Friday, March 30, 2007
Done in absence, pertaining to absence.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
1. trans. To hide away, to conceal (anything). Obs. or arch.
2. refl. (Obs. or arch.)
3. intr. (by omission of the refl. pron.) ‘To hide oneself; to retire from the public view: generally used of persons in debt, or criminals eluding the law.’ J.; to go away hurriedly and secretly.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
The point is, I found it amusing and sad that one of the quotations I received in an e-mail noting this month-long celebration was as follows:
"Society as a whole benefits benefits immeasurably from a climate in which all persons, regardless of race or gender, may have the opportunity to earn respect, responsibility, advancement and renumeration based on ability."Really? "Renumeration"? Sure she didn't say "remuneration"? Because that would make a lot more sense.
Sandra Day O'Connor 1930-
A dark lantern used in monasteries (see Du Cange), and at lauds and matins in the Roman Catholic church.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
[Americans] have built numberless high schools, lavish in equipment, only to see them, under the prevailing scheme of values, turned into social centers and institutions for improving the personality, where teachers, living in fear of constituents, dare not enforce scholarship. They have built colleges on an equal scale, only to see them turned into playgrounds for grown-up children or centers of vocationalism and and professionalism. Finally, they have seen pragmatists, as if in peculiar spite against the very idea of hierarchy, endeavoring to turn classes into democratic forums, where the teacher is only a moderator, and no one offends by presuming to speak with superior knowledge.~ p. 50
Ideas Have Consequences
If society is something which can be understood, it must have structure; if it has structure, it must have hierarchy; against this metaphysical truth the declamations of the Jacobins break in vain.~ p. 35
Ideas Have Consequences
It must be apparent that logic depends upon a dream, and not the dream upon it. We must admit this when we realize that logical processes rest ultimately on classification, that classification is by identification, and that identification is intuitive.~ p. 21
Monday, March 26, 2007
It's an attractive volume (*cough*) of four chapters and seven pages (including the introduction). And, yes, those are oysters on the cover. No, I don't know why.
[L.; origin unknown. Occurs first in a poem by Q. Serenus Sammonicus, 2nd c.]
A cabalistic word, formerly used as a charm, and believed to have the power, when written in a triangular arrangement, and worn round the neck, to cure agues, etc. Now often used in the general sense of a spell, or pretended conjuring word; a meaningless word of mysterious sound; jargon, gibberish.
Friday, March 23, 2007
It's bad enough that newspaper chess columns in the US, when they exist at all, are stuck in with the comics and that it's usually only enough room for a puzzle. I'm sure we're also competing for space with mental jumping jacks like the epic vapidity that is sudoku. (They say that sudoku delays the onset of senility, but has it occurred to anyone that enjoying sudoku IS the onset of senility?)
ab ovo, phr.
From the (very) beginning.
Cf. Hor. Sat. i. 3. 6 ab ouo usque ad mala ‘from the egg to the apples’, alluding to the Roman custom of beginning a meal with eggs and ending it with apples; and Hor. A.P. 147 Nec gemino bellum Troianum orditur ab ouo, in allusion to the twin egg from which Helen of Troy was born.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
But now there's a reason to dislike Jordan that has come back from the dead. During his career, it was apparent that there was a different, laxer set of rules that applied to him. Things that were not called fouls when they involved other players were fouls when Jordan was the one getting the contact. Jordan had nearly carte blanche to do what he needed to make the highlight-reel move regardless of whether it involved pushing off, traveling or what-have-you. And now, he's getting more rules bent in his favour again.
It turns out that the NBA's rules on contact with high-school players don't apply to Jordan, despite his being the General Manager of the Charlotte Bobcats. Danny Ainge got fined $30K for things that Jordan does all the time. True, Jordan is part of the Bobcats, and their awfulness probably offsets some of the advantages he has, but that isn't really the point. Why should there be one set of rules for Jordan and one for everyone else? There shouldn't. There never should have been.
abominable, a. (and adv.)
[...In med.L. and OFr., and in Eng. from Wyclif to 17th c., regularly spelt abhominable, and explained as ab homine, quasi ‘away from man, inhuman, beastly,’ a derivation which influenced the use and has permanently affected the meaning of the word. No other spelling occurs in the first folio of Shakespeare, which has the word 18 times; and in L.L.L. V. i. 27, Holophernes abhors the ‘rackers of ortagriphie,’ who were beginning to write abominable for the time-honoured abhominable.]
