Department of English

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A Guide For Creative Thinking

Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:12 am by BHSoft

A Guide For Creative Thinking by Brian Tracy
Einstein once said, “Every child is born a genius.” But the reason why most people do not function at genius levels is because they are not aware of how creative and smart they really are.I call it the “Schwarzenegger effect.” No one would look at a person such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and think how lucky he is to have been born with such …


Africain Literature

Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:15 pm by Lily

Things Fall Apart is a 1959 English-language novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first African novels written in English to receive global critical acclaim. The title of the novel comes from [url=http://www.answers.com/topic/william-butler-yeats-3]


Algeria's Newspapers ...

Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:11 pm by Lily

study study study study



http://www.algeria press.com/
http://www.algeria press.com/alkhabar.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/elwatan.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/echoroukonline.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/elmoudjahid.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/liberte.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/horizons.htm
http://www.algeria-press.com/el-massa.htm
[url=http://www.algeria-press.com/ech-chaab.htm]…


Algerian Vote

Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:39 pm by Lily

Algerians are voting in a presidential election which opposition groups have described as a charade.












American English

Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:00 pm by Maria

Going to is pronounced GONNA when it is used to show the future. But it is never reduced when it means going from one place to another.

We're going to grab a bite to eat. = We're gonna grab a bite to eat.
I'm going to the office tonight. = I'm going to the office tonight.

2. Want to and want a are both pronounced WANNA and wants to is pronounced WANSTA. Do you want to can also be reduced …

American Slangs

Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:54 pm by Maria

airhead: stupid person.
"Believe it or not, Dave can sometimes act like an airhead!"

amigo: friend (from Spanish).
"I met many amigos at Dave's ESL Cafe."

ammunition: toilet paper.
"Help! We're completely out of ammunition!"

antifreeze: alcohol.
"I'm going to need a lot of antifreeze tonight!"

armpit: dirty, unappealing place.


An Introduction to the British Civilization

Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:54 am by Maria

University of Batna First Year
English Department G: 6-7-8-9
General Culture

[center]An Introduction to the British Civilization

*The United Kingdom :

Full Name : The UK's full and official name is the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

Location: The United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country …

Announcements and News

Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:55 am by Lily


"Dear students , we would like to inform you that , from now on , your marks can be consulted through your Website ...Let's surf ! bounce bounce Wink

Applying for Research Study in the Department of English

Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:32 pm by Lily

Applying for Research Study in the Department of English

The process of applying for a research studentship begins with the identification of a potential supervisor. If you already know a staffmember who is willing to work with you to develop a research proposal,please start by contacting them. If you do not have a supervisor inmind already, …



    Word of the day

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    Word of the Day:Periphrasis

    Post by Lily on Sun May 17, 2009 2:59 pm

    Periphrasis (noun)
    Definition:
    The figure of speech whereby a longer, descriptive phrase is used in place of a simple word or phrase; circumlocution; the use of several words where one would do.
    Usage:The plural of today's word is the same as all words ending on –is in English: "periphrases" (cf. "bases," "crises"). The adjective is "periphrastic." In grammar periphrasis refers to the use of two words to do the work of one, such as the complex comparative "more beautiful" as opposed to one word like "prettier".
    Suggested Usage: Jefferson wrote, "The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do;" that is, no periphrasis. But when Rumpole of the Bailey refers to his wife, Hilda, as "she who must be obeyed," he uses periphrasis for humor. While Robert Browning might have thought elsewhere that "less is more," his periphrastic description of evening as "[w]here the quiet-coloured end of evening smiles" in 'Love Among the Ruins,' is far more poetic than one word alone.
    Etymology: From Greek periphrazein "to paraphrase" based on peri- "around" + phrazein "to say." "Frantic," "frenetic," "frenzy," and the –phrenia in "schizophrenia" are related via Greek phren "the mind."

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    Word of the Day: Fiduciary

    Post by Lily on Sat May 16, 2009 1:24 pm

    Fiduciary(adjective)
    Definition:
    (1) Holding or overseeing something
    in trust. (2) Of or related to a trust, trustee or trusteeship, as a fiduciary relationship to a minor or a fiduciary institution that manages financial assets. (3) Depending on public trust or securities for its value, as a fiduciary issue of currency.

