Friday, August 17, 2007

I've always kind of wondered.

I'm not Catholic or Catholic-lite (Anglican, Lutheran, etc), so I've never really been sure of what period of time this covered. Now I know.


1. a. In the ecclesiastical calendar, the season immediately preceding the festival of the Nativity, now including the four preceding Sundays.

b. Advent Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent, the Sunday nearest to the thirtieth of November.

2. The Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour of the world; the Incarnation. Hence his expected Second Coming as Judge, and the Coming of the Holy Spirit as at Pentecost.

3. By extension, Any important or epoch-making arrival. In modern usage applied poetically or grandiloquently to any arrival. (This use is unknown to Johnson 1755 and Todd 1818.)


Advent, n.

Add: [1.] [b.] Special Combs. Advent calendar, a calendar celebrating the approach of Christmas, esp. one made with flaps or windows opened one each day to reveal a seasonal picture, gift, etc.

Advent candle, a candle lit during Advent; spec. each candle in a ring of four, lit on successive Sundays in Advent to symbolize the coming of light into the world at Christmas (when a fifth central candle completes the group).

Advent ring, a ring of four Advent candles.

Without comment.

Because no comment is needed.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Well, I've never heard of it.

A fairly common word, especially when talking about weather, it seems. It's not one that I remember running across, but I may have just skimmed past it and thought of its near cousin "convection". And it's our first word from meteorology and oceanography!


a. Meteorol. The transfer of heat by the horizontal movement of the air. Similarly, heat transfer by the vertical motion of the air, esp. in a large-scale or steady atmospheric current. Also attrib., as advection fog. Hence advective a., of, or caused by, advection. Cf. CONVECTION.

b. Oceanogr. The horizontal or vertical transfer of material, heat, etc., brought about by the mass movement of the oceans, e.g. in currents.

c. transf.

In the end there can be only one.

Well, not really.

There are two words in English that have all the vowels and "y" in alphabetical order. One is "facetiously". What is the other? (Don't be looking it up on the internet until you've thought about it for a bit.) It'll show up in the comments eventually, either through someone guessing it or my posting it.

More baseball.

What can I say? I'm trying to take my mind off my frustration with the M's inability to gain any ground in their division while still enjoying the end of the baseball season.

So that means more fun with the Play Index! Yay! Just what everyone wanted! (Okay, probably just me, but you've got your own blogs for your own stuff.)

So I was wondering today about a different sort of oddity. (As is often the case, the searchable data runs for the period from 1957 to yesterday.) For example, what is the most home runs hit in a game where a team only hit home runs? Turns out it's 6. Three were by Joe Carter, all solo shots. And that got me thinking, what about other games of the same type but for different kinds of hits? What's the most singles a team has hit in a game where they hit nothing but singles? Doubles? Triples?

2B: 5, and it's happened 5 times, most recently being a Seattle loss in 2005

3B: 2, it's happened 4 times and no team won hitting only triples, most recent game is from 1973

And just for fun, let's try only walks! BB: 11, in a loss by Oakland

Which segues neatly into another interesting idea, how many times has a team thrown a no-hitter and still lost? 4 times, the losers in these games being the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Orioles and the Astros. I think I remember hearing that there were a few more games like this prior to 1957, but I'm not going to search all over the internet to find them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Buck, buck number two!

Thank you, Bill Cosby.

This word seemed like just another in a long list of related words that wouldn't be interesting enough to make it onto the blog until I got to the final sense. Fascinating. I would never have guessed.


He who or that which advances.

1. One who moves (a person or thing) forward or upward; a. physically (obs.); b. to higher rank or station (obs.); c. to a better or more advantageous condition; a promoter.

2. One who extols or lauds; an extoller, supporter. Obs.

3. Rhet. Amplification, auxesis, or climax. Obs.

4. One who puts forth (a statement); an asserter.

5. One who gives (money) before it is legally due, or who lends it for any purpose.

6. A second branch of a buck's horn.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Won't catch me with that.

What a great word. Here's one to spring on my father-in-law, if he doesn't read this blog and find out about it before I have a chance, that is. And, of course, if you aren't acquainted with my father-in-law, that would also make it difficult to surprise him with this word.

adunc, a.

