Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sea of Words

A year back, a colleague and friend sent me a gift subscription of AWAD (A.Word.A.Day), a web Newsletter of Wordsmith.org

It sends one new word everyday to my email.It gives the word, its pronunciation (with an audio file), meaning, etymology, earliest documented use, usage and a thought for the day. The newsletter takes me to a world of new, most unusual and intriguing words. Every week, words of a particular theme (it might be common origin, certain forms, double identities, etc.) are introduced. It's a whole sea of words and makes me realize how less such words are actually used. I shall cite a few examples and restrict to their meanings only:
  1. Usufruct-- noun: The right to use and enjoy another's property without destroying it. 
  2. Taradiddle or Tarradiddle--  noun: 1. A petty lie. 2. Pretentious nonsense. 
  3. Triskaidekaphobia--noun: Fear of the number 13. 
  4. Pedigree--noun:
    1. Lineage or ancestry.S
    2. A distinguished ancestry.
    3. The origin or history of a person or thing. 
  5. Schwarmerei-- noun:
    1. Extravagant enthusiasm.
    2. Excessive sentimentality. 
  6. Lebensraum--noun: Space required for living, growth, and development. 
  7. Seadog--noun:
    1. A veteran sailor.
    2. A harbor seal.
    3. A pirate or privateer.
    4. A faint rainbow-like formation seen in foggy conditions. Also called mistbow, fogbow, and white rainbow. 
  8. Tautology--noun:
    1. Unnecessary repetition of an idea, especially in different words, for example, a good-looking beautiful woman.
    2. In logic, a compound statement that is always true, irrespective of the value of its components, for example: Tomorrow either it will rain or not rain. 
  9. Excommunicate--verb tr.: To formally exclude someone from a group or community, especially from a religious community.
    noun
    : A person who has been excluded in this manner.
    adjective
    : Having been excluded. 
  10. Sidereal--adjective:
    1. Relating to the stars.
    2. Measured with reference to the apparent motion of the stars. For example, sidereal time. 
  11. Jejune--adjective:
    1. Dull; insipid.
    2. Lacking maturity; juvenile.
    3. Lacking in nutrition.
Previously the newsletter used to send 7 words a week, but recently it decided to bring it down to 5. It says that they are getting complaints of over information and subscribers are asking for more applicable words. Whatever it is, for me personally, wordsmith.com is enhancing my knowledge and vocabulary base. I have a separate folder in my mailbox where I store all the words emails so that I can go through them again in future.
I thank my friend who introduced me to this vast sea of words. Ironically, he  himself does not  go through the newsletter anymore for the same reason, over information. 

Anybody who is interested can click on the link mentioned below.

http://wordsmith.org/awad/index.html 

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Loved that you dropped by. It would lovely to know how you feel about this post too :)