Sunday, March 12, 2017

Meaning, please; calumny

CALUMNY: The public calumny from that reaction was so bad that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had to claim that Trump was being sarcastic.

Meaning: the making of false and defamatory statements in order to damage someone's reputation; slander.

SOLIPSISM: He has demonstrated an egotism that borders on solipsism.

Meaning: the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.

Yes, that sounds about right.

TAUTOLOGOUS: “Royal regalia” is therefore tautologous, and “the regalia of a bishop” is contradictory.

I'd never heard of this word before. Tautology involves "needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in "widow woman."

It sounds like tautology involves "beating a dead horse" verbally.

PERSPICACIOUS:  This is another word I've seen before but wasn't sure about it. It means "having a ready insight into and understanding of things."

I'd say that Perry Mason was a perspicacious kinda guy.

AVERRED: "Mostly so," Chan averred.

This is from the first Charlie Chan book by Earl Derr Biggers. Aver means to state positively, so he might have use said instead of averred.

IMPLACABLE: Decent little beggars individually, but, as a mob, just pitiless and implacable. 

I'd heard of implacable before, but I needed to check the meaning. It means relentless, unstoppable.

LAGNIAPPE: ESPN likes to schedule games with a little bit of lagniappe as they say in New Orleans. A little something extra.

I'd never heard of lagniappe before. As that second sentence says, it means "something given as a bonus or extra gift." Interestingly, it's pronounced LAN-yap.

EGALITARIAN: If you listen to Nick Saban, it's easy to understand why he didn't stay in the NFL. Didn't like league's egalitarian, restrictive framework.

I'd seen the word egalitarian before, but I wasn't sure of the exact meaning.

According to an online dictionary, it means "relating to or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities."

Abraham Lincoln would have approved.

AGITPROP: Just now, I found the word agitprop in a story about political misinformation. I'd never seen the word before.

As expected, agitprop means "political (originally communist) propaganda, especially in art or literature."

I loved it when the writer talked about Der Chef’s reign of error. It's hard to beat that turn of phrase.

EUPHEMISM: Yesterday, I found the word "euphimism" in an online story. The writer, of course, meant euphemism, and the editors didn't catch it (or they had no editors).

I know the word, but I thought I'd look it up. Here's what it said online:

euphemism is a polite expression used in place of words or phrases that otherwise might be considered harsh or unpleasant to hear.

If you called someone slow instead of stupid, that would be a euphemism.

CHARIVARI: The charivari had no effect on the Siamese.

I'd never seen the word charivari before, so I looked it up.

It's a noun that means "a noisy mock serenade performed by a group of people to celebrate a marriage or mock an unpopular person" or "a series of discordant noises."

I doubt I'd ever use that word in a sentence.

ORTHOGRAPHIC: The sight was like a B-12 shot to one who had won all the spelling bees in grade school and had become an orthographic snob ever since.

I'd never seen orthographic before, and the internet only explains it in terms of orthography, which tells me nothing. It involves spelling.

One web site defines orthography as "the art of writing words with the proper letters, according to accepted usage; correct spelling."

I doubt I'd use orthographic in a sentence, either.

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