Monday, April 30, 2007
1. Apparel, outfit, equipment. Almost always in the pl., clothes, trappings, equipments. Milit. The equipments of a soldier other than arms and dress.
2. The process of accoutring or being accoutred.
Friday, April 27, 2007
1. a. Properly, an embrace or clasping about the neck; technical name of the salutation marking the bestowal of knighthood, applied at different times to an embrace, a kiss, and a slap on the shoulders with the flat blade of a sword.
[Not in COTGRAVE 1611 who has Accollade (Fr.) a colling, clipping, imbracing about the necke; Hence, the dubbing of a Knight, or the ceremony used therein.]
b. fig. A supreme honour; a mark of approval or admiration; a bestowal of praise, a plaudit; an acknowledgement of merit.
2. Music. A vertical line or brace, used to couple together two or more staves. (Sometimes confined to a straight thick line so used, as distinguished from a brace or double curve; but in mod.Fr. accollade = the brace or double curve , used not merely in music but in ordinary printing, algebra, classification, etc.)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Obs. or arch.
The development of meaning is fully seen under CLOY.
1. To drive a nail into a horse's foot when shoeing; hence, to lame. lit. and fig.
2. To pierce, stab. rare.
3. To stop up an aperture as with a nail, peg, or other obstruction, to stop a passage. See CLOY. Hence,
4. To block, obstruct, clog, choke. lit. and fig.
5. To fill full. a. To fill to satiety. b. To overfill, overload, burden, oppress.
6. To overburden (the stomach); to nauseate.
7. To disgust, weary, become offensive to.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Rising with a slope, sloping upward, steep; = ACCLIVOUS, ACCLIVITOUS.
The upward slope of a hill; an ascending slope.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
"For modern man there is no providence, because it would imply a wisdom superior to his and a relationship of means to ends which he cannot find out. Instead of feeling grateful that some things are past his discovering (how odd it sounded when Churchill, the last survivor of the old school, declared that the secret of atomic power had been 'mercifully withheld' from man), he is vexed and promises himself that one day the last arcanum will be forced to yield its secret."~ p. 183
Ideas Have Consequences
A feigned refusal of that which is earnestly desired.
Monday, April 23, 2007
[a. OFr. accide, acide, ONormFr. accidie, acidie; ad. med.L. accīdia, corrupt. of late L. acēdia, a. Gr. ****** heedlessness, torpor (in Cicero, Att. xii. 45) n. of state f. * not + ***-** care, ***-**** I care, lit. non-caring-state. Acedia became a favourite ecclesiastical word, applied primarily to the mental prostration of recluses, induced by fasting, and other physical causes; afterwards the proper term for the 4th cardinal sin, sloth, sluggishness. (See Chaucer, Parson's Tale 603.) Its Greek origin being forgotten, the word was variously ‘derived’ from acidum sour (see Cæsarius quoted in Du Cange, and Roquefort ‘Acide: Ennui, tristesse, dégoût: d'acidum’); and from accidĕre to come upon one as an accident or access, whence the med.L. corruption, accidia, and OFr. and Eng. accide, accidie. The latter is Norman, the former Parisian; the later Eng. accentuation was accidie. With the restoration of Gr. learning, the L. became again acedia, whence a rare ACEDY in 17th c.]
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thank you, Groucho. A musical note for Friday. ("Note", hah!)
An ornament or ‘grace’ in Music, consisting of a small note (or two at a distance of not more than a minor third from each other) performed as quickly as possible before an essential note of a melody, the single small note (or first of the two) being a semitone below the essential note; a ‘crush-note.’
Thursday, April 19, 2007
1. With reference to French examinations: = PROXIME ACCESSIT.
2. A secondary vote given in the election of a Pope: see quots.
"The problem which disintegration places in the lap of practical men, those in charge of states, of institutions, of businesses, is how to persuade to communal activity people who no longer have the same ideas about the most fundamental things. In an age of shared belief, this problem did not exist, for there is a wide area of basic agreement, and dissent is viewed not as a claim to egoistic distinction but as a sort of excommunication."~ p. 92
Ideas Have Consequences
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
1. trans. a. To gain access to (data, etc., held in a computer or computer-based system, or the system itself).
2. = ACCESSION v. rare.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
1. a. To take or receive (a thing offered) willingly, or with consenting mind; to receive (a thing or person) with favour or approval, e.g. to receive as a prospective husband. Also, to take or receive with patience or resignation, to tolerate.
I won't quote all the various shades of meaning that it has, that's sufficient unto my purpose.
Friday, April 13, 2007
To kindle; to set light to, set on fire. lit. and fig.
Capable of being kindled, or set on fire.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Apparently stemless, having a very short stem, or having the stem concealed in the ground.
¶Of the three preceding attempts to english Linnæus's acaulis, Jussieu's acaule, this is most in accordance with Eng. analogies.
