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Sunday, March 23, 2008

CARTESIAN



A.Word.A.Day -- cartesian
A.Word.A.Day--cartesian
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Cartesian (kar-TEE-zhuhn) adjective

Of or relating to Descartes, his theories, methods, or philosophy, especially its emphasis on mechanistic interpretation.

[From Cartesius, Latin form of Descartes, after philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650).]

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus.

"To visit a modern CAFO (Confined/Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) is to enter a world that, for all its technological sophistication, is still designed according to Cartesian principles: animals are machines incapable of feeling pain. Since no thinking person can possibly believe this any more, industrial animal agriculture depends on a suspension of belief on the part of the people who operate it and a willingness to avert your eyes on the part of everyone else."
Michael Pollan; An Animal's Place; The New York Times; Nov 10, 2002.

X-Bonus
When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze. -Thomas Carlyle, historian and essayist (1795-1881)

CARTESIAN: "of or relating to Descartes"

From Wordsmith.org:

Cartesian (kar-TEE-zhuhn) adjective



Of or relating to Descartes, his theories, methods, or philosophy,

especially its emphasis on mechanistic interpretation.



[From Cartesius, Latin form of Descartes, after philosopher René Descartes

(1596-1650).]




"To visit a modern CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) is to enter a

world that, for all its technological sophistication, is still designed

according to Cartesian principles: animals are machines incapable of

feeling pain. Since no thinking person can possibly believe this any more,

industrial animal agriculture depends on a suspension of disbelief on the

part of the people who operate it and a willingness to avert your eyes on

the part of everyone else."

Michael Pollan; An Animal's Place; The New York Times; Nov 10, 2002.

KARUNA: "loving compassion"

FROM Wordsmith.org

karuna (KUH-roo-na) noun



Loving compassion.



[From Sanskrit karuna (compassion).]



"Once we experience and feel this inter-dependence of all living beings,

we will cease to hurt, humiliate, exploit and kill another. We will want

to free all sentient beings from suffering. This is karuna, compassion,

which in turn gives rise to the responsibility to create happiness and

its causes for all."

Suresh Jindal; Interdependence of All Living Beings; The Times of India

(New Delhi); Nov 13, 2003.




REMUNERATE: "to pay an equivalent to for any service, loss, or expense"

From Dictionary.com

Word of the Day for Saturday, March 22, 2008



remunerate \rih-MYOO-nuh-rate\, transitive verb:


1. To pay an equivalent to for any service, loss, or expense; to recompense.

2. To compensate for; to make payment for.



Not to suggest that our bosses remunerate
us for our high moral standards, but creative bureaucrats at Mesa City
Hall have invented a new fund from tax revenue that sets up a $20,000
account for each virtuous City Council member.
-- Art Thomason, "Mesa Puts Quite a Price on Discretion", Arizona Republic, May 18, 2000


The plaintiff could therefore only recover payment for her
services if there was evidence of an implied or express contract by the
business of which he was a partner (or by the plaintiff personally) to remunerate her for the work which she had done.
-- Kate O'Hanlon, "No damages for wife's gratuitous work", Independent, May 27, 1999


[The firm] wanted to meet long-term investment requirements out of retained profits and also to be able to properly remunerate all the staff and give them a share of the profits.
-- Roger Trapp, "Legal firms 'go offshore' to avoid litigation", Independent, May 2, 1996




Remunerate comes from Latin remunerari, "to reward," from re-, "back, again" + munerari, "to give, to present," from munus, "a gift."


Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for remunerate

ANATHEMA: "a ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity" ALSO "unpleasant person"

Word of the Day for Sunday, March 23, 2008



anathema \uh-NATH-uh-muh\, noun:


1. A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by
ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by excommunication. Hence:
Denunciation of anything as accursed.

2. An imprecation; a curse; a malediction.

3. Any person or thing anathematized, or cursed by ecclesiastical authority.

4. Any person or thing that is intensely disliked.



The Communists were not prepared to accept any compromises; it was anathema to them that Tibet should have an international personality beyond being a region of China.
-- Tsering Shakya, The Dragon in the Land of Snows:A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947


Academies, the argument went, were anathema to creativity.
-- Deborah Solomon, "How to Succeed In Art", New York Times, June 27, 1999


Advertising was anathema to the Internet ethos, theysaid, and people would never pay for on-line material.
-- Steve Lohr, "The Freewheeling Net Meets the Free Market", New York Times, June 9, 1996




Anathema comes from the Greek word meaning "a thing devoted," especially a thing devoted to evil, hence "a curse," from anatithenai, "to dedicate, to set up," from ana, "up" + tithenai, "to place or put."


Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for anathema

Friday, March 14, 2008

DIFFIDENT: "lacking self-confidence; timid; unassertive"

Word of the Day for Wednesday, March 12, 2008



diffident \DIF-uh-dunt; -dent\, adjective:


1. Lacking self-confidence; distrustful of one's own powers; timid; bashful.

2. Characterized by modest reserve; unassertive.



He lived naturally in a condition that many greater poets never had, or if they had it, were embarrassed or diffident about it: a total commitment to his own powers of invention, a complete loss of himself in his materials.
-- James Dickey, "The Geek of Poetry", New York Times, December 23, 1979


This schism is embodied in Clarence's two sons: cheerful,
pushy, book-ignorant Jared, a semicriminal entrepreneur who has caught
"the rhythm of America to come" and for whom life is explained in brash
epigrams from the trenches, versus slow, diffident
Teddy, the town postman, uncomfortable with given notions of manhood,
uncompetitive ("yet this seemed the only way to be an American") and
disturbed that others misstate "the delicate nature of reality as he
needed to grasp it for himself."
-- Julian Barnes, "Grand Illusion", New York Times, January 28, 1996


Minny was too delicate and diffident to ask her cousin outright to take her to Europe.
-- Brooke Allen, "Borrowed Lives", New York Times, May 16, 1999




Diffident is from the present participle of Latin diffidere, "to mistrust, to have no confidence," from dis- + fidere, "to trust." The noun form is diffidence.


Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for diffident

CIRCUMBENDIBUS: "in a roundabout way"

circumbendibus (sur-kuhm-BEN-duh-buhs) noun

Circumlocution.

[From Latin circum- (around) + English bend + Latin -ibus.]


-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"There are times when [George] Steiner does the exact opposite, dressing
up banalities in the most clotted, Latinate and circumbendibus waffle
in order to make them appear profound."
Christopher Hart; Speaking in Tongues; Sunday Times (London, UK);
Jan 6, 2008.


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BEDIZEN: "To