    Usage: Since the US stopped backing its currency with gold in 1971, US currency has been fiduciary, dependant on the trust of those who use it to maintain its value. Otherwise, this word refers to a trusteeship or guardianship over objects of value: "My grandmother left me her Ferrari in her will but she also left a fiduciary testament naming my father as trustee of the key until I'm 30."
    Etymology: Today's word comes from Latin fiducia "trust, confidence." This word is based on fides "faith, trust," the source of "Fido," the default name of our faithful friend, the dog. The original root was *bheidh-, which came into English as bide "to await, to expect," as to bide one's time, as well as abide "to tolerate."
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    Word of the Day:Candid

    Post by Lily on Fri May 15, 2009 4:07 pm

    Candid(adjective)
    Definition: White, pure, honest, unbiased, frank or open.
    Usage: The definition above maps the semantic history of today's word: whiteness to purity to honesty, then frankness. The noun is "candor" (British-Australian "candour") and the adverb "candidly," not always the best way to talk. Today’s word is unrelated to "candy," which comes from Arabic qandah "candy," borrowed from Persian qand "sugar."
    Suggested Usage: "Candid" still implies a purity, almost a naiveté, that "frank" does not convey, "Candice, I wish you wouldn't be so candid when discussing our age!" For 50 years Allen Funt entertained people with his "candid microphone" on radio followed by “candid camera" on TV, recording people doing things they would not want recorded on tape or film for others to laugh at.
    Etymology:
    The leap from "candid" to "candidate" might seem to require a rocket-powered pogo stick today but Latin candidat-us "clothed in white," the origin of our word "candidate," comes from candidus "white" just as does "candid." The reason? Roman candidates for political office wore a white toga during their campaigns. The verb root (candere) is also found in incendere "to kindle, set afire," the origin of English "incendiary," "incense," and "frankincense." An early source of artificial light, "candle," is also a descendant, and a candle-maker is a chandler (candle+er), of which there must have been many, judging from the number of people still bearing that name today.
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    Word of the Day:Rubefacient

    Post by Lily on Thu May 14, 2009 11:07 am

    Rubefacient(adjective)
    Definition: Causing redness (usually in the skin); an agent that causes redness (Noun).
    Usage: The term is usually used in the medical sense, but why stop there.
    Suggested Usage: Certain allergens are rubefacient but so is an embarrassing remark if it results in blushing. "Rubefacient language" or "remark" is a nice euphemism for "profanity" or anything spoken out of place. "The document was a rubefacient for all who worked on it."
    Etymology: Latin rubefacere "to make red", itself from rubeus "reddish" + facere "to make". Rubeus is from PIE reudh-, the origin of ruby, red, robust, corroborate, rambunctious, ruddy, rust, and rouge. From facere (PPart fact-us) fact, faction, factor, fashion, feasible, feat, and feature are derived.

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    Word of the day :Mitigate

    Post by Lily on Tue May 12, 2009 10:49 pm

    Mitigate:Verb
    Definition: Reduce the severity of something, mollify, alleviate.
    Usage: A common false cognate is "militate". Look out for the confusion.
    Suggested Usage: The common idiom is "mitigating circumstances", circumstances that makes a crime more palatable, acceptable. But there is a plethora of circumstances where it applies. "I need something to mitigate the bad news I'm bringing home."

    Etymology:
    From Latin mitigatus, past participle of mitigare "to soften", from mitis "soft" + -igare, related to agere to "go, drive, do", cf. "agent", "agile", and all stems on "act".
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    Re: Word of the day

    Post by Lily on Mon May 11, 2009 10:13 pm

    Behoove Verb
    Definition:
    No, this word does not refer to the development of hooves on cows and horses. It means "to oblige, to make obliged to, to make incumbent upon." In Scotland and some parts of English it is also used to mean "to need, to be necessary."
    Usage:
    Today's word is an old one that is used almost exclusively in the construction "It behooves someone to . . . ," as "It behooves us all to move cautiously." It generally requires a direct object; however, in Scotland, where the verb also means "to need," expressions like, "We behooved to instigate an enquiry," occasionally emerge. "Behove" is an alternative that is still acceptable. Either way, this word is an orphan without adjective or noun family members.
    Suggested Usage:
    At this point it behooves me to provide an example of today's word. (Oops! It seems I already have.) This word sometimes has moral or ethical overtones: "It behooves us all to think about who we are cheating when we cheat on income taxes in a country of, by, and for ourselves."
    Etymology:
    Today's word is an English original from Old English behofian from a Germanic compound *bi-hof, "which binds: obligation." The same root gave us "heavy" from Germanic *hafigaz "containing something, having weight." "Haven" comes from Germanic *hafn- "place that holds ships" and "hawk" is probably related, too. Latin capere "to sieze" comes from the same root. Its past participle, captus, underlies English "capture," "captive," and the verbs on -cept: "intercept," "inception." The frequentative of this verb, "captare," became cachier "to chase" in French and was borrowed by English to refer to the end of a successful chase: "catch."

