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

    Post by Lily on Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:57 pm

    Paraphernalia (noun)
    Definition: (1) Personal belongings. (2) Historically, a married woman's legal property that she may pass to her children (not her dowry, which traditionally goes to her husband for keeps). (3) Equipment used by a particular organization or profession, as football or sound paraphernalia.
    Usage: Here is a tough one: Merriam-Webster's has given up on the second [r] but we still think that in dialects which otherwise retain the [r] at the end of syllables (as we do in the US), it should be pronounced. Do be sure to spell today's word with the [r]—it is not optional in the spelling.
    Suggested Usage: When using today's word to refer to personal belongings, it is best to have a woman in mind, "Sarah Belham counted the Jaguar and the house attached to the garage where it slept at night among her acquired paraphernalia." In 'Orley Farm' Anthony Trollop described the judge, jury, and lawyers as the "paraphernalia of justice." Whistles and badges are among the paraphernalia of policemen and the baseball catcher's paraphernalia would include a facemask, a chest protector and shin guards.
    Etymology: Medieval Latin paraphernalia "pertaining to the parapherna," a married woman's property exclusive of her dowry, from Greek para- "beyond" + pherne "dowry." The Greek root pher- turns up in "amphora," a large oval container for transporting goods, and "euphoria," originally "well-bringing" or "well-brought." It is related to Latin ferre "to carry, bear" found in "ferry" and all the words on –fer: "defer," "prefer," "confer," etc. In English the same primitive root developed into "bear" and, with the suffix –ing, "bring."
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    Word of the Day:Sinistral

    Post by Lily on Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:15 pm

    Sinistral (adjective)
    Definition: Pertaining to or facing the left side; left-handed.
    Usage:Today's word may also be used as a noun to refer to left-handers: "She wore her watch on her right wrist like most sinistrals." The antonym of "sinistral" is dextral "pertaining to or facing right." "Sinistrally" is the adverb and "sinistrality," the noun from today's word. There is also a noun sinistration "turning to the left" which implies a verb "sinistrate." Some other day we will have to examine "southpaw," a peculiar phrase referring to sinistrals who climb the mound in baseball.
    Suggested Usage: Keep in mind that "sinistral" and "dextral" refer to a particular side of an object, not the side of the person looking at it. The sinistral side is that side of an object when you are facing in the same direction as the object. "That unmotivated nebbish, Pierre LePoupe, could never climb the sinistral face of Mount Mukkimuck," refers to your right side as you look at the mountain from the approach. Of course, you may also use today's word as a noun, "Mazel Toffe is the most dexterous sinistral I have ever heard play a violin."
    Etymology: Latin sinister "left-handed, unlucky" (also French sinistre, Italian sinistro, and Spanish siniestro) + suffix -al."Sinistral" has been spared the sinister turn taken by other forms of this root, seen in bar sinister "evidence of illegal birth," "sinister clouds," and so on. Satan is taken by many to be left-handed and many cultures reflect a dark suspicion of sinistrals that do not pitch. This usage is in flagrant contrast with the meanings of the antonym dexter "right side": "dexterous," "dexterity," "ambidextrous," "dextr(ogluc)ose."
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    Word of the Day :Taxonomy