1. Exciting disgust and hatred, generally by evident ill qualities, physical or moral; offensive, loathsome; odious, execrable, detestable. a. Of things.
b. Of persons.
c. Abominable Snowman, name applied to a creature alleged to exist in the Himalayas. (Cf. YETI.)
2. loosely. Very unpleasant or distasteful.
B. as adv.
¶ABOMINABLE has occasionally been used, like terrible, prodigious, as a simple intensive. Juliana Berners (15th c.) writes of ‘a bomynable syght of monks,’ i.e. a large company. Cf. ABOMINATION 5 and ABOMINATIONLY.
And the results aren't minuscule.
Having artificially induced a round of failure, Dweck’s researchers then gave all the fifth-graders a final round of tests that were engineered to be as easy as the first round. Those who had been praised for their effort significantly improved on their first score—by about 30 percent. Those who’d been told they were smart did worse than they had at the very beginning—by about 20 percent.And there's more. This really blew my mind.
Psychologist Wulf-Uwe Meyer, a pioneer in the field, conducted a series of studies where children watched other students receive praise. According to Meyer’s findings, by the age of 12, children believe that earning praise from a teacher is not a sign you did well—it’s actually a sign you lack ability and the teacher thinks you need extra encouragement. And teens, Meyer found, discounted praise to such an extent that they believed it’s a teacher’s criticism—not praise at all—that really conveys a positive belief in a student’s aptitude.Read the article. It just might change the way you talk to your children.
He makes reference to "Dominionist Christians, who openly call for homosexuals and blasphemers to be put to death." And how many such people are there? Apparently, "men and women ... by the millions, are quietly working to turn our country into a totalitarian theocracy reminiscent of John Calvin's Geneva." Wow. Millions. And being only a step away from that in Mr Harris' formulation, as a "fundamentalist Christian" you'd think I'd have met a few of these people. But I don't know anyone who is agitating for the overthrow of our democracy and institution of a religious state.
And consider this section:
People of all faiths — and none — regularly change their lives for the better, for good and bad reasons. And yet such transformations are regularly put forward as evidence in support of a specific religious creed. President Bush has cited his own sobriety as suggestive of the divinity of Jesus. No doubt Christians do get sober from time to time — but Hindus (polytheists) and atheists do as well. How, therefore, can any thinking person imagine that his experience of sobriety lends credence to the idea that a supreme being is watching over our world and that Jesus is his son?This falls into a very basic logical fallacy. Simply because people of different, and no faith, accomplish something, or have something done to them depending on the formulation you prefer, doesn't mean that it must be the same cause in each case. Infection can be eradicated by the action of the body alone, but the use of antibiotics, or by surgery. Saying that a person can sometimes achieves sobriety through their own will-power does not mean that all people achieve sobriety through their own will-power. Some people go to rehab, some have friends and family help them, and some rely on God.
And Mr Harris winds up with the most nonsensical bits of all:
His conclusion only holds if one has already decided that religion is not true. And if one is only willing to argue from that presupposition, then his whole effort to convince has merely been an exercise in question-begging.
Every one of the world's "great" religions utterly trivializes the immensity and beauty of the cosmos. Books like the Bible and the Koran get almost every significant fact about us and our world wrong. Every scientific domain — from cosmology to psychology to economics — has superseded and surpassed the wisdom of Scripture.
Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
(See quots.) Hence abmigrate v. intr.
1923 A. L. THOMSON in Brit. Birds XVI. 276 Some such term as ‘abmigration’ might perhaps be used to describe the northward departure in spring, for a new summer area, on the part of birds which had made no corresponding southward journey in the previous autumn. 1929 E. M. NICHOLSON Study of Birds v. 54 Birds which are native to one country, may ‘abmigrate’, and be found breeding in another, up to thousands of miles away. 1953 New Biol. XV. 54 Abmigration occurs when a bird (usually a young one), bred in this country and wintering here, accompanies foreigners which have also wintered here to their home countries in the Spring, instead of returning to its own British nesting grounds.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
‘A popular sea-game with cards, wherein the loser is beaten over the palms of the hands with a handkerchief tightly twisted like a rope. Very popular with horny-fisted sailors.’ Smyth Sailor's Word-bk.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
1. trans. lit. To shrink back from with shuddering, to view with horror or dread. Obs. rare.