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    Word of the Day:Dolorous

    Post by Lily on Sun May 10, 2009 9:30 am

    Dolorous (adjective)
    Definition: Mournful, causing or expressing grief.
    Usage: The noun is dolor or dolour (British).
    Suggested Usage: This is a term to use in place of "sorrowful" or "sad" when you wish to speak in a higher register: "The dolorous atmosphere in the house made wittiness awkward" or "The dolorous expression on her face bespeaks a recent tragedy in her life." (A linguistic register is a level of sophistication, e.g. the difference in your speech when talking to your boss versus talking about him in the local tavern.)
    Etymology:
    Latin dolorosus from dolor "pain, grief" from dolere "to suffer pain."
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    Word of The Day:Husband

    Post by Lily on Fri May 08, 2009 4:36 pm

    Husband (Verb)
    Definition:To economize, to use sparingly.
    Usage:
    The noun for today's word is husbandry "sparing use, economization." The word originally referred to a farmer who owned his own farm and household (see Etymology). The optimal husband in this sense was the one who was thrifty and managed his farm well, hence, the verbal sense. "It is significant—and to a male a little depressing—that the word which once meant 'general manager' has come to be merely the correlative of a wife."—Bergan Evans quoted in the YD Agora.
    Suggested Usage:According to Bergan Evans, renowned professor of English literature at Northwestern, "when Banquo,in Macbeth, sees that it is a dark and starless night, he says, 'There's husbandry in heaven; their candles are all out.' Then as now, apparently, it was the Father who went around putting out unneeded lights to save expense." We must also husband our natural resources, i.e, be thrifty with them, making provisions for their replenishment, as the head of a family might manage his estate so that his children and grandchildren may benefit from it.
    Etymology:The English word husband comes from Old Norse husbondi "master of a house" based on hus "house" + bondi "estate owner" from bua "to dwell, own an estate." When the Norsemen came to England, the women who married them used the Norse word for what was then their masters. The feminine was husbonde "wife, mistress of the house" which would also be "husband" today (and an interesting ambiguity, to say the least), had not the word for "woman "wif" assumed that meaning in English.
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    Word of the Day:Parthenogenesis

    Post by Lily on Thu May 07, 2009 2:41 pm

    Parthenogenesis
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: (1) Asexual reproduction by a single (female) organism without assistance from the opposite gender. (2) Virgin birth.
    Usage: The most famous incident of parthenogenesis in the West and Middle East, of course, was that of Jesus Christ.According to Biblical sources, he was brought forth by Mary alone,without the procreative intervention of her husband, Joseph. Indeed,gods are often portrayed as parthenogenetically born: from Gaia, the Greek Earth-mother, who brought forth Pontus (the sea) and Uranus (the sky) parthenogenetically, to the birth of Huitzilopochtli, the supreme being and god of war in the Aztec religion of ancient Mexico, on the other side of the world.
    Suggested Usage:The adjective is "parthenogenetic" and the adverb,"parthenogenetically."Although some dictionaries list"parthenogeneses" (with an [e] in the final syllable) as the plural of today's word, it is hard to imagine how it could be used in the plural.
    Etymology: Today's word arose just in the 19th century from Greek parthenos "virgin" + genesis "birth." The site of the Temple of Athena in Athens is the Parthenon, another Greek word from "parthenos." The first book of the Old Testament is called"Genesis" because it is about the birth of the earth, itself parthenogenetic. The root is *gen- "produce, create," and the Latin reflex of it is found in many English borrowings, including,"generate," "gender," "general," "generic," "generous," "genre,""genus," "genius," "degenerate," "gene," and "genealogy." The native English reflexes of the same root include "kin," "kind," and "king."
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    Word of the Day:Ostensible