    Post by Lily on Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:51 pm

    Taxonomy (Noun)
    Definition: A taxonomy is a structure for classifying things in a series of hierarchical categories that makes it easier to identify them. Botanists for example, divide plants into divisions made up of classes containing subclasses which comprise superorders, orders, families, and genera (plural of genus) made up of species.
    Usage: The plural is "taxonomies" and someone engaged in classification is a "taxonomist." The adjective is "taxonomic" [tæk-sê-'nah-mik] and to classify in taxonomies is to "taxonomize" [tæk-'sah-nê-mIz].
    Suggested Usage: Language itself provides us with everyday taxonomies: a robin is a bird, all birds are animals, all animals are creatures—each category is larger than its predecessor. Such linguistic taxonomies provide us the authority to say things like, "I'm no expert in animal taxonomy but I know that oysters are not a species of turtle." Taxonomies are also important in business: "The only person in the company who knows the entire taxonomy of our product line is old Noah Zarque who retires next month."
    Etymology: From French "taxonomie" based on Greek taxis "arrangement" + nomos "law, custom." "Nomos" is related to the verb nemein "allot or manage," the meaning found in "economy" from Greek oikos "home" + nomos "management." "Nemesis" shares the same origin via Nemesis, the goddess of retribution. In Germanic languages the root emerges in Old English niman and German nehmen "take." Although the verb did not survive in English ("take" was borrowed from Old Norse to replace it), the past participle, numen "seized, taken" and the adjective nemel "grasping or learning quickly" did survive as "numb" and "nimble," respectively.
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    Word of the Day : Antimacassar

    Post by Lily on Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:22 pm

    Antimacassar (noun)
    Definition: A covering originally thrown over the backs and arms of sofas and chairs to protect them from the hair oil worn by men of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. Currently these covers, usually crocheted, are used for mere decoration.
    Usage: Today's word is an odd lexical orphan, mixing a regular prefix with the name of a commercial product. Converting a proper commercial name into a common noun is not unusual, however, as the Etymology shows.
    Suggested Usage: Antimacassars are associated with homes remindful of the era of hair oil, "The overstuffed couch and armchairs were decorated with crocheted antimacassars, stained to suggest that at least one of the users was still a devotee of Brylcreem." This does not prevent metaphorical stretches,however: "Dawn South came from a region of catfish fishing, hoedowns, and antimacassar evangelism." (A more sophisticated way of referring to Dawn as a redneck.)
    Etymology: Anti- "against" + Macassar, the trade name of a hair oil produced by Rowland and Son and popular in 19th-century England. "Macassar" is the English attempt at "Mangkasara," the name of a district in the Celebes. The hair oil was supposedly made from plants originating there. The process of converting a proper noun like "Macassar" into a common noun is known as "commonization" and commercial names commonized in this way include "escalator," "aspirin," "dumpster," "band-aid," and "jello."
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:22 pm

    Loath (adjective)
    Definition: Reluctant, unwilling.
    Usage: "Loath" is occasionally seen spelled "loth," but you are making an error that will slip by your spellchecker if you confuse it with the etymologically related verb "loathe" ['lodh], meaning to detest. "Loath" differs from its synonyms "reluctant" and "unwilling" in not being used as a stand-alone adjective—you may refer to an unwilling mule, but not a loath mule. Instead, you must describe the mule as "loath to" do something—in this case, walk. "Loath" also forms an unusual opposite in the phrase "nothing loath," meaning "not at all unwilling." The state of being loath is "loathness."
    Suggested Usage: Reluctance is such a regular part of life, it's nice to have a synonym at your fingertips: "I'm loath to sample Hilda's cooking again, after last year's mass hospital admission." If someone exhibits surprising willingness, drop a "nothing loath" into the start of your sentence: "Nothing loath, she got straight back on that horse every time it threw her."
    Etymology: From Middle English loth, "displeasing," from Old English lath, "hateful, disgusting." The Old English strength of feeling has been preserved in "loathe," while the Middle English moderation is evident in "loath." Both trace their origin to Proto-Indo-European *leit- "to detest" which has mutated in other languages to give both the French laid "ugly," and the German Leid "sorrow."
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    Word of the day :Inglorious

    Post by Lily on Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:46 pm

    Part of Speech: adjective
    Definition:
    Lacking in glory or pride hence shameful or dishonorable.
    Usage: It may be used literally, as in "an inglorious battle in British history"; however, it may be used metaphorically in interesting ways to refer to any event you might wish to erase from memory, e.g. "a rather inglorious moment in the company's history." It belongs to elevated style, so you wouldn't want to refer to "the inglorious negotiations over who pays the tab", though, at a high-stakes business dinner, it might crack a reluctant smile or two.
    Suggested Usage: The word is not used as widely as its positive counterpart, glorious, which explains why its meaning has strayed slightly off course.
    Etymology:
    From Latin negative prefix in- "not" plus gloria "glory".
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    Word of the Day :Ascendant