Hooked; bent inward.

New poll, same as the old poll.

Well, mostly. The wording is a bit different, but I think got the poll up that I intended to have up a while ago. It's still scheduled to end on Sunday. The question is, which of the four things could you not give up?

Monday, August 13, 2007

A corrupted word

I really hate that this word (and others like it) have been corrupted in modern usage. This word is often understood to mean very nearly the opposite of what it ought to mean and what I generally use it to mean. Some euphemisms are good and helpful, but this is one that should be avoided. (See sense 1c.)

adult, a.

A. adj.

1. a. Grown up, having reached the age of maturity. (Of men, and, in mod. use, of animals.)

b. Of persons: characteristically mature in attitude, outlook, etc.; also, befitting or suitable for adults, as opp. to children or youngsters. Cf. GROWN-UP ppl. a. 2.

c. Applied euphem. to premises or productions ostensibly restricted to adult access, as adult cinema, entertainment, movie, etc.; pornographic, sexually explicit. N. Amer.

d. Of accommodation: designed for the use of elderly persons. Hence also, of or pertaining to the elderly. N. Amer.

2. fig. Of anything growing, as a plant, a language: Matured, full-grown.

B. n.

1. a. A person adult; one who has reached maturity. adult baptism: the baptism of those only who are ecclesiastically adults, or of the years of discretion; opposed to infant baptism.

b. adult illiteracy, illiterate, literacy; adult education, the further education of those over ordinary school age (as in the universities), but commonly used of that provided by local educational authorities, etc.; adult training centre, a training centre at which (esp. young mentally handicapped) adults learn practical and other skills.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Politics and Religion

An interesting intersection of politics and religion. There is no way anyone would be able to make a reference like this today. Not because the separation of religion and politics is so stark, but because no one would understand the reference.


1. prop. An inhabitant of Adullam.

2. a. A frequenter of the cave of Adullam. fig. A nickname applied in 1866 to certain members of the British House of Commons, who seceded from the Liberal party then in power, from dissatisfaction with their attempt to carry a measure of Parliamentary Reform. The name originated with an expression in a speech by Mr. Bright; see quot. 1866¹. More widely, a member of a dissenting political group.

b. attrib. or as adj. Of or pertaining to the seceders of 1866. Also transf., esp. of other political dissenters; radical, unorthodox.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Who knew it was so bad?

I never realised that this word had such negative connotations. I always thought it indicated a large amount, but not necessarily to excess. I'll have to be more careful about using it in the future.


Servile flattery or homage; exaggerated and hypocritical praise to which the bestower consciously stoops.

Wait. What?

This is just weird. And funny.

Well, I laughed.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Impress your teacher.

Next time roll is called, you can impress everyone with your Latin.


‘I am here’, as an answer in a roll-call, etc.


This reminds me of something. What could it be? Hum. Maybe... this?

Old Rookies

I was noodling around with the Play Index and did a search for batters who hit 20 or more HRs in their first season in the bigs, but restricted it to players who debuted at age 30 or older. I figured there couldn't be too many since anyone capable of hitting 20 HRs at the highest level of competition would probably have managed to get to the majors before age 30 or would have had other problems of such significance that they would never get there.

Turns out there aren't any.

So I lowered the minimum HR total to 15 and came up with only 6. Kenji Johjima tops the list with 18 and Tadahito Iguchi finishes it with 15. They're from Japan and played professionally there before coming here, so it's not too surprising that they could make this list.

The second listing, Sam Jethroe, also had 18 HRs and he was a player in the Negro Leagues (I should have realised that the colour barrier might come into play for people on this list) for several years and was given a tryout by the Red Sox in 1945, though according to this link (usual caveats about not knowing anything about the rest of the site) this was a rigged tryout that was never intended to offer any of the black players a real chance at joining the team. He only played three seasons (his fourth year he only appeared in 2 games and had merely 1 AB) while putting up decent numbers from the plate, but numbers in the outfield that are worse than Manny Ramirez. He led the league in steals for a couple years and when his offensive production dropped he went to the minors.