    Post by Lily on Wed May 06, 2009 11:32 am

    Ostensible (adjective)
    Definition: Apparent, evident, conspicuous.
    Usage:Although today's word means "evident," it usually implies the concealment of something more important, more real. So one's ostensible reason for going to a restaurant would be to eat but the more important one might be to talk with a certain waitress.
    Suggested Usage:
    In and of itself, today's word means something very close to "obvious,"as in: "All of Malcolm's intentions were ostensible and amused everyone." It is used, however, more often to refer to a mask concealing another agenda: "Loretta ostensibly travels to Atlanta on business but I noticed some time ago that she only goes when the Braves are playing a home (baseball) game."
    Etymology:Via French from Medieval Latin "ostensibilis" from "ostensus," the past participle of ostendere "to show." This verb is composed of ob-"to(ward)" + tendere "to stretch," probably from stretching the arm out to show things. "Tendere" is based on the same original root, *ten-"stretch," as English "thin" and German "dünn," since stretching tends to make things thinner. The same root also developed into Latin tenere "to hold," which is detectable in the English borrowings "tenet,""tenant," "tenacious," "tenable." "Tense" and "tension" are also relatives. Finally, "baritone" is based partially on Greek tonos"string" of the same origin. Guess where "tone" came from.
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    Word of the day:Sessile

    Post by Lily on Tue May 05, 2009 6:15 pm

    Sessile (adjective)
    Definition: (1) Attached directly to a base, as a leaf or flower might be attached directly to a stalk without a stem (pedicle). (2) Firmly attached and immobile.
    Usage: Today's word is used mostly in scientific terminology, referring to flowers like the trillium, fruit like the jack-fruit that grow directly from a stalk, or the eyes of most animals as opposed to those of crabs that are on a stalk. In the second sense, scallops are the opposite of the sessile barnacle; they are vagile, which is to say, mobile. As usual, that doesn't mean we cannot find nonscientific uses.
    Suggested Usage: The difference between this word and "sedentary" is that while "sedentary" implies an attachment to sitting, "sessile" suggests an attachment to what one is sitting on: "Oblomov lived a sedentary youth and in his old age became positively sessile." Thus today's word is not a synonym of "sedentary," but an emphatic alternative, "Brigit has become such a sessile fixture of her recliner chair, I fear she has grown to it." W. H. Auden once spoke of a "sessile hush," a hush that refused surrender its place to the urgence of time.
    Etymology: The word for "sit" in all Indo-European languages comes from the same source, Proto-Indo-European *sed-: Spanish sentar(se), French (s')asseoir, Russian sadit'(sya), German "sitzen" and English "sit," "set," "seat." The verb in Latin was"sedere," the past participle of which is "sessus." Latin sessilis "sitting down, stunted," whence today's word, was based on the participle. You might think that "chair" would be related to this root—and you would be right. The [s] became an [h] in Greek (remember Latin "semi-" = Greek "hemi-"?) so, with the suffix –ra, "hedra" became "seat" in Greek. Prefixed with kat(a) "down," the direction most folks sit in, it became "cathedra," a word borrowed by Latin in the sense of "armchair, cushioned chair." (The cathedral church is the one with the bishop's cathedra or throne.) Old French hammered this word into "chaière" and we polished it down to "chair."
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    Word of the day:Reconnoiter

    Post by Lily on Mon May 04, 2009 9:25 pm

    Reconnoiter
    Part of Speech: verb
    Pronunciation: [re-kên-'oi-têr or ree-kên-'oi-têr]
    Definition:
    To make a preliminary inspection in order to gather information.
    Usage: Nevertheless, while we think "military" when we think "reconnoiter," any of us can engage in the act. "Natasha sent her husband to reconnoiter the end-of-summer lawn and garden sales as her friends arrived for Saturday luncheon." Children, especially the shy type, often reconnoiter the playground to decide if they should make a mad dash for a swing or not.