    Post by Lily on Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:09 pm

    Ascendant/noun
    Definition: A dominant or rising idea or position; an ancestor.
    Usage:

    Today's word may also be spelled correctly as "ascendent." If a descendant is someone who devolves genealogically from you, what is someone from whom you descend? An ancestor, of course, but that word loses the symmetry of the pair: ascendant : descendant.
    Suggested Usage:
    Today's word is commonly used as a more precise way to express that something is on the rise: "Interest in a national health-care program is currently in the ascendant." However, you may add a bit of proportion to your vocabulary by using "ascendant" as the antonym of "descendant," "My ascendants left the valley early on and settled in the mountains."
    Etymology:
    Today's word originated with the Proto-Indo-Europeans 5,000 years ago as *skend- or *skand- "to leap, climb." In Latin it joined with the prefix ad "up (to)" to form ad + scandere "to climb," with the [d] of ad assimilating to the [s] of "scandere." We find the same root with a suffix (*skand-alo-) in Greek as skandalon "a snare, trap." Latin assimilated this word where the meaning shifted to "scandal, slander,"at which point English picked it up and today it is "scandal." The same root underlies Sanskrit skandati "he jumps" and Old Irish scendim "I jump."
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    Word of the Day :Belie

    Post by Lily on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:17 pm

    Word of the Day
    Belie (verb)
    Definition: To show to be false, contradict, to misrepresent, to give a false impression of. This verb is only rarely used to mean "to lie about" today.
    Usage: The forms of this word do reflect a variation in spelling—the present participle is "belying." There is an archaic noun, "belier," used in the sense of "a liar."
    Suggested Usage: Even though it is based on "lie," today's word is seldom used pejoratively, "The beads of sweat on his forehead belied the calmness in his voice." Rather, it simply points to a contradiction between what appears to be the case and actuality, "The grace and serenity of her bearing belied the hours of labor Natalie Cladd had put into dressing, applying her make-up, and styling her wig."
    Etymology: Today's word shares an origin with lie "to speak falsely." It is from Old English belēogan from be- "about" + lēogan "to lie." In Russian the same root gave lozh "a lie" and lgat' "to lie," in German it produced lügen "to lie" and, in Swedish, ljuga "to lie," Of course, male witches are known to lie when it suits them. They are called "warlocks." This word comes from Old English wærloga "oath-breaker" (literally, oath-liar) from wær "pledge, oath" + loga "liar," from the same root as today's word.

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    Word of the Day :Boggle

    Post by Lily on Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:47 am

    Boggle:Verb
    Definition: (1) To startle or be startled, to shy away from fearfully;
    (2) to bungle, botch, or fumble;
    (3) to overwhelm with amazement.
    Usage:
    Today's word has almost penned itself up in one word, "mind-boggling."Historically, however, this verb has mostly been used intransitively with the preposition "at" or "about," as in, "He would never boggle at a bungee jump or two." An interesting noun from the second meaning of today's word is boggledy-botch "a complete mess, foul up," as in "You've made a complete boggledy-botch of the party with your lampshades and karaoke!"
    Suggested Usage:
    The intransitive use is still available, "The horse boggled at a barbed wire fence and threw its rider to the ground." The sense of botching retains its usefulness, too, "He boggled (sense 2) through the match,then clinched his position in infamy with a shot into his own goal,which boggled (sense 3) everyone in the stadium." So, don't let this verb boggle your imagination—deploy it generously in the glory of all its meanings.
    Etymology:
    Of the various names "bogle," "boggard," "bogy" attached to English-speaking goblins, "bogle" has been around the longest, since around 1500. Although these words seem obviously related, their relationship is unclear. They may derive from bogge or bog "hobgoblin,ghost" which, in turn, are probably variants of "bugge" or "bug," seen in current "bugaboo" and "bugbear." "Bug" in this sense may be borrowed from Welsh bwg (= bug) "ghost, hobgoblin." The forms "bogle" or"boggle" could be ancient diminutives of these words or they, too,might come directly from Welsh bwgwl (= bugul) "terror, terrifying.”Who knows?
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:08 pm