The third man on that list with 18 HRs is Buzz Arlett. A very interesting player who set records for minor league play and had an excellent year batting in his sole year in the majors. Most of the searching I did online indicated that it was a lack of fielding prowess that kept him from playing at the highest level for more than a year. Indeed, he had a high number of errors relative to his number of fielding chances. Someone who would have benefited a great deal from the introduction of the DH, I would guess.

I feel sorry for Jim Baxes, number four with 17 HRs. He played but a single year, starting with and for the Dodgers who traded him after 11 games despite his good numbers to that point. The man for whom he was traded never played a day for the Dodgers and LA went on to win the World Series that year. The man who replaced him at third had just as many errors and hit for less power though a better average.

The fifth on the list, George Watkins, had a longer career than any of the rest (excluding the Japanese players). He played seven full seasons and his first year hit a stellar .373, which was good enough for...sixth place on the batting title list?! Yep, he had the misfortune to come up the year Bill Terry hit .401 and another four players all hit .379 or better.


See, Dear. I'm getting my money's worth for this.

I found an interesting baseball game where Nolan Ryan pitched 8 innings without giving up an earned run, struck out 11 and still lost the game 1-0. Interesting as that is by itself, the run was scored in the fourth inning when, after walking the first batter, Ryan managed to pick him off but an error by the first-baseman allowed the runner not only to be safe but to get around to third. Then, after Ryan struck out the second batter to get the first out of the inning and got Lou Piniella to ground out, (yes, that Lou Piniella) the man on third stole home! That's pretty impressive anytime, but against Nolan Ryan, that's amazing. The man regularly threw over 100 mph. To beat the ball to the plate is no mean feat. The man who did it was Amos Otis and doesn't seem to have been particularly speedy. He never had more than 12 stolen bases in any given season, so perhaps there was some other circumstance that's not adequately expressed in the play-by-play data.

Caught up!

Okay, so I don't have a post for today up yet, but that's okay. It will be here later this evening. But now I have posts for all the days I missed and I'm gonna put them in just a minute. I will endeavour not to fall so far behind again. Apologies and all that.

EDIT: Go here for the first post in the catching-up.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Okay, okay, this one isn't out of use.

It is unusual and probably used infrequently, but it would be considered modern and correct to use it, even if perhaps a bit technical. There is another word which means the opposite which is just as fun. We won't get to that (if ever) for years and years though. And it's our first geographical word.



A (mountain) slope which faces the sun. Cf. UBAC.

Monday, August 06, 2007

That sounds about right.

I chose this one, another simple, obsolete word, because it derives from a cognate with a Gothic word that means "to perform military service". I thought that was interesting in light of this word's meaning.

adree, v.


1. To carry on, practise, pass (life, time, etc.). Only in OE.

2. To bear, endure, or suffer.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


New poll up. Question is, as of this writing, "Oops... Polls are currently not available, please come back later."


Stupid Blogger!

Friday, August 03, 2007

My theory bites the dust.

I had speculated that words with references as recent as the 19 century would not be considered obsolete or archaic because of their use within about 200 years of the modern day. This word blows that theory right out of the water. The most recent reference is from 1870, so there must be some other criteria for what makes a word obsolete and archaic, neh?

adrad, ppl. a.¹

Obs. or arch.

Frightened, greatly afraid, put in dread. Const. gen. or of; dat. inf.; subord. clause; W. Morris has at.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Another obsolete word

But worth bringing back. Not that anyone would be familiar with it when you used in conversation. The OED's only reference to it is c. 1450. Don't let that stop you though.

adoyle, adv.

Obs. rare

Askew, awry.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


An interesting word. Much as one wonders about such things as "gruntled", I have wondered if this was a word by itself. Turns out it is.


Obs. rare

An absurdity.