Archive for the ‘english’ Category

Word 309: Aliquot

I cannot eat more than two or three ounces at a time, but an aliquot of gefilte fish every waking hour nourishes me with much needed protein.

aliquot (n) 1 : contained an exact number of times in something else —used of a divisor or part; 2: fractional – source: Filter Fish

Word 308: Otiose

It would be otiose to itemize the films that concern or exploit the railways, from The General (1927) to Murder on the Orient Express (1974).

otiose (adj) 1: serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being [syn: otiose, pointless, purposeless, senseless, superfluous, wasted]; 2: producing no result or effect [syn: futile, ineffectual, otiose,
unavailing]; 3: disinclined to work or exertion [syn: faineant, indolent, lazy, otiose, slothful, work-shy] – source: The Glory of the Rails

Word 307: Obstreperous

With its emphasis on what was seen as unacceptable public behavior—“untended behavior,” “obstreperous” behavior, “strange” and “unpredictable” behavior, in the words of Kelling and Wilson—broken windows seemed to be more of a psychological than a policial theory, a brainchild out of the lab of B.F. Skinner.

obstreperous (adj) 1: noisily and stubbornly defiant; 2: boisterously and noisily aggressive – source: ‘Broken Windows’ and the New York Police

Word 306: Emollient / emollience

I grew a bit suspicious of that rich emollience of tone, that tempered, bourgeois liquidity.

emollient (n) : 1. An agent that softens or soothes the skin; 2. An agent that assuages or mollifies – source: Becoming them

Word 305: Prolegomenon / prolegomenous

Procopius, dealing with crazy facts about crazy people, knew that his first duty was to appear credible, and he starts the book off with a prolegomenous apologia

prolegomenon (n) : (often plural) a preliminary discussion, esp a formal critical introduction to a lengthy text – source: Diary of a Mad Fact-Checker

Word 303: Threnody

This is most evident on the opening “Hell’s Bells,” which, although it is really about a rather terrified Johnson on a dodgy flight with the rest of the group to Compass Point Studios in Nassau, where they had to deal with tropical storms, near-hurricane winds and so forth (hence the references to “rolling thunder, pouring rain,” hurricanes and lightning), also works as a threnody, beginning with the solemn tolling of a single bell, soon joined by the group, deploying an uncharacteristically slow but hard tempo reminiscent of Crazy Horse; you half expect Neil Young, rather than Johnson, to come in.

threnody (n) 1: a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person [syn: dirge, coronach, lament, requiem] – source: Then Play Long: AC/DC – Back In Black

Word 302: Eximious

“Alone Tonight” is written by Rutherford and “Please Don’t Ask” by Collins but the effect is the same; we already note how the songs, even the group compositions, appear to be based around Collins’ pivotal drumming (this was picked up by that eximious music critic, Patrick Bateman, in his peerless one-page summary of Duke from twenty or so years ago) but now Duke is essentially turning, or being turned, into a Collins solo record, full of divorce-centred moping.

eximious (a): Select; choice; hence, extraordinary, excellent. [Obs.] – source: Then Play Long: Genesis – Duke

Word 301: Hamartia

Susan Sontag suffers from the same hamartia, according to Mendelsohn, who is endlessly fascinated by how the lack of self-knowledge makes self-betrayal inevitable.

hamartia (n) the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall – source: The Wayward Essay