    Cantankerous (adjective)
    Definition: Quarrelsome, ill-tempered, crotchety, ornery; difficult to handle.
    Usage:

    "Cantankerous" has made a move that makes it a legitimate word even though it is of illegitimate origins (see Etymology): a verb "to cantanker" has been extracted that makes it a legitimate word family.Now, it can be said that "cantanker" underlies the adjective, its adverb, "cantankerously" and the noun "cantankerousness" (why not"cantankerosity"?) To cantanker led to "cantankersome" and leaves the door open wide for "cantankerer."
    Suggested Usage:
    Even though this word has created its own legitimacy, it is probably used more in colloquial than formal contexts, "Les Cheatham is so cantankerous, he complains about his birthday gifts." But don't forget today's word now also describes things difficult to control: "I've been to three hairstylists and that cantankerous cowlick on my head still won't stay down!"
    Etymology:
    "Cantankerous" is a cantankerous word itself. It is most probably the result of play with the word "contentious," balled up with "rancorous"and "cankerous." The same humans that created the rules of grammar that determine the correctness of our speech also police it. Sometimes we allow ourselves to violate the rules of word formation just for a laugh; gongoozler "gawker" and lollygag "piddle around" are a couple of examples. Since we have historically considered Latin an affectation of the upper classes subject to ridicule by those of us below, making these words sound Latinate adds to the humor, e.g. "discombobulate,""humongous.
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:17 pm

    Animus:(noun)
    Definition:(1) A disposition or attitude that motivates someone's behavior; (2) a concealed hostility or rancor toward someone or something; (3) in Jungian psychology, the masculine side of a woman (the "anima" is the feminine side of men).
    Usage:
    This is a good substitute for "hatred" when your disposition is less intense than hatred. Animus is a very personal, focused dislike of something while animosity usually is slightly more diffuse. We feel an animosity toward everything that contaminates the biosphere but an animus toward the local grocer who overcharges.
    Suggested Usage:
    An animus still may be a spiritedness that motivates someone to action: “Marshall isn't shy; he simply lacks the animus to ask Crystal for a raise." You must be careful, however, to avoid the default assumption that the motivation is secret and rancorous, "Larchmont has sensed an animus in Griselda toward him ever since he received the promotion she wanted."
    Etymology:
    Today's word is the Latin word animus "soul, spirit, intellect" lifted whole from the language. "Animal" originally referred to all beings considered to have a soul, thus living beings. The root comes,interestingly enough, from a Proto Indo-European root (*anê-) meaning"to breathe." Our ancestors thought that our breath was our soul, the spirit of life itself. In ancient Avestan, a Western Indic language,antya meant "breath in." Sanskrit atman "soul" and German atmen"breath" are also probably related, though the loss of nasalization that converted the [n] to [t] is not a common change. Two other cousins are Greek anemos "wind" and Russian von' "stink," which goes back to Old Slavic "vonya" from earlier *anya."
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    Gratuitous

