Tag: Word of the Month

Word of the day: Hoedown

  David Zapatka Listening to classical music this morning as I do every morning and evening, I heard Aaron Copland’s familiar Hoe-Down classic. I’ve always thought a hoedown was a country-style social gathering with dance and music. Right on track, the upbeat and catchy Copland tune comes from his score to the ballet Rodeo, which…

Word of the Month: Meme

  David Zapatka Reader Kim Park offers a word that has only been in use the past 42 years, meme. Meme – noun ˈmēm an idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. Memes (discrete units of knowledge, gossip, jokes and so on) are to culture what genes are to…

Word of the Month: Perspicacious

David Zapatka Perspicacious – per·spi·ca·cious, /pərspəˈkāSHəs/ Adjective – 1. Having a ready insight into and understanding of things. 2. Of acute mental vision or discernment, keen. 3. Having or showing an ability to notice and understand things that are difficult or not obvious. Perspicaciously – adverb. Perspicaciousness, perspicacity – noun. First known use 1548 from Latin perspicācitās (“discernment”), from Latin perspicax (“sharp-sighted”), from perspiciō (“look…

Word of the Month: Mobius strip

David Zapatka I take our grandsons to a special conference every year the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a regional gathering of people from Arizona and neighboring states who attend outstanding lectures on a wide variety of topics, play games, do puzzles, eat meals, enjoy entertainers and generally just have a good time with each other.…

Word of the Month: Areal

David Zapatka Friend and bridge player Roman Martin brought this month’s word of the month to me at a recent bridge game; areal. He noticed it used in reporting and thought it was interesting, as it was being used differently than the word “aerial.” Like last month’s word, this word has only come into prevalent…

Word of The Month: Humblebrag

David Zapatka While listening to someone speak self-deprecatingly interspersed with self-directed, attention-grabbing, patting-on-the-back comments recently, a friend leaned over to me and said, “You know, there’s a word for this type of self-indulgent talk.” At first, I wasn’t sure what was being implied but on second thought, I realized there was purpose in the self-deprecating…

Word of the Month: Fluorescence

David Zapatka Ever wonder what makes your freshly-washed clothes glow in the sunlight? Have you ever been intrigued by the unnaturally-bright colors in the highlighters we use to highlight text? Have you ever looked at the light traveling through a tube in a light fixture and wonder how that works? Think fluorescence, this month’s word…

Word of the Month: Obdurate

David Zapatka Do you have any stubborn people in your life, possibly a relative, friend, co-worker or someone you have interaction with for various other reasons? Thanks to reader Kim Park, if you don’t already use this month’s word, you will have a new way to describe that behavior. Obdurate – adjective ob·du·rate ˈäb-də-rət, -dyə-; äb-ˈdu̇r-ət,…

Word of the Month: Neologism

David Zapatka Have you ever wondered how words are added to the dictionary? New words, phrases and definitions are added to the Oxford English Dictionary four times a year. A recent revision included over 1,200 changes and updates from a new sense of the word “thing” to the well-established, but newly-prominent usage of the word “woke.”…

Word of the Month: Kitty-corner

David Zapatka Reader and friend Jim Nulty writes, “I saw the term ‘kitty-corner’ used in a book I’m reading, looked it up and thought you may want to use it in your column.” Kitty-corner – adverb or adjective  ki-tē-ˌkȯr-nər, or less commonly  ka-tē-,kȯr-nər 1. Adverb – diagonally or obliquely 2. Adjective – in a diagonal…