my head, completely out of nowhere, and I immediately recognize that it will be stuck in my head all week long. Earlier this week, it was obvious the the WotW was “obdurate”, a word which I had never used outloud still haven’t used in a sentence. Pronounced obdur-rit, it means “stubborn in wretchedness” or somesuch.

I can at least attribute the context under which that word came into my mind to a situation. I have no such luxury for the word that squirmed in last night, monosyllabic. Meaning exactly what it looks like it means, though perhaps more flexible than dictionary.com gives it credit for, monosyllabic can be used in a disparaging way to describe boring and/or inarticulate people’s speech as well as the stuffy technical definition.

I think the increase in WotW production is directly related to my increase in reading, specifically Latourette’s History of Christianity, which is decidedly not monosyllabic. Interestingly, that link is only loosely related to the book, but I would like to take that class, and I should try to read some of those sources. Anyway, I swear he just had a typo, speaking of when a prince reached his majority when he meant to say that he reach his maturity. It will be a long time before his favorite word, eschatological becomes WotW, because I still can’t use it properly, not even a little bit.

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I used “docket” outloud a few days ago. It felt awkward at first, but I enjoyed it as I finished the word. Despite using “specious” twice in a 4 hour period with the same person on Monday (via email and in person), this week’s Word of the Week is “vet”, as in “I’m vetting out the scenarios as we speak”. I’ve already used it a few times in meetings, and there’s a lot of vetting in my documentation processes at work. Plus, I’m vetting out all kinds of other assorted scenarios, from running to lunatic women, from satanic church music to sun’s standing still in the midst of battle.

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Despite perhaps never having used the word outloud or on paper in my life, “docket” is this week’s word of the week. The entire concept is a little creepy; a word ingrains itself into my subconscious and then starts popping up at random intervals throughout the day, in almost all circumstances. It’s sort of like when the Enterprise was caught in that temporal loop in “Cause and Effect” and Data injected the number 3 into some sort of temporally isolated region of his positronic net to warn him to listen to Riker’s suggestion instead of his own on the next time through the loop. Riker, as a Commander, has three dots on his neck indicating that rank. It’s sort of like that.

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