    Post by Lily on Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:05 pm

    Part of Speech:adjective
    Definition:(1) Free, obtained at no cost; (2) Unnecessary, for no reason, uncalled-for.
    Usage: This word has two meanings still in wide-spread use. The first is a more articulate word for "free:""Gratuitous rewards are never as enjoyable as those we work for." Theother sense of today's word is often met in the phrase "gratuitous violence," something that seems to permeate our entertainment these days. Apparently, as long as there is a reason for it, violence is OK.
    Suggested Usage:
    Today's word has all but lost contact with its sister, "gratuity,"which now refers to a tip, so it has had to adopt a new, less graceful noun, "gratuitousness."
    Etymology:
    "Gratuitous" was copied from Old French "gratuiteux," the direct descendant of Latin gratuit-us "free, spontaneous, voluntary." This word is based on the noun gratia "favor," the noun from gratus"pleasing." The root here obviously appears in many other English borrowings with similar meanings, such as "grateful" and "congratulate." Oddly enough, the same root that gave us these words,emerged in Celtic as Welsh "bardd," and Scottish and Irish Gaelic bàrd "bard," originally referring to a wandering minstrel. This word probably goes back to an Old Celtic compound based on *gwer- "favor" +*dho "do"= "one that does favors," that ended up as *bardo-s"poet-singer."
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:43 pm

    Inscrutable (adjective)
    Definition:
    Unfathomable, incomprehensible, inexplicable, mysterious.
    Usage:
    The noun from today's word is "inscrutability." Its meaning has wandered a bit away from that of "scrutiny" but it remains a member of that family. A person who scrutinizes things is a scrutinizer, though"scrutator" and "scrutineer" are terms used to refer to someone whose job it is to investigate or scrutinize, especially the results of an election. If a scrutator scrutinizes his object closely and carefully,he is scrutinous. If he still fails to understand it, it is because the object is inscrutable.
    Suggested Usage:
    In a letter about himself, the Irish writer James Joyce wrote, "I suppose I now have the reputation of being an inscrutable dipsomaniac."Joyce's 'Ulysses' is an excellent example of inscrutability. But anything incomprehensible is fair game for this word: "Unscrewing the inscrutable motivations of management at this place is not worth the effort."
    Etymology:
    Via Old French from Late Latin inscrutabilis based on in- "not" +scrutari "to scrutinize," a verb derived from the noun scruta "trash."The Latin verb originally meaning "to trash" has connotations significantly different from those of the current English correlate: it originally implied searching thoroughly, even in the trash.
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:39 pm

    Mettle (noun)
    Definition: A person's character, spirit, courage, strength of principle—the stuff one is made of, usually in a positive sense.
    Usage:

    Today's word has an adjective, mettlesome "high-spirited, courageous"(not to be confused with "meddlesome" though pronounced the same), as the feats of mettlesome Achilles on the battlefields of Troy.
    Suggested Usage:
    Today's word was one of William Shakespeare's favorites. In Act II of his 'Henry IV' Prince Hal reports "I am no proud Jack, like Falstaff, but a Corinthian, a lad of mettle, a good boy." It was still a poignant term in1928 when D. H. Lawrence wrote in 'Lady Chatterley's Lover,'"Her mettle was roused, she would not be defeated."
    Etymology:
    Today's word came into being as a variant spelling of "metal" in the 16th century but by 1700 it had assumed the metaphoric meaning full time. "Metal" continued to be used to refer to character as well as the metallic substance long after. "Metal" was borrowed from Old French "metal" or "metail" from Latin metallum "mine," taken from Greek metallon "mine, ore, metal."
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:27 am

    Saturnine/adjective)
    Definition:
    Pertaining to the planet Saturn (archaic); born under the influence of Saturn, hence gloomy, grumpy, sour, and with a sarcastic attitude.
    Usage:
    Although today's word comes from the name of the planet Saturn, we rarely use it in reference to the planet these days. To say, "The Mercurial day is twenty-four hours long but the Saturnine, only ten,"would sound as though we were speaking of quick versus slow and sulky time periods. The adverb is "saturninely" and, yes, someone has succeeded in publishing the noun "saturninity," so you may use it, too.
    Suggested Usage:
    Here are both our recent planetary adjectives used in their contemporary senses: "You would expect General Newsance to be less saturnine after such a mercurial rise to the top rank," implying he enjoyed rapid promotion which left him, for some odd reason, rather grumpy. Today's adjective brings the agent noun "curmudgeon" to mind, "That saturnine old curmudgeon wouldn't give his grandmother the time of day."
    Etymology:
    Although many think the origin of Saturn's name (Saturnus) is the Etruscan language, since Saturn was the Roman god of agriculture, it could be another realization of the Proto-Indo-European root for "to sow," as to sow seeds. If so, it is not only a relative of English "sow," but also "seed," which is a form originally meaning"(that which is) sowed." English "seed" comes from the same Germanic source as German "Saat," Dutch "zaad," Swedish "säd."
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:10 pm

