Word of the Day — Desultory

James Jones (From Here To Eternity)

James Jones (From Here To Eternity)

I found this word while reading Who the Hell is Pansy O’Hara? by Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy.  It was in the chapter about James Jones and thank goodness I had my dictionary handy.

des·ul·to·ry

adjective \ˈde-səl-ˌtr-ē also -zəl-\

: not having a plan or purpose

: done without serious effort

1:  marked by lack of definite plan, regularity, or purpose <a dragged-out ordeal of…desultory shopping — Herman Wouk>
2:  not connected with the main subject
3:  disappointing in progress, performance, or quality <a desultory fifth place finish> <a desultory wine>
A quick look in my Websters said a synonym was ‘random’, which is what I filled in the sentence with instead of desultory.  It had to do with college classes on writing.  Honestly, I doubt I will remember what this word actually means.  It is probably one that I need to write a small definition in the margins.  I do that occasionally.  With a pencil, mark what a word means. Especially if I plan to come back and read the book later.
Have you run into any fun or forgettable words this week?  If so, post them in the comments. I’m always on a lookout for odd words.
Signing off
~Kate

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Word of the Day — Ill

i-hate-to-waste-sick-days-being-sick-funny-posterIll. Sick, unwell, evil, suffering, distress.  One three letter word that has nothing going for it other than we all pretty much know what it means.  Now that I’m interested, ill always makes me thing of Virginia Woolf‘s essay  ‘On Being Ill‘, though I have yet to read it. I want to, but haven’t found a copy yet.

 

1ill

adjective \ˈil\

: not well or healthy : sick or unhealthy

of health : not normal or good

: harmful or damaging

worse worst

Full Definition of ILL

1a chiefly Scottish :  immoral, vicious

b :  resulting from, accompanied by, or indicative of an evil or malevolent intention <ill deeds>

 c :  attributing evil or an objectionable quality <held an ill opinion of his neighbors>
2 a :  causing suffering or distress <ill weather>

  b comparative also ill·er superlative also illest (1) :  not normal or sound <ill health> (2) :  not in good health; also :  nauseated
3a :  not suited to circumstances or not to one’s advantage :  unlucky <an ill omen>

 b :  involving difficulty :  hard
4a :  not meeting an accepted standard <ill manners>

 b archaic :  notably unskillful or inefficient
5:  unfriendly, hostile <ill feeling>
Why a sick word today?  Good question. Probably because I am ill myself. Ill with a cold.  At least I’m not the ill of my mother…. pneumonia.
Signing off
~Kate
Enhanced by Zemanta

Word of the Day — Livid

When I think livid, I think angry, but it can mean a color as well.  Who would have thought of using it to describe gladiolas… see below in the definition?  I wouldn’t have. I always think livid and someone is ready to scream, blow up, or storm out of the house.  He was livid, and she knew that if she didn’t shut up, the house was going to come crashing down.

liv·id

adjective \ˈli-vəd\

: very angry

: having a dark purplish color

1:  discolored by bruising :  black-and-blue <the livid traces of the sharp scourges — Abraham Cowley>

2:  ashen, pallid <this cross, thy livid face, thy pierced hands and feet — Walt Whitman>
3:  reddish <a fan of gladiolas blushed livid under the electric letters — Truman Capote>
4:  very angry :  enraged <was livid at his son’s disobedience
I don’t often write about someone that was so angry they could be described as livid, but I love thinking in terms of that. Go figure.
Signing off
~Kate
Enhanced by Zemanta

Word of the Day — Bevy

I need a bevy of Owl Posts

I need a bevy of Owl Posts

I could have sworn there was a chapter in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone titled ‘A Bevy of Owls’.  Apparently not.  Bevy. It’s one of those words that means a large group… So for me, a lot of owls, with letters included, means a bevy.  A bevy of deer.  Though apparently it’s more birds that is bevy than large mammals.  Either way, bevy always brings to mind the mass of letters Harry receives from Hogwarts. Wonderful wax sealed letters.

bevy

noun \ˈbe-vē\

: a large group of people or things

plural bev·ies
1
:  a large group or collection <a bevy of girls>
2
:  a group of animals and especially quail 
You know? I’d like someone to send me a bevy of owls bearing letters from people, friends, acquaintances, people who I know nothing about. Did I ever mention I love getting letters in the mail?  On a side note, I’m not as good at replying to said letters…
Signing off
~Kate
Enhanced by Zemanta

Word of the Day — Ism

Ism.  A small word that’s more of an ending in some instances than an actual word. However, a word it is.

