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  1. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    Mamma's Wicked Word of the Week

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by mammamaia, Jul 29, 2010.

    Recently requested by several members, this will be a weekly feature that I hope I'll remember to update every Thursday [that's what day it is here, at least]. I also hope you'll enjoy it.

    If you've any complaints/suggestions/pats on the back to offer, drop me an email anytime, so as to not clog up the thread with such stuff.

    love and hugs, maia

    [Definitions used in this thread will be my own, but you are encouraged to look the words up in your dictionary, to get the 'official' skinny on etymology, etc., as i'm not here to do all your work for you, but only to give you a nudge in the right direction. Hey, I'm not called 'mamma' for nothin'! ;) ]

    Week #1

    The kick-off word for this new feature is quirkily appropriate, I think:

    crotch·et   [croch-it]

    noun

    used mostly in the sense of a whimsical idea or unusual/odd fancy, it's also the old-fashioned word for a little hook, or something hook-like, such as a surgical instrument...

    though not to be confused with 'crochet' [krow-shay], a 'sister' word, having had the same Old French 'parent'...

    to the British it can mean a quarter note...

    it's more commonly used in the adjective form, 'crotchety'... though how 'grouchiness' got added to 'odd' and 'whimisical' i'll never know... such is the way of words in the world...

    examples:

    The old man was stolid, not given to crotchets.

    Ever crotchety, his wife was a trial, making their half-century-long union a puzzlement to all who knew them.

    synonyms:

    caprice, whimsy, eccentricity, quirk, oddity
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Please don't post responses here, so the current word doesn't get buried in replies.

    Instead, post them to the Word of the Week Suggestions and Feedback thread.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry for being a day late, folks!... i was down with a migraine yesterday and forgot about my 'deadline' here... inspired by my current state [a continuation of yesterday's, darn it!], here's this week's word:

    in-sa-lu-bri-ous

    adjective

    not wholesome; contrary to health

    this is another somewhat old-fashioned word, but it's kind of fun to say and use, imo... as are its adverb and noun forms, insalubriously and insalubrity... see what you can do with them, without sounding as if you're emulating Lord Lytton... ;-)

    examples:

    It was an insalubrious environment, rife with noxious fumes and hungry varmints.

    The words to the song had an insalubrious subliminal effect on disadvantaged teens.

    synonyms:

    destructive, deleterious, harmful, pernicious, unhealthy
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    let's go with a verb this week...

    pro-li-fer-ate

    verb

    to multiply, or increase, as in by dividing or procreation; to spread quickly and/or to excess

    example:

    Scams aimed at unwary beginning writers proliferate on the internet.

    synonyms:

    breed, burgeon, escalate, generate, propagate, mushroom

    this is more often used in its noun form ('proliferation'), despite it being a useful verb... see if you can come up with some sentences that do not refer to nuclear weapons... extra brownie points will be awarded for a good limerick!
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    BTW... when i say 'thursday' i mean my thursday, which is wednesday to many of you, since i'm on the other side of the international date line, at GMT+10... for instance, right now it's 8 am here on thursday, so if you have your own time zone set for the site display, you'll be able to see how many hours apart we are...

    BTW#2... i know some of you are thinking i should be using capitals and standard punctuation, but since i write so much online and in email and am adding notes to work people send me all day, every day, this method saves me a lot of time, trouble, and typing hassle... so if you're one of the some, you can either get used to it, or not read what i write... i'm happy to see that no one's raised the roof over it yet...

    love and hugs, m
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    this week's word is a mulit-purpose one... being adjective, noun, and verb:

    sub·or·di·nate

    1. adjective

    not as high in rank; less important; inferior; dependent of something/someone

    2. noun

    someone/something who/that is subordinate

    3. verb (needs an object)

    to put in a less important rank/order; make secondary/subservient/dependent (usually needs to be followed by 'to')

    examples:

    1. One should be wary of subordinate clauses in a contract.
    2. No subordinate may fraternize with the higher echelon.
    3. He subordinated his ambition to her need.

    synonyms:

    1. auxiliary, lesser, submissive, tributary
    2. assistant, helper, second fiddle, underling
    3. enslave, master, subjugate

    for this week's challenge, see if you can use all three forms in one sentence (and have it make sense!)