    Rhapsody(noun)
    Definition:
    An epic poem or major part of one; a work of art composed of miscellaneous pieces strung together; an exalted expression of feeling lacking logic or structure, such as a piece of music or literature.
    Usage:
    Today's melodious word comes from a musical family: the adjective is "rhapsodical" and the verb is "rhapsodize." The wanderers who recited the odes of Homer and Hesiod by heart, preserving them for posterity,are generally referred to as "rhapsodists." Swinburne, however, wrote in one of his essays published in 1867, "There has been since Chaucer no second teller of tales, no second rhapsode, comparable to the first."
    Suggested Usage:
    Today our word refers most frequently to an effusive panegyric as opposed to a reasoned exposition: "Our presentation should be a rhapsody of New Monia as the perfect location for a medical center rather than a detailed economic analysis of the town." Rhapsodies run more on enthusiasm than organized thought: "Patsy spun such a rhapsody of her family life that no one believed her.
    Etymology:
    From Latin rhapsodia "a section of an epic poem" from Greek "rhapsoidia" from rhapsoidein "to recite poems." This word is a compound containing the stems of rhaptein, rhaps- "to sew" + oide "song," ancestor of English "ode." So the original notion was one of sewing songs together into larger epics, not too far removed from our notion of stringing things together. (No, today’s word is not even remotely related to "rap.")
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:15 pm

    Allay:verb
    Definition: To reduce the intensity or severity of something, as to allay a pain or allay fears.
    Usage:Today's word comes with two nouns, allayer "someone who allays" and allaying "the process of allaying." The intransitive correlate of" allay" is "abate." If something allays your fears, your fears abate.
    Suggested Usage:Though most dictionaries list several meanings of today' s word, all can be reduced to the single concept we offer today under Definition.
    Whether to allay an up-rising, a pain, or the tempo of work, the basic idea is a material reduction in intensity, potentially to nil: "Gee, mom, I need a high-speed computer connection to allay the impact of a week's grounding on my social life."
    Etymology:From Old English "alecgan" based on a- (intensive prefix) + lecgan "to lay." "Lecgan" derives from PIE *legh- which also devolved into German legen "lay," Russian lech', lyag- "lie," and many similar verbs in Indo-European languages. As the vowel changed and mutated, it emerged elsewhere in "litter," "law" (which is still laid down), "low," German Lager "camp," and Greek lokhos "childbirth, ambush (place for lying in wait)." The same root emerged in Latin lectus "bed." (For another slice of PIE read, "How is a Hippo like a Feather" in
    our Library.)
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:10 am

    Careen
    Definition: To lean to one side or cause a vehicle to lean to one side; originally, to lay a boat on its side to clean the keel.Usage: Today's verb is often confused with the verb "career." "Career" means to race ahead at full speed. Neither verb means "bounce off of" as either is often used (that is "carom"), though people seem to understand you if you use it in that sense.
    Suggested Usage:
    "Mavis careened out of the pub" means that she exited leaning to one side, nothing more. If she bounced off the wall outside, you should add that: "Mavis careened out of the pub and caromed off the wall outside."If she careered out the pub it is probably because she didn't find her husband in that one and is on the way to the next. Cars may careen around a corner if they are careering ahead too fast—but no bouncing is implied.
    Etymology:
    "Careen" comes from French carène "keel" from Old Italian carena and Medieval Latin carina "keel." It originates in the PIE root *kar-"hard" which reached English as "hard" and "hardy" and Greek as kratos "strength, power," reduplicated (*kar-kar-) it turned up as karkinos "crab, cancer" which Latin borrowed as "cancer" with the same two meanings. "Career" comes from Medieval Latin carraria "(road) for carts" from Latin carrus "wagon" via French carrière "racecourse." It is akin to the noun "career," the professional racecourse.