2. fig. To regard with horror, extreme repugnance or disgust; to hate utterly, loathe, abominate. a. Obj. a noun or noun-phrase.
b. Obj. an infinitive phr.
3. causally. To make one shudder, to horrify; to cause horror or disgust. Mostly impers. Obs.
4. intr. lit. To shudder, feel horror or dismay. Obs. rare.
5. fig. To shrink with horror, repugnance, disgust, or dislike from. Obs.
6. To be repugnant, be at variance, be inconsistent, differ entirely from. Obs.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
abecedarian, a. and n.
1. Of or pertaining to the alphabet; marked with the alphabet; arranged in alphabetical order, as abecedarian psalms, like the 119th.
2. Occupied in learning the alphabet, or pertaining to one so occupied.
B. n. [The adj. used elliptically.]
1. One occupied in learning the alphabet. In U.S. the regular school term.
2. One engaged in teaching the alphabet and merest rudiments of instruction.
There is also:
abecedary, a. and n.1
1. Of or according to the alphabet; alphabetic; marked with the alphabet; arranged in alphabetical order.
2. Engaged with or needing to learn the alphabet; illiterate.
B. n. An abecedary scholar or teacher. (Cf. Florio 1611, Abecedário, a teacher or learner of A B C.)
In replying to a critical review in The New Criterion by Scott Johnson, Mr D'Souza has disparaged him as being a "Midwestern lawyer who blogs in his spare time" and pokes at The New Criterion by observing that "I thought The New Criterion went out of business years ago".
Stefan Beck, an editor at The New Criterion, hits back on his magazine's blog, Armavirumque.
I have returned to discover not one but two incidences of baseless invective directed at The New Criterion, and I would be no man at all if I let them go unchallenged.
The first insult issued from disgraced buffoon Dinesh D’Souza. Perhaps he’s been driven mad by the creeping realization that his career henceforth will consist entirely of entertaining drunken College Republicans at birthday parties for the Gipper. “I thought The New Criterion went out of business years ago,” wrote D’Souza. Ahem. I suppose when D’Souza was contacted by two New Criterion editors about the production of this book, he thought they were from, you know, some other New Criterion.
I'd say that last blow probably went home.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
A rough drawing or sketch (for a portrait, etc.); an outline or draft (of a speech, essay, etc.).
Thursday, March 08, 2007
In the list of books below, bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf , and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.
2. +Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. +The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. +The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. +The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. +Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. +Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. +The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
23. +Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. +The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. *The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. *The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38.*I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. *The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. *The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. *The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. +The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. *She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
52. +A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. *The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
60. *The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. +Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. +War and Peace (Tolstoy)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. +Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
75. +The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. *The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On the Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. +Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. +Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. *The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
96. *The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. *A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
Hum. Well, first the statistics:
I own 19
I've read 21
I intend to read 12
I've never heard of 25
I wouldn't touch 16 (including two I've already read)
I would guess that this list was composed by a woman. And there are plenty of books that aren't classics, and are nothing but modern trash. Dan Brown, Margaret Atwood, etc. There is a very high proportion of fantasy, no mystery novels at all, little non-fiction; in short, it's not a very balanced list. I would guess that someone, somewhere started this by listing off 100 books they had read or intended to read and began to circulate it. So, I wouldn't stress that you haven't read very many of these books, Holly.
The French title answering to Eng. abbot, but extended to ‘every one who wears an ecclesiastical dress,’ Littré; and specially applied to one having no assigned ecclesiastical duty, but acting as a professor, private tutor, or master of a household; in which sense the word is simply transferred into Eng. instead of being translated. Thus, ‘Anselm, abbot of Bec,’ ‘the Abbé Montmorency.’ Cf. Ital. ABBATE.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
A defence constructed by placing felled trees lengthwise one over the other with their branches towards the enemy's line, and piling them up until a shelter for workmen is obtained.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Ever wonder if certain words have an opposite? I don't mean an antonym, but an opposite. Not just an opposing meaning, but a similar form. For instance, one can be "disgruntled", but can one be "gruntled"? (The question will be answered!) Turns out, there is an opposite of "bashful".
Unabashed, shameless; the reverse of bashful.
Monday, March 05, 2007
a spurious word found in many dictionaries, originating in a misprint of BYCOKET.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
A rough, scoriaceous lava, one of the two chief forms of lava emitted from volcanoes of the Hawaiian type, the other being PAHOEHOE.