    i'm disappointed to see no one came up with a limerick for last week's word... any brave soul willing to try it with one or more of these?
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    week # 5 [sorry, i forgot to number some]

    a noun this time, that we actually employ often in our writing--while possibly not knowing we're doing so...

    con-cat-en-a-tion

    noun

    the act of concatenating; chain-like connection; series of things that are interdependent/interconnected; being linked/joined

    examples:
    synonyms:

    continuity, integration, series, succession, uniting

    instead of using the word itself in a sentence this week, let's see how well you can use what it does, in a sentence...
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    week # 6

    guess we're due a verb this week...

    here's a nifty little one, the meaning of which may be embarrassingly familiar to many of you:

    daw-dle


    [not to be confused with 'diddle'! ;-) ]

    verb

    to work or move slowly; waste time; idle; loiter; saunter

    examples:

    He dawdled and doodled for hours, not having a clue what to write next.

    One of Mother's favorite orders to us five was, "Don't dawdle, children!"

    synonyms:

    bum around; mosey; poke; procrastinate; tarry; trifle; sit on one's hands

    can any of you come up with a good rhyming word for it?
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    on my way here to post this week's word, 'fractal' jumped into/outa my head... since it's a complex mathematical/visual thing, a better version for writers followed hot on its heels... but here are some cool 'fractals' for you to enjoy:

    http://www.miqel.com/fractals_math_patterns/visual-math-natural-fractals.html

    WWOTW # 7

    fractious

    adjective

    stubbornly resistant to control/authority; cranky; likely to be troublesome

    examples:

    The fractious child dawdled over his dinner.

    Our prototype vehicle is much too fractious to be tested with a human operator.

    synonyms:

    cranky, nettlesome, peevish, petulant, testy, tetchy [last one's the niftiest, imo!]

    noun: fractiousness

    adverb: fractiously
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    week # 8

    here's a lulu of a noun...

    per-spi-ca-ci-ty

    noun

    mental acuity; high level of understanding; discernment

    examples:

    Perspicacity was not his long suit. He required a "Thinking for Dummies" manual just to figure out a bus schedule.

    Marital perspicacity is sadly lacking among teenage brides.

    synonyms:

    acumen, astuteness, insight, perspicuity

    this is probably more often used in its adjective form, 'perspicacious' and even in its looooong noun form of its adjective form, 'perspicaciousness'... makes me wonder how many such fractal expansions of a word are possible... anyone care to seek/construct the longest?
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    week #9

    let's go for a short but not often seen verb this week...

    chide

    verb

    to show disapproval; scold; nag; find fault

    examples:

    He was chided for his rude behavior.

    Chiding should not be deriding.

    synonyms:

    blame, censure, rebuke

    this one is good to use for stories set in the past, though using it in contemporary settings may brand you as a bit pretentious, since it's not that often used nowadays... not for any good reason, imo...
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    week #10

    this handy, but oft-forgotten and little used old noun popped into my head as i was headed here to do this week's word...

    shrift

    noun

    (archaic) the penance imposed by the priest in the confessional; confession made to a priest; forgiveness given for one's sins

    from the verb:

    shrive

    to impose penance; grant absolution; hear a confession

    examples (most often used as half of the expression 'short shrift' which referred to the brief amount of time a condemned prisoner was allowed to 'be confessed' before being executed... nowadays, it simply means little attention given to something/someone):

    They made short shrift of my suggestions.

    Short shrift is due this objection, as it is entirely without merit.

    synonyms:

    atonement, attrition, forgiveness, penalty, repentance, sorrow

    interestingly enough, this word comes from 'scribe' as in 'to write'... which leads one to think penance may have been delivered in writing in olden days... though that makes little sense as so few could read way back when...
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm very sorry to have to announce that i won't have time to keep up this thread any longer, since i've been asked to write children's books for a publisher and very important and worthy memoirs for a couple of folks who have incredible stories to tell, but need a pro to rewrite their book mss...

    this will take up most of my time, so i'm hoping a kind volunteer will come forward and offer to keep up this thread...

    any takers?

    love and apologetic hugs, maia
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It wouldn't be the same without you.

    For now, I'll just close the thread. Perhaps you'll find time to get back to it at a later time.
     
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