Monday, May 22, 2006


Getting All Wordy Again

Words words words.

This blog will never go far without them. And I need constant reminders of what words are out there if this blog isn't to degenerate into a repetition of monosyllables and boringly repeated words.

I'm on to new words like a deadly germ, but aside from rather specialised words, not that many are actually completely new to me. Probably a symptom of a lifetime of lexical interest through dictionary browsing and notebook compilations. But I still need all the help I can get or give myself so I intend to give time over to underused or forgotten words in an effort to encourage me to use then more often.

In the spirit of this thinking I now subscribe to a number of word a day web sites. These sites are more properly described as dictionary sites which run a word of the day feature, which the owners of the site will, on request following subscription, send to your email inbox every day.

This in theory should assist in the learning (in the case of any new words) and reinforcement of words, and I hope will help this blog to be better written. Well will have to see about that, but in the mean time here are some of the recent words of the days that I have received:

The first one is ' incontrovertible' courtesy of This word is defined by as 'Too clear or certain to admit of dispute; indisputable; unquestionable. The word often appears before the word 'evidence' as in evidence that is so strong it beyond dispute. It is 'incontrovertible evidence.'

The creatively named site suggests that noblesse is worthy of additional attention today reminding its readers that noblesse is often teamed up with oblige and is used to describe with the condition of privilege and how it comes with responsibility (often used sarcastically.) I wonder if there is incontrovertible evidence that the Queen of England had a certain noblesse oblige in that her privilege forced her to yield to her subjects collective will a few years ago ( the half masted royal Standard flying above Buckingham Palace during the week after the death of The Princess Of Wales in 1997).

Merriam-Webster, another online dictionary has today selected 'bricolage' as its word of the day. Bricolage of course means something constructed and achieved by using whatever comes to hand. It can be used in the kitchen for example to describe the creative uses of leftovers ("culinary bricolage") or in the workshop when cobbling together of disparate computer or motor engine parts ("technical bricolage"). A useful little word, bricolage. But not chosen randomly. Words of the day never are. There is nearly always a theme to structure around these nuggets.

Noblesse comes out of Vocab vitamin's week long theme of 'upper crust' words, 'Wordsmith's ' word of the day today is margaritaceous which is an unusual word to describe 'pearly' and that has been chosen as an 'unusual word' which is Wordsmith's theme this week.

Incidentally Margarita, the tequila cocktail, is named after Margarita, the Spanish form of the name Margaret, meaning pearl. Just in case, like me, you didn't know.

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