Ism. Running through the dictionary tonight after thinking about every word that ends in those three letters, I’ve yet to find a word that has a good meaning with -ism attached to it. Racism, antagonism, egotism, extremism, fanaticism, totalitarianism, alcoholism, nationalism, communism, fascism, absolutism,  sexism,socialism, Darwinism….. and some would add in Impressionism and Cubism. I would definitely agree with Cubism, I just looked it up.  Whoo, that is a bit scary.

ism

noun \ˈi-zəm\

: a belief, attitude, style, etc., that is referred to by a word that ends in the suffix -ism

1
:  a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory
2
:  an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief <we all have got to come to grips with our isms — Joycelyn Elders>
It’s funny how isms usually do not mean something good.  Speaking of good, if you add -ism to the end of good, does the word cancel itself out?  There are a few -ism words out there that do not mean something that is negative, but very few.  It’s amazing how such a small word can make such a big difference.
It’s like that Delta Air Lines commercial ‘Up’. As the first lines say, “Up, a short word that’s a tall order,”. Think about that. Oh, and because I love the commercial, even though it doesn’t relate to -ism, I wanted to include it.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm6iyOq0v-Y

Enhanced by Zemanta

Word of the Day — Chartreuse

Now that's a chartreuse dress!

Now that’s a chartreuse dress!

Ah, color. Apparently this is a color week what with lavender, puce, and now Chartreuse.  There used to be a Crayola crayon that was chartreuse, then I think they retired that name, but I loved using it because it was oh so French.  And a very pretty color.  Why that color today?  Well, driving to the vets yesterday, there was one field that was completely this color. A gorgeous bright spring green. Neon knock  your socks off.

char·treuse

noun \shär-ˈtrüz, -ˈtrüs\

Definition of chartreuse

:  a variable color averaging a brilliant yellow green
OR

Chartreuse trademark

—used for a usually green or yellow liqueur
And another meaning of the word via Wikipedia because I’m too lazy to write it out tonight.  Plus I have All Quiet on the Western Front and a Maisie Dobbs book I want to get into before bed.

Chartreuse (US /ʃɑrˈtrz/, /ʃɑrˈtrs/ or RP /ʃɑːˈtrɜːz/;[2] French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁtʁœz]) (the web color) is a color halfway between yellow and green that was named because of its resemblance to the green color of one of the French liqueurs called green chartreuse, introduced in 1764. Similarly, chartreuse yellow is a yellow color mixed with a small amount of green that was named because of its resemblance to the color of one of the French liqueurs called yellow chartreuse, introduced in 1838.[3]

I love using or thinking about using this color word partly because it’s fun to say. But it means some of the prettiest greens out there. Like the word mint. I love mint because it’s such a pretty color, or celery green. Yes, I love greens. So, when was the last time you thought about the color chartreuse?
Signing off
~Kate
Enhanced by Zemanta

Word of the Day — Puce

I think I first payed attention to this word from Monsters, Inc. when Sully has to go find the files that Mike was supposed to file and he mentions the color puce.  Puce.  Such a fun word to say, but it brings to mind more puke than a good color.

puce

noun \ˈpyüs\

Definition of PUCE

:  a dark red

Or

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Puce (variant spellings: “puse”, “peuse” or “peuce”) is a dark red or purple brown color,[2] a brownish purple [3][4] or a dark reddish brown.

