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14Oct Tuesday, October 14, 2008 – Otiose

Otiose \OH-shee-ohs; OH-tee-\, adjective: 1. Ineffective; futile. 2. Being at leisure; lazy; indolent; idle. 3. Of no use. Mr. Federspiel’s surreal flourishes and commentaries straddle the line between interesting and otiose. Most of the surrealism is pretty but pointless. — D. F. Wallace, “The Million-Dollar Tattoo”, New York Times, May 5, 1991 Although the wild […]

13Oct Monday, October 13, 2008 – sobriquet

Sobriquet \SO-brih-kay; -ket; so-brih-KAY; -KET\, noun: A nickname; an assumed name; an epithet. In addition to his notorious amours, he became distinguished for a turbulent naval career, particularly for the storms he weathered, thus bringing him the sobriquet “Foulweather Jack”. — Phyllis Grosskurth, Byron: The Flawed Angel At a small reception on the occasion of […]

12Oct Sunday, October 12, 2008 – Euphonious

Euphonious \yoo-FOH-nee-uhs\, adjective: Pleasing or sweet in sound; smooth-sounding. She combines alliteration and deft word choices with the grace of an oral storyteller, creating euphonious and precise sentences that are perfect for reading aloud. — Amy L. Cohn, “Children’s Books”, New York Times, March 10, 1991 Einstein originally proposed the more appropriate (but less euphonious) […]

12Oct Saturday, October 11, 2008 – Plaudit

Plaudit \PLAW-dit\, noun: 1. A round or demonstration of applause. 2. Enthusiastic approval; an expression of praise. A large, robust man, he had earned the plaudits bestowed on him at that testimonial dinner through a lifetime of earnest toil. — James T. Fisher, Dr. America The aim of the wise man was no longer the […]

12Oct Friday, October 10, 2008 – Legerdemain

Legerdemain \lej-ur-duh-MAIN\, noun: 1. Sleight of hand. 2. A display of skill, trickery, or artful deception. We are inclined to regard the treatment of [paradoxes] . . . as a mere legerdemain of words. — Benjamin Jowett, Dialogues of Plato Their alleged legerdemain at the blackjack table and roulette wheel of the luxurious Salle Anglaise […]

12Oct Thursday, October 9, 2008 – Aficionado

Thursday, October 9, 2008 Aficionado \uh-fish-ee-uh-NAH-doh\, noun: An enthusiastic admirer; a fan. An aficionado of Chinese food, Diffie was also known for carrying around a pair of elegant chopsticks, much the way a serious billiard player totes his favorite cue. — Steven Levy, Crypto Aficionados of spy fiction may find the plot by itself enough […]

12Oct Wednesday, October 8, 2008 – Circumlocution

Circumlocution \sir-kuhm-loh-KYOO-shuhn\, noun: The use of many words to express an idea that might be expressed by few; indirect or roundabout language. Dickens gave us the classic picture of official heartlessness: the government Circumlocution Office, burial ground of hope in “Little Dorrit.” — “Balance of Hardships”, New York Times, September 28, 1999 In a delightful […]

12Oct Tuesday, October 7, 2008 – implacable

Implacable \im-PLAK-uh-bull\, adjective: Not placable; not to be appeased; incapable of being pacified; inexorable; as, an implacable foe. For it is my office to prosecute the guilty with implacable zeal. — Paola Capriolo, Floria Tosca (translated by Liz Heron) He… then continued on up the road, his shoulders bent beneath the implacable sun. — Arturo […]

12Oct Monday, October 6, 2008 – Officious

Officious \uh-FISH-uhs\, adjective: Marked by excessive eagerness in offering services or advice where they are neither requested nor needed; meddlesome. Ian Holm plays a well-meaning but officious lawyer who tries to make the grieving families sue for damages. — John Simon, “Minus Four”, National Review, February 9, 1998 The guy was an officious twerp, but […]

12Oct Sunday, October 5, 2008 – Rubicund

Rubicund \ROO-bih-kund\, adjective: Inclining to redness; ruddy; red. The men are second cousins, around forty, resembling each other not very much, one taller and leaner, less rubicund than the other, who has just returned from California. — John Lukacs, A Thread of Years Rubicund from his cocktail, big, broad, lustrous with power, he exuded what […]