"One notes that in everyday speech the word 'fact' has taken the place of 'truth'; 'it is a fact' is now the formula for a categorical assertion. Where fact is made the criterion, knowledge has been rendered unattainable. And the public is being taught systematically to make this fatal confusion of factual particulars with wisdom. On the radio and in magazines and newspapers appear countless games and quizzes designed to test one's stock of facts. The acquisition of unrelated details becomes an end in itself and takes the place of the true ideal of education. So misleading is the program that one widely circulated column invites readers to test their 'horse sense' by answering the factual queries it propounds. The same attention to peripheral matter long ago invaded the schools, at the topmost levels, it must be confessed, where it made nonsense of literary study and almost ruined history. The supposition that facts will speak for themselves is of course another abdication of the intellect. Like impressionist artists, the objectivists prostrate themselves before exterior reality on the assumption that the organizing work of the mind is deceptive."~ p. 58
Ideas Have Consequences
Really, the book would probably have been a popular, but ultimately unremarkable book about some basic, common-sense kinds of questions that people ought to ask themselves when going about their daily lives and an interesting demonstration of how some simple statistical/economic concepts and thinking will enable one to be a bit more savvy if it hadn't been for that chapter claiming that abortion fights crime. (Which is like that website I linked to many moons ago, and which now apparently tries to eat your computer, so I won't link to it again, that combines a series of odd-ball characteristics for two people and then adds "They fight crime!" Like "She was a teen-age vampire, social-work graduate student with a large overbite, poor fashion sense and small feet and he was ballet dancer with only one arm, color-blindness and a fear of chickens. They fight crime!")
And it turns out that their argument for the crime-fighting power of abortion has been vastly overstated. See Steve Sailer's website for more than you ever wanted to read on the topic. (Some of it is repeated in various sections, but each section has at least something the others don't.) My advice: wait until the book is available at your library and read it in an afternoon. Then you'll have gotten the interesting stuff about the sumo wresting match-fixing and won't have to keep a book that doesn't have much else worth reading in it.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Incomprehensibility:—a term of the Sceptic philosophers; the correlative of agnosticism, which is said of the mental faculty, while acatalepsy is the property of the unknowable object.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
1. A member of an academy, or society for promoting arts and sciences; first used of the members of the French Academies, and in England of the Royal Academy; now much more widely. It has taken the place of ACADEMIST.
2. A collegian; = ACADEMIC B2. rare.
On the other hand, his sharp criticism of jazz seems to me misplaced. I wonder what he would think of Britney Spears, System of a Down, Rob Zombie, Jay-Z, Ludacris and Eminem since he was of the opinion that even Beethoven should have been censured for "the introduction of dynamism and of strains of individualism". In fact he posits a continuous decline in music from Bach to his current day. Strict stuff.
Perhaps more shocking (but also, I think, better supported) was his query of "Has the art of writing proved an unmixed blessing?" He goes on to answer this question in the negative and backs the position up, if not convincingly, then at least strongly enough to make one think that there is much in what he says.
In sum, a book well worth reading, and careful and thoughtful reading at that.
Monday, April 09, 2007
1. Bot. A genus of Leguminous shrubs or trees, of the Mimosa tribe, found in the warmer regions of the Old World; several species of which yield Gum Acacia or Gum Arabic, Catechu, and other products; they form in Australia thickets called scrubs.
2. pop. The North-American Locust-tree, called also False-Acacia (Robinia pseud-Acacia), with sweet-scented white flowers, grown as an ornamental tree in England.
3. Med. The inspissated juice of the unripe fruit of species of Acacia and Mimosa, used as a drug.
Friday, April 06, 2007
[An Eng. or rather Lowland Sc. formation on med.L. abthania, for Gaelic Abdhaine, abbacy or abbotrick, abbatia, variously written in the charters Abthen, Abthein, Abbathain, Abbethayne. The meaning of Abthania being lost, it was supposed to be some ancient dignity, for the holder of which the imaginary title of Abthanus was invented by Fordun (Scotochron. IV. xxxix.), and explained by him from a false etymology as Father (abbas) or Superior of the Thanes. Thenceforward the imaginary Abthane flourished in Scottish History, till the recent explanation of the word by Dr. W. F. Skene in Historians of Scotland IV, Fordun II. 413.]
1. Erroneous use: a ‘Superior Thane.’
2. Correct use: an abbacy (of the early Scottish church).
¶If a representative of Gael. abdhaine, abthaine, med.L. abthania, is retained as a special term for ‘the territory of those churches called Monasteria, which were founded by the Columban clergy’ in ancient Celtic Scotland, the best form would be Abthany, as distinct from the equivocal Abthane and his supposed jurisdiction Abthanry or Abthanage.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
To wipe away; to wipe clean; to cleanse; also fig. to purge.
(Via The Corner.)
PM: Why? In The Guardian, you never stop banging on about fat cats. Do you think that your readers would be pleased to hear that you earned £520,000 last year? Are you worth it?
AR: That's for others to say.
PM: Wouldn't it be more Guardian-like, more socialist, to take a bit less and spread the pot around a bit? We have this quaint idea that you guys are into that "all men are equal" nonsense, but you're not really, are you? You seem a lot more "equal" than others on your paper.
AR: Er... [silence].
PM: Do you ever get awkward moments when your bonus gets published? Do you wince and think, "Oh dear, Polly Toynbee's not going to like this one."
AR: Er... [silence].
PM: Or is Polly raking in so much herself that she wouldn't mind?
AR: Er... [silence].
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Edit: When I actually typed this up a week ago, it was more true than it is now. Except for that very last sentence.
Something absonous or discordant in the use of language; solecism.
Which itself is from:
lit. Out of tune, inharmonious; fig. incongruous, absurd, unreasonable. Const. to.
Monday, April 02, 2007
erroneous forms due to a confusion between ABSOLUTE and OBSOLETE, which latter frequently appears as absolute even in good writers of 6-7, while absolute was similarly transformed into obsolute. The confusion was partly due to form, partly to sense 4 of ABSOLUTE, completed, finished; hence, by easy transition, done with.