Thursday, February 21, 2008

49 days until new episodes!

relegate \REL-uh-gayt\, transitive verb: 1. To assign to an inferior position, place, or condition. 2. To assign to an appropriate category or class. 3. To assign or refer (a matter or task, for example) to another for appropriate action. 4. To send into exile; to banish.

"Dwight, I swear, if you keep clicking that pen, I'm going to tell Michael to relegate you to the annex," sighed Jim.

"What? No, you can't do that!"

"Actually, as sole member of the validty committee, absolutely I can."

Saturday, February 16, 2008


virago \vuh-RAH-go; vuh-RAY-go\, noun:
1. A woman of extraordinary stature, strength, and courage. 2. A woman regarded as loud, scolding, ill-tempered, quarrelsome, or overbearing.

Depending on your preference, Hillary Clinton fits pretty much either definition of virago.

Monday, February 11, 2008

What's the backstory?

ersatz \AIR-sahts; UR-sats\, adjective: Being a substitute or imitation, usually an inferior one.

Kellen, immobile in the hospital bed, forced his eyes open when the doctor began to speak.
"You're very lucky, as the pill they slipped you was rather ersatz, so it fizzled like an Alka-Seltzer once it hit your stomach. Also, you're our five hundred thousandth patient, so you win an iPhone!"

(A/N: Yeah, sorry for the delay in posts. Kellen's not the only one who took a trip to the hospital recently. For more details, see here. Also, the title post comes from this comic of awesomeness.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Heart & Soul

canorous \kuh-NOR-us; KAN-or-uhs\, adjective: Richly melodious; pleasant sounding; musical.

Bastian sat at the pianoforte, coaxing a canorous tune from the dusty instrument.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What fools we mortals be!

sylvan \SIL-vuhn\, adjective: 1. Of or pertaining to woods or forest regions. 2. Living or located in a wood or forest. 3. Abounding in forests or trees; wooded. 4. A fabled deity or spirit of the woods. 5. One that lives in or frequents the woods or forest; a rustic.

Cleo wandered into the sylvan backyard of their new house, fireflies sparking around her head. There was a path woven through the trees. Supper wasn't for another twenty minutes and the sun hadn't quite set, so what could a little exploration hurt?

(A/N: Today's word goes out to Shannon Hale and Libba Bray of the Book Babes Tour '08. Doesn't this just seem like the perfect word for both of them?)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ski trip with Jan? *shudder*

nolens volens \NO-lenz-VO-lenz\: Whether unwilling or willing.

Stanley shuffled into the conference room. The meeting was under the guise of finance reports, but everyone knew it was going to be about Michael and Jan's ski trip, complete with powerpoint presentation (Michael finally learned how to add pictures and sound effects). His co-workers followed, nolens volens, but it was safe to say all but Dwight fell on the unwilling side.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You don't bring me flowers

effusive \ih-FYOO-siv\, adjective: Excessively demonstrative; giving or involving extravagant or excessive emotional expression; gushing.

A gentleman appeared in the doorway, yet his head was obscured by an enormous bouquet of peonies. I could only hope it was Mr. Jordan. The man spoke, asking for my sister--no, it was most assuredly not Mr. Jordan. I called out for Sissy, as our caller was none other than the effusive Sir Antwon, one in a line of many men vying for her attention.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ruh roh!

callow \KAL-oh\, adjective: Immature; lacking adult perception, experience, or judgment.

Aaron took a deep breath. Kicking down the door would lead to gunfire and he was callow, still a greenie in the PI realm. But as Stella always said, "There's only one way to gain experience and that's by not hesistating, son."

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Prancing Pony

stoic \STOH-ik\, noun: 1. (Capitalized). A member of a school of philosophy founded by Zeno holding that one should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and should submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity. 2. Hence, one who is apparently or professedly indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain, joy or grief. 3. Of or pertaining to the Stoics; resembling the Stoics or their doctrines. 4. Not affected by passion; being or appearing indifferent to pleasure or pain, joy or grief.

"Aw, Brel, don't be so stoic all the time," chided Mena. "You'll receive your powers any day now, so lighten up a little! I heard the Grandmaster Destra didn't get hers until her seventeenth birthday."

(A/N: Wow, I don't think you can find a more generic fantasy-type word out there. Not a Terry Brooks book goes by without a character being mentioned as stoic and sitting in the corner of a tavern, all Aragorn-esque. Also, sorry for the lack of posts lately. It's been crazy at school, but I'll try to do better this next week.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


inculcate \in-KUHL-kayt; IN-kuhl-kayt\, transitive verb: To teach and impress by frequent repetition or instruction.

Mr. Olsen tried to inculcate the students on the marvels of Elizabethan playwrights, but their minds were elsewhere. Jake debated if he should hold Chelsea's hand on the way to their next class. All Chelsea could think about were Zac Efron's stormy eyes and really, how cool would it be if they had Ms. Darbus instead?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ten points to the first person to find my unintentional pun!

imprimatur \im-prih-MAH-tur; -MAY-\, noun: 1. Official license or approval to print or publish a book, paper, etc.; especially, such a license issued by the Roman Catholic episcopal authority. 2. Approval; sanction. 3. A mark of approval or distinction.