    Suggested Usage:
    Today's word comes to us from military jargon, popularized by US war movies. Ernest Hemingway's 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' has a suspense-filled scene of possible discovery when Robert Jordan and his band are reconnoitering the bridge he's to demolish. As Hemingway's scene shows, "to reconnoiter" implies that one visually inspects the enemy. Observations are the rule in reconnoitering, in contrast to espionage, where information is gathered through infiltrating the enemy or making contact with them. Someone who is sent to gather visual information, probably through furtive measures, and report back is a reconnoiterer, the noun form of today's word.
    Etymology:
    Obsolete French reconnoître, from Old French reconoistre "to recognize," from the root reconnois- "to know again." The French words come from the Latin recognoscere, re- "again" + cognoscere "to get to know." The PIE root is gno- "to know." Not surprisingly, gno- gives us knowledge and acknowledge, but also cunning, ken, kith and kin, and notorious (Not that anyone in our readership would ken the cunning or notorious in their kith and kin). (If you'd like more PIE, see "How is a Hippo Like a Feather?" in YDC's library.)
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    Word of the Day:Patronize

    Post by Lily on Sun May 03, 2009 11:49 am

    Patronize(verb)
    Definition: (1) To serve as a benefactor (patron) or sponsor of; (2) to visit regularly as a customer; (3) to address in a condescending, superior manner.
    Usage: "Patronize" is the verb in a large family of words that include "patron," its adjective, "patronal" [pê-'tro-nêl], the feminine "patroness," and the noun expressing the relationship of a patron: "patronage" ['pæ-trê-nij].
    Suggested Usage: In the sense of visiting as a customertoday's word reflects a rather elevated style, certainly it is more literary than "shop at," "I don't patronize business establishments whose parking areas accommodate compact cars." Speaking of condescension, this word expresses that attitude acceptably at all stylistic levels, "Don't patronize me by asking me so politely to take out the garbage when you know I have no choice in the matter."
    Etymology: Today's word comes via Old French from Medieval Latin patronus, from Latin, from pater, patr- "father." The meaning originally referred to someone who looked over you like a father, as a patron saint protects his or her charge. Composers, painters, and other artists of the 18th and 19th centuries lived on the patronage of wealthy patrons. Since a patron financially supports his or her charge, it was easy to transfer this meaning to a regular customer who financially supports a business. However, since an patronized artist is totally dependant on the largesse of the patron, it is also clear how this relation could be taken as condescension.
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    Re: Word of the day

    Post by Lily on Sat May 02, 2009 12:10 pm

    Natter (verb)
    Definition: (1) To nag, grumble, complain (mostly Scotland and Northern England); (2) to chatter mindlessly.
    Usage: The activity is nattering and those who indulge in it are natterers. Nattery people are those with a proclivity to natter.
    Suggested Usage: In 1970 Vice President Spiro Agnew proclaimed, "In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativity." This alliterative phrase, coined by New York Times columnist William Safire, referred to critics of the Viet Nam war. However, natterers seldom dwell on anything so profound as war; by definition nattering is superficial: "Whenever she gets lonely she comes over to natter the afternoon away with me over tea."
    Etymology: It may be a variant of dialectal gnatter "to nibble, chatter" or it may be a blend of "nag" and "chatter," no one knows for sure. It is a fairly recent word, first recorded in 1804 in Scotland, where it originally meant "nag, grumble, complain." It seems unrelated to "natty"as in "nattily dressed;" this word is probably a corruption of "neat."
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    Word of the Day:Grizzle

    Post by Lily on Fri May 01, 2009 2:56 pm

    Grizzle(Noun)
    Definition: Streaks of graying in the hair; a fit of resentful grumbling, a sulking mood.

    Usage:
    The adjective from today's word is "grizzly," most frequently associated with the grizzly bears of the north. "Grizzly" simply means streaked or tipped with gray. A grizzly or grizzled man is one whose hair is graying but not yet completely gray. The verb usually refers to bringing on a bad mood ("His off-color remarks grizzled all the women in the office") but it can also refer to the process of graying.
    Suggested Usage:
    You shouldn't let grizzly hair grizzle you; there are plenty of remedies on the shelf of the pharmacy. Of course, grizzly bears and grizzly people make distinctly different impressions despite sharing today's attribute. A drizzle of grizzle in the hair of a human is an elegant reminder of maturity.
    Etymology:
    The philosophical question of the day is: what do grizzly bears have in common with perfume? It is not the aroma but the etymology. Today's word comes from the French "grisaille," a style of painting in shades of gray that resembles relief carving in stone. "Grisaille" comes from the French gris "gray." Now, when it comes to amber, the French originally distinguished ambre jaune (yellow amber) from ambre gris (gray amber). "Ambergris," as we now call it, is a grayish, waxy substance secreted by the innards of whales and found floating in the ocean. It is widely used in the manufacture of perfume—and is unrelated to grease.
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    Word of the day:Illusive