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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:44 pm

    Transpose (verb)
    Definition:To switch places, to interchange, to put A in B's position and B in A'sposition; (mathematics) to move a term from one side of an equation tothe other; (music) to convert a musical piece to another key.
    Usage:Today's word is the progenitor of a large family of derivatives. There is an active and passive adjective, transpositive "can transpose,transposes" and transposable "can be transposed." Someone, say, a musician, who transposes is a transposer and the act or result of transposing is a transposition. So after the transposition of a piece of music from C major to A major, the version in A major is a transposition (of the version in C major). The noun, "transposition,"has its own adjective, "transpositional" and an adverb,"transpositionally."
    Suggested Usage:
    Many languages permit the transposition of words. In German, for instance, you create questions by transposing the subject and verb of the equivalent positive statement: Sie geht ins Kino "She is going to the movies" becomes a question if you transpose the first two words:Geht sie ins kino? "Is she going to the movies?" English learners often accidentally transpose the middle [e] and [i] when writing "receive."
    Etymology:
    Old French transposer, an alteration, influenced by poser "to put,place," of Latin transponere "to transfer." The Latin word is composed of trans "over, across" + ponere "to put." "Trans" comes from the same Proto-Indo-European root (*terê "pass over, through") that became"through" and "thorough" in English, not to mention "thrill," which originally referred to a hole (as in the nose hole known as the "nostril"). Avatar "embodiment, symbol" comes from Sanskrit avatar, adeity transformed into human or animal form based on ava "down" + tarati "he crosses" from the same root.
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    Squash

    Post by Lily on Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:52 am

    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: (1) A vine or plant of the genus Cucurbita whose fruit has leathery, bumpy outer coat, a fleshy inner layer than is edible, and seeds that are sometimes baked and eaten as nuts.
    Usage:
    Today's word is actually a reduction of"squanter-squash," the original attempt by European settlers at the Narragansett word. The orange-yellow (winter) squash are rich in Vitamins A & C and fiber. The most unusual squash may be spaghetti squash, with flesh comprised of long, soft fibers resembling spaghetti.If we were to say, "Mommy, Darren squashed the squash with his squash racket," are we repeating ourselves? As the etymology shows, we wouldn't be.
    Suggested Usage:
    At the time the first English settlers came to New England, the word "pompion" was a general term for that whole assortment of vegetables we now call "squash" (see our recent word "pumpkin"). When settlers first encountered pumpkins, they were just considered another variety of pompion. The name for what we now call "pumpkin" was borrowed from the Narragansett or Wampanoag word "askútasquash." Somehow, over time, the words flipped and what had been "pompion" became "squash" and what had been "askútasquash" became "pumpkin." (Today's word and its explanation come from the folks at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts—http://www.plimoth.org/).
    Etymology:
    Today's word refers to a vegetable eaten by our American ancestors and their Native American neighbors. It has no plural although the –ash ending is a plural Narragansett ending also found on "succotash," which originally referred to boiled corn. And, even though we often squash our squash before eating it, today's word is not related to the verb"squash," which is responsible for the game of squash tennis and the British drink made from squashed citrus fruit, such as the orange squash (in the US an orange crush). The verb comes from Old French "esquasser" from Vulgar Latin *exquassare," based on Latin ex- "out of"+ Latin quassare "to shatter, shake," a distant cousin of English"shake" and probably of the root in "discuss," "concussion," and "repercussion."
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    Word of the Day

    Post by Lily on Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:47 pm

    Diatribe
    Pronunciation: ['dI-ê-trIb]
    Definition: An unrelenting tirade of criticism, a scathing verbal attack on someone or something comprising unbridled invective.
    Usage:

    If a tirade is an intemperate even vituperative verbal attack, adiatribe is a protracted tirade, a tirade that goes on too long. A polemic is an aggressive verbal attack by an opinionated partisan of an opposing position that may be on point. A harangue is a rambling,vituperative verbal attack that ranges way off point if not missing it altogether. Finally, a jeremiad is an angry but also cautionary verbal tirade while our former Word of the Day, rodomontade, is a tirade of self-serving boasting.
    Suggested Usage:
    We hope, of course, you never have to use this word; the behavior it refers to only aggravates a situation. However, you may find circumstances where comments like these fit: "In the middle of his diatribe on the evils of using office telephones for personal use, his wife called to remind him to pick up some pork chops on the way home.""Mom, why don't you tidy up the rest of the house before launching your next tirade on how messy my room is?"
    Etymology:
    From Greek diatribe "a pastime, study, learned discussion" from diatribein "wear away, while away time" from dia- "completely" +tribein "to rub, to be busy." The noun diatribe meant "occupy one's time" as well as "study, lecture, debate" when it was first recorded in English (1581). The meaning has obviously slipped since then. The English word "throw" derives from the same underlying root: *trob/treb.
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    Re: Word of the day

    Post by Lily on Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:53 pm

    Definition: Not the exact meaning but the implications of a word. The antonym of today's word is "denotation,"which means "the specific meaning of a word." For example, the denotation of "caviar" is simply "sturgeon eggs" but it connotes wealth and indulgence.
    Usage:
    "Connotation" doesn't have to be reserved for discussion of the meaning of words; in fact, it begs wider usage."I wouldn't talk about the Caribbean with Miodrag after he went on that trip for singles last year, cruises have a humiliating connotation to him." The verb is "connote," and it should see more play, too: "Geoff didn't mean to connote anything negative in calling Otto a daft bugger; that's just Geoff's peculiar way of showing affection."
    Suggested Usage:
    Shakespeare wrote that "nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so," and that's a good way to consider the meaning of today's word. For example, words like "hog"and "cow" are perfectly acceptable when talking about the livestock on the farm but their connotations discourage applying them to the farmer or his wife.
    Etymology:
    From Medieval Latin connotare "to mark along with" from com- "with" + notare "to mark" (from nota "mark"). *Gno- is the Proto-Indo-European(PIE) beginning of "notare" and it also gives us the word "know" from the Germanic variant "kne(w)-," *Gno- also underlies "cunning" from Old English cunnan "to know how to," a descendent of Germanic "kunnan." Now that you know the meaning of connotation, you can be more cunning in exploiting its semantic riches.
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    Re: Word of the day

    Post by Lily on Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:27 pm

    Word of the Day
    Narcissistic
    1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See synonyms at conceit.
    2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
    3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.
    4. The attribute of the human psyche charactized by admiration of oneself but within normal limits.
    Usage:
    After Narcissus, a youth who fell in love with his own image in a pool.
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    Re: Word of the day

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:59 pm

    Word of the Day
    Vulcanization:treatment of rubber to give it certain qualities, e.g., strength, elasticity, and resistance to solvents, and to render it impervious to moderate heat and cold. Chemically, the process involves the formation of cross-linkages between the polymer chains of the rubber's molecules. Vulcanization is accomplished usually by a process invented by Charles Goodyear in 1839, involving combination with sulfur and heating....
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    Re: Word of the day

    Post by Lily on Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:59 pm

    Word of the Day
    Halcyon
    n.
    1. A kingfisher, especially one of the genus Halcyon.
    2. A fabled bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was supposed to have had the power to calm the wind and the waves while it nested on the sea during the winter solstice.
    adj.
    1. Calm and peaceful; tranquil.
    2. Prosperous; golden: halcyon years.
    Usage: After Alcyone, whose grief over the loss of her husband led her to throw herself into the sea, where she and he were changed into birds and enjoyed 14 halcyon days before and after the winter solstice — the mating time of this bird.

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