Ky and Eli sat by the embers of last night's fire, the only two humans still awake in the castle (with the exception of the baker, just rising to prepare the day's bread).
"We have to leave at sundown. I don't see any other way."
"It would be wondrous if that were possible, but we don't have the king's imprimatur!" argued Eli.
Ky exhaled. "I know. Rostroff can get us past the gates, but beyond that we're going to have to rely on what little luck we have left."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What does B.J. stand for?

remonstrate \rih-MAHN-strayt; REH-mun-strayt\, intransitive verb: 1. To present and urge reasons in opposition to an act, measure, or any course of proceedings -- usually used with 'with'. 2. To say or plead in protest, opposition, or reproof.

Col. Potter: Really, Hawkeye, it's no use trying to reason with Frank, you know that as well as I do.
Hawkeye: If there was ever a man that put the m-o-n-s-t-e-r in the word remonstrate, it's Frank Burns.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A horse is a horse

pertinacious \puhr-tin-AY-shuhs\, adjective: 1. Holding or adhering obstinately to any opinion, purpose, or design. 2. Stubbornly or perversely persistent.

Cousin Eugenia tugged at my petticoats while I finished up in the library. She could be awfully pertinacious at times, but I did promise to show her the stables.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Carry on

mimetic \mim-ET-ik\, adjective: 1. Apt to imitate; given to mimicry; imitative. 2. Characterized by mimicry; -- applied to animals and plants; as, "mimetic species; mimetic organisms."

Anna pawed through the piles of mimetic dresses, each gown trying to be more like a couture creation than the one before it. Some succeeded, but most failed terribly. What she needed was a fairy godmother--or at the very least a couple of mice and birds to piece together her ensemble for the perfect prom night.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

What was Dr. Phil doing there anyhow?

lacuna \luh-KYOO-nuh\, noun; plural lacunae \luh-KYOO-nee\ or lacunas: 1. A blank space; a missing part; a gap. 2. (Biology) A small opening, depression, or cavity in an anatomical structure.

You could seriously fit a whole baseball in the lacuna that is Britney's frontal lobe.

Breaking news

The word-a-day blog has a new home! I moved it over from here, where the original posts can still be found. But from here on out, bookmark to get your daily word fix.
Also, I'm pleased to announce the introduction of two new categories!
Saturdays are snarky and a chance for me to rip on "Unfitney" and the AMPTP.
Sundays are for song lyrics, just a stanza or two.
Thank you for reading!


Original post date: Wednesday, December 19, 2007

discursive \dis-KUR-siv\, adjective: 1. Passing from one topic to another; ranging over a wide field; digressive; rambling. 2. Utilizing, marked by, or based on analytical reasoning -- contrasted with intuitive.

At the supper table that night, Cordelia noted the discursive conversation. It seemed as though her parents were eager to dismiss the events of that afternoon. Typical, she scoffed, as they usually glossed over anything improper and interesting.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

Original post date: Tuesday, December 11, 2007

artifice \AR-tuh-fis\, noun: 1. Cleverness or skill; ingenuity; inventiveness. 2. An ingenious or artful device or expedient. 3. An artful trick or stratagem. 4. Trickery; craftiness; insincere or deceptive behavior.

Grant slipped past his manager by ducking behind the fake Christmas tree display, narrowly dodging the task of getting stuck at "Returns & Exchanges" for the rest of his shift. He wiped his forehead and peeked out the plastic Douglas Fir branches, proud of his artifice.

Are we clear? Crystal.

Original post date: Monday, December 10, 2007

perspicacity \pur-spuh-KAS-uh-tee\, noun: Clearness of understanding or insight; penetration, discernment.

Sylvia held the manuscript in her hands when perspicacity dawned. She just hoped it wouldn't be too late.

(A/N: Yeah, that one was kind of lame. But you know what? It's finals and I'm just the tiniest bit blitzed and I should really stop procrastinating...)

And don't call me surly!

Original post date: Friday, December 7, 2007

surly \SUR-lee\, adjective: 1. Ill-humored; churlish in manner or mood; sullen and gruff. 2. Menacing or threatening in appearance, as of weather conditions; ominous.

The mercenary's manner had been surly, but he would be a useful resource to have when passing through the skeevy coastal town of Iveran.

And because I missed yesterday, here's what I had planned. It's best read in the voice of Jim Dale.
deracinate \dee-RAS-uh-nayt\, transitive verb: 1. To pluck up by the roots; to uproot. 2. To displace from one's native or accustomed environment.

Narrator, Pushing Daisies: The facts were these: just as Chuck was deracinated from her aunt's home in Couer d'Couer, Digby dug up the flower garden with an appropriately dogmatic force. Two feet below was a hand and two feet lower was the body destined to be the pie maker-turned-detective's next case.