philologist

October 31, 2008 at 3:00 pm (Uncategorized)

Philology (n.) – is a branch of the human sciences dealing with language and literature, specifically a literary canon, combining aspects of grammar, rhetoric, historical linguistics (etymology and language change), interpretation of authors, textual criticism and the critical traditions associated with a given language. (via Wikipedia)

“This phrase is attributable to Ferdinand de Saussure, the Swiss philologist who more or less invented modern technical linguistics, separating the study of language as an abstract formal system from the historical and comparative emphases of 19th-century philology.”

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 91.

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veldt

October 31, 2008 at 1:00 pm (Uncategorized)

veldt (n.) – a grassland especially of southern Africa usually with scattered shrubs or trees

Etymology:
Afrikaans veld, from Dutch, field

“Let’s keep in mind that language didn’t come into being because our hairy ancestors were sitting around the veldt with nothing better to do.”

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 90.

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epigone

October 31, 2008 at 12:00 pm (Uncategorized)

epigone (n.) – follower, disciple

Etymology:
German, from Latin epigonus successor, from Greek epigonos, from epigignesthai to be born after, from epi- + gignesthai to be born

” To understand why this is important, you have only to accept the proposition that language is by its very nature public – i.e., that there is no such thing as private language – and then to observe the way Descriptives seem either ignorant of this fact or oblivious to its consequences, as in for example one Dr. Charles Fries’s introduction to an epigone of Webster’s Third called The American College Dictionary …”

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 89.

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gnomic

October 31, 2008 at 10:30 am (Uncategorized)

gnomic (adj.) – characterized by aphorism

“Because The Investigations‘ prose is extremely gnomic and opaque and consists largely of Wittgenstein having weird little imaginary dialogues with himself, the quotations here are actually from Norman Malcolm’s paraphrases of L.W.’s argument … ”

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 88.

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autotelic

October 31, 2008 at 9:00 am (Uncategorized)

autotelic (adj.) – having a purpose in and not apart from itself

“New Criticism refers to T.S. Eliot and I.A. Richards and F.R. Leavis and Cleanth Brooks and Wimsatt & Beardsley and the whole autotelic Close Reading school that dominated literary criticism from the Thirties to well into the Seventies.”

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 85.

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occluded

October 30, 2008 at 10:50 pm (Uncategorized)

occlude (v.) –

1. To cause to become closed; obstruct
2. To prevent the passage of
Ibid.

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 81.

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Heliogabaline

October 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm (Uncategorized)

Heliogabalus (person) -a Roman Emperer, also known as Elababalus, said to have smothered his dinner guests with rose petals. Synonymous with excess, decadence.

What the hell am I talking about?  Wikipedia entry.

Ibid.

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 75.

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sesquipedalian

October 24, 2008 at 12:00 pm (Uncategorized)

sesquipedalian (adj.) –

1. Having many syllables, long; as in “sesquipedalian terms”

2. Given to or characterized by the use of long words; “a sesquipedalian political statement”

3. Long and ponderous; polysyllabic

4. Measuring or containing a foot and a half

5. Given to the overuse of long words; as with “sesquipedalian political orators”

Fun Fact: Etymologically, from Latin sesquipedalis; literally, a foot and a half long

Ibid.

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 81.

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solecistic

October 24, 2008 at 11:00 am (Uncategorized)

solecism (n.) – a nonstandard usage or grammatical construction

Ibid.

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 81.

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pleonastic

October 24, 2008 at 10:00 am (Uncategorized)

pleonasm (n.) – The use of more words than are required to express an idea; redundancy

Ibid.

Wallace, David Foster. “Authority and American Usage.” Consider the Lobster. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. p 81.

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