It’s actually not that pretty of a color and puke could be puce…..  I can see why the Origin of it is this

Origin of PUCE

French, literally, flea, from Old French pulce, from Latin pulic-, pulex — more at psylla

First Known Use: 1833
If you see fleas, they kind of have this color.  Especially when filled with blood.  Okay, so while it’s a fun word to say, I am grossing myself out.
Hi there, everyone at wordpress.  Am I getting you in the mood today?  Haha!  Below is the color. I’d say more mauve, but hey.
PuceHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #722F37
sRGBB  (rgb) (114, 47, 55)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (0, 59, 52, 55)
HSV       (h, s, v) (353°, 59%, 45[1]%)
Source ISCC-NBS
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

So, while I’m not sure I would ever use puce, feel free to for yourselves.

Signing off

~Kate

Enhanced by Zemanta

Word of the Day — Lavender

Lavendar flower

Lavendar flower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Apis mellifera & Lavandula angust...
Apis mellifera & Lavandula angustifolia in Belgium (Hamois). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

pantone_colors_spring_2011_lavender

A color, a plant, lavender is something that either makes you think of a sweet summertime floral scent, or a cool misty color. Known for a semi mourning color, because shades of purple and mauve have been traditional for half mourning, it also evokes the image of a little old lady. Or maybe it makes you think of twilight, not the book or film, but that time of night when the sun has set and the sky takes on shades of blue and purple. Lavender shadows on the snow. A field of lavender.

1lav·en·der

noun \ˈla-vən-dər\

: a plant with narrow leaves and small purple flowers that have a sweet smell

: the dried leaves and flowers of the lavender plant used to make clothes and fabrics smell pleasant

: a pale purple color

From my gushing, can you tell that I like the word lavender?  I do. I love the images it evokes.  I use it in poetry and descriptions abound with the word lavender.  The fact that it’s a color, a time of day, an herb, a scent, a feeling.  It’s such a useful word. And fun too. Maybe it helps that it’s Latin.

Signing off

~Kate

Enhanced by Zemanta

Word of the Day — Aitch

Aitch.  Yes, surprisingly this is a word.  Though how you can say a sound is a word blows my mind.  Any guesses as to what aitch means?  No?  Don’t feel bad. I had to read the definition a couple times in the dictionary before it made any sense.  Guess the blonde hair was out in full force.

aitch

noun \ˈāch\

Definition of AITCH

:  the letter h
Yes, that is all it stands for.  The phonetic spelling of the letter H.  And today’s post is brought to you by the letter H.  Hat, hairy, and Hampshire.  Oh, pardon. In Hartford, Harriford, and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly happen…..
Unfortunately I’m not quite sure how I will ever use aitch in a sentence.  Maybe a poem… a la e.e. cummings.  Who knows.
So enjoy that bit of word trivia today.  Oh, and here is some other trivia…. hidden amongst this post.  This specific post is number 300!  Wow, I’ve written three hundred things? That is just not possible! Woo Hoo!
Signing off
~Kate
Enhanced by Zemanta

WordPress Writing Quotes

I’ve loved how when you post on WordPress now, you get this fun or thought provoking quote about writing on the side.  (Note for people posting… you don’t see the quote if you schedule your posts. Only if you actually post right when you finish typing)  So, I’ve been ‘collecting’ them over the past couple months.  Recently they have repeated themselves, but I’ve collected a nice amount. So, enjoy.  Oh, and clearly I’m not the only one who has enjoyed the quotes.  Just check out the related articles below.

I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them.   ~ Anne Rice

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.   ~ Benjamin Disraeli

A metaphor is like a simile.   ~ Author Unknown

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.   ~ Carol Burnett

I am a drinker with writing problems.   ~ Brendan Behan

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.   ~ Phyllis Theroux

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.   ~ W. Somerset Maugham

 I do not like to write – I like to have written.   ~ Gloria Steinem

Easy reading is damn hard writing.  ~ Nathanial Hawthorne

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.      ~ Anais Nin

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.  ~Jules Renard

I do not like to write – I like to have written.  ~ Gloria Steinem

The desire to write grows with writing.  ~ Desiderius Erasmus

Signing off

~Kate