    Post by Lily on Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:47 pm

    Illusive (Adjective)
    Definition:
    Deceptive in appearance, appearing to exist but vanishing as you approach.
    Usage:
    Several cousins of "illusive" share very similar meanings. "Delusive" refers to having delusions, wholly false beliefs or visions, while "elusive" implies an object that moves away as you approach, escaping capture or confirmation. The meanings of "illusive" and "delusive" are very similar but an illusion tends to vanish altogether when you approach it while a delusion is grossly false from the start. Today's word is a direct derivative of the verb illude "to deceive with false hope" and has a non-identical twin in "illusory," sharing exactly the same meaning. The noun is "illusion" and it, too, has an adjective, illusional "given to or characterized by illusions."
    Suggested Usage: Hopes, dreams, and goals are most often illusive: "The loss of his driver's license has made Dusty Rhodes' dreams of becoming a stock car racer rather illusive." Illusive goals are not bad if they are not foolish, "Phyllis Limmer devoted most of her later years to the illusive goal of wearing her high school clothes again."
    Etymology:
    From Latin illudere "to mock or ridicule" based on in- "not" + ludere "to play." The prefix in- "assimilates" to the initial sound of the word it attaches to, so it becomes il- before [l], ir- before [r] ("irreverent"), im- before sounds made by the lips ("importance, imbalance"). Yes, the same root appears in ludicrous "utterly ridiculous," based on Latin "ludicrus" which meant simply "sportive, playful" in that language.
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    Word of the Day:Forlorn

    Post by Lily on Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:42 am

    Forlorn(adjective)
    Definition: (1) Sad or mournful as a result of a loss or deprivation of something; (2) Deprived of something.
    Usage:
    This adjective usually refers to appearance or feeling of deprivation, as "a forlorn expression on one's face" or "forlorn forest after the fire" rather than deprivation itself. Usage such as "forlorn of all hope," seldom occurs currently.

    Suggested Usage:
    You may be forlorn if you have been stood up by someone whom you wanted very much to see. Conditions can also make one forlorn: "When we saw her standing there, forlorn, in the rain, without an umbrella, we had to take her in."

    Etymology:
    From the past participle of Old English forleosan "to lose, forfeit" from for- + leosan "to lose." Akin to German verlieren "to lose" (past participle "verloren"), as well as Modern English "lose," and Greek luein "to loosen, release, untie.
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    Word of the Day:Acumen

    Post by Lily on Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:16 pm

    Part of Speech: Noun
    Definition: Sharpness of perception, keenness of mind, precise insightfulness.
    Usage: Today's word is more precise and focused than "smart" or "intelligent;" it indicates a clarity of thought,"Marjorie is not only intelligent and well-educated; her acumen leads us through the murkiest problems quickly and surely." In this sentence,using the focused term serves to emphasize (the absence of )intelligence, "How much acumen does it take to avoid sticking your tongue to a frozen pipe the second time?"
    Suggested Usage:
    Today's word seems to be an orphan but it is related to the family of acuminate "to sharpen, shape into a point," whose noun is "acumination." We see a clearer resemblance in the adjective of today's word, acuminous "perceptive, insightful." Notice the [e] becomes the same [i] that we see in the related verb. Accent on the second syllable, [æ-'kyu-men], is considered by most a bit old-fashioned today, certainly in the United States.
    Etymology:
    Today's word comes from Latin acumen "acuteness, keenness" from acuere "to sharpen," akin to acus "needle." The past participle of this verb,"acutus," came to English as "acute." The Greek word for "needle" is very similar, "akis." The Greek words akme "point" and akros "topmost,"from which we get "acrobat," come from the same Proto-Indo-European root, *ak- "sharp." It also turns up in Greek oxus "sour," found in our own sweet "oxygen." In the Germanic languages, this root became English "edge" and in Old Norse eggja "to goad, incite." Old English borrowed the Norse word as the verb "egg (on)," which is totally unrelated to the noun "egg."
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    Word of the Day:Blarney

    Post by Lily on Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:22 pm

    Word of the Day
    Blarney (noun)


    Definition: (1) The gift of eloquent speech; (2) empty words, double-talk, fabrication, nonsense.
    Usage: The first meaning of today's word has all but faded. To express this sentiment it is better to say that someone is 'blessed with the gift of the Blarney Stone.' "Blarney" is used today most often to refer to deceptive flattery or exaggerated fabrication.
    Suggested Usage: The migration of the meaning of today's word illustrates our skepticism of eloquent language; however, if you make it clear you are referring to articulate speech, the original meaning emerges: "Fiona got her gift of blarney from her subscription to YourDictionary's word of the day and not from kissing a rock." However, if you omit that qualifier 'gift,' the word takes on a radically different meaning, "That story of how he completed his PhD at Harvard in 2 years is pure blarney."
    Etymology: Today's word is an eponym from Blarney Village just outside the city of Cork, Ireland. The world famous Blarney Stone is perched high up in the battlements of Blarney Castle there. The stone was given to Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314 in recognition of his support in the Battle of Bannockburn,depicted at the very end of Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart.' Legend would have it be half the Stone of Scone over which Scottish Kings were crowned.
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    Word Of the Day:Prosopopeia

    Post by Lily on Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:29 am

    Prosopopeia
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: (1) A rhetorical figure by which an imaginary or absent person is represented as speaking or acting; the introduction of a pretended speaker; (2) personification (a rhetorical figure in which human traits are given to a non-human object).
    Usage:
    Definition 1 was the original meaning of today's word. In this sentence, the speaker acts as though Apollo exists and is acting right now, "Apollo tells us to know ourselves."However, this word is used most frequently today as a synonym of personification, a very common rhetorical device whereby we speak as though inanimate objects are human: "My car prefers high-test gasoline." "Justice is blind," is prosopopeia in this sense. The common phrase "Mother Nature" personifies nature and when we claim that a piece of software is unforgiving, we are doing the same. As you can see, we are awash in a veritable sea of prosopopeia.
    Suggested Usage:
    The spelling of today's word as "prosopopoeia" or "prosopopœia" is encountered more often in the UK than in the US. Don't be surprised when you come across one of them. The adjective is "prosopopeic" and the adverb, "prosopopeically." You may add the extra [o] to these forms, too.
    Etymology:
    Today's word is taken from Greek prosopopoiia "representation in human form,' which comes from prosopon "face, mask, dramatic character" + poiein "to make," the same verb "poetry" comes from. This word is related to the equally interesting word, prosopolepsy "respect for someone based on his or her appearance alone."

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    Word of the Day:Stratagem

    Post by Lily on Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:27 pm

    Stratagem(noun)
    Definition: A clever scheme or plan to achieve an objective, a cunning ploy.
    Usage:
    "Stratagem" and "strategy" come from the same Greek word but are spelled differently. The middle vowel in the former is [a], while in the latter, it is [e]. The reason for this difference is that "stratagem" was taken from the Doric dialect of Greek, spoken in the south, while "strategy" was taken from the Athenian or northern dialect. The two words have very similar meanings but a strategy is usually a more complex plan, possibly itself comprised of several stratagems for accomplishing individual steps of the overall strategy.
    Suggested Usage: A stratagem is a 'con' that isn't necessarily harmful, "Pretending to be a poor, shy farmer from the prairie isn't a stratagem likely to attract women in the night clubs of New York." You will find modern stratagems and classic ones: "Llewellyn's stratagem for advancement was to marry the boss's daughter." (So long as he doesn't pretend to be a shy farmer from the prairie.)
    Etymology: Today's word comes to us via French from Latin "strategema," itself borrowed from Greek, from strategein or stratagein "to be a general of an army" from strategos (Doric "stratagos") "general, commander," built on stratos "army, host, people" + agein "to lead." "Stratos" comes from the same Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to spread" that gave English "strew" and "straw." English "street" is also probably a cousin. In Latin, it emerged as struire "to pile up, build," the root found in English borrowings like "construct," "instruct," "instrument," and "obstruct."
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:19 pm

    Placate (Verb)
    Definition: Pacify, soothe, or mollify.
    Usage: Someone who placates is a placater and is by nature placative ['plækêtiv] or placatory ['plækêtori]. Those who can be placated are placable ['plækêbêl] and those who cannot, are implacable [im-'plækêbêl. We at YourDictionary hope you never have to placate the implacable (unless you have an implacable desire for frustration).
    Suggested Usage:
    Even the most irascible can eventually be placated, though difficult cases do arise: "Nothing you say will placate Murray; he's convinced you were the one who put the catnip in his sleeping bag before the tiger hunt." Don't forget the lexical relatives of today's word, "I don't think Murray would consider, 'Maybe you didn't deserve it,' a placatory overture, let alone an apology."
    Etymology:
    From Latin placare "to calm." The root originates in PIE *plak "to be flat, to smooth out" hence "placate.""Placebo," "placid," and "pleasant" are all derivatives of the Latin stem via various routes. In Germanic languages like English, PIE [*p] became [f], so "flag," "flake," and "fluke" (as in liver fluke) are what this root became in English. There was a nasalized variant of this root, *pla-n-k- which shows up in Latin plancus"flat, flat-footed" from which English borrowed "plank."

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    Word of the Day:Contiguous

    Post by Lily on Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:29 pm

    Contiguous(Adjective)
    Definition: In space or time: (1) adjacent and touching, sharing a border or boundary; (2) in uninterrupted contact with one another or without interruption, as 24 contiguous hours or the 48 contiguous US states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii).
    Usage: The adverb for today's word is "contiguously." You have your choice of nouns, "contiguousness" or "contiguity" [kên-tê-'gu-ê-ti]. The latter word has the additional meaning of "a continuous series or unbroken mass," as the contiguity of shade in a dense forest.
    Suggested Usage:
    This word is probably used most often in reference to properties: "Sid insisted that his home be situated on a property contiguous to a golf course." However, its meaning may be extended to other sorts of properties, including those of the mind, "Mortimer cannot express two contiguous thoughts that follow logically one from the other."

    Etymology:
    Today's word comes from Latin contiguus "touching" from contingere "to touch," made up of com- "with, by, near" + tangere "to touch." The original Proto-Indo-European root was *ta(n)g- "touch" with that nasal [n] that comes and goes from word to word. That is why we get "con-tig-uous" and con-ting-ent "dependent (upon)" from the same verb.Tangent"touching,contacting" and tangible "touchable,palpable" come from the same original root. When the government touches you for money, it "taxes" you, another word from
    "tangere" without the [n]. The direct Latin origin was taxare (tag-s-are) "to touch several times," the frequentative of "tangere"—since we are frequently touched in this way.
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    Word of the Day:Glut

    Post by Lily on Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:27 pm

    Part of Speech: Noun
    Definition: An oversupply, a superfluity, a superabundance.
    Usage: The economy often fails as a result of a glut of products on the market. The bursting of the economic bubble of the 90s, however, resulted more from a glut of greed in the market.(The extent of that cupidity is too much for most of us to swallow.)Gluttony may also assume a more pleasant nature, "He glutted himself with her affection."
    Suggested Usage:

    Today's word may also be used as an intransitive verb, meaning to overeat or overindulge in anything. A person who consistently gluts him- or herself is a "glutton," as a glutton for mutton may also be a glutton for abdominal punishment.

    Etymology:

    From Old French glottir "swallow" from Latin gluttire "gulp, swallow
    down." Related to Russian glotat' "swallow," the noun glotok "a swallow, gulp," and Hindi galA "swallow" and gaTa "gulp." Of course,"gulp" is the same root with an old suffix –p. The medical word for the vocal folds by which we make the sounds of speech is "glottis," no doubt because we can see it bob up and down when we swallow. Its exterior is called the "Adam's apple." (We are happy that Marilyn Macmillan is a glutton for interesting words, especially when she
    shares those like today's with us.)
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    Word of the Day:Missive

    Post by Lily on Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:24 am

    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition
    :
    A letter, a written message sent to someone.
    Usage:
    This word is closely associated with romance: "When Priscilla received Roderick's tender missive, she knew she had let their relationship travel too far." Of course, we use the term "romance" in the broadest sense of the word, "The Prince was concerned with rumors of a mysterious missive circulating in the castle, purportedly describing his nocturnal ramblings."
    Suggested Usage:

    Today's word is a poetic synonym of "letter," a written message. It differs from "epistle" in the religious connotation of that word. Use today's word to emphasize the sensitivity of a letter, tenderness expressed in it, or to suggest mystery, intrigue, or romance.

    Etymology:

    Today's word is an adjective left over from the phrase "letter missive," meaning "letter sent." It comes from the Latin phrase litterae missivae, the feminine plural of "missivus" from the verb mittere "to send." While little is known of the origin of this root,mit-/mis-, it does appear in many words borrowed into English, such as "submit," "emit," "remit," "manumit," and "admit," all of which have nouns on -mission. Indeed, "mission" is another descendant of this root, not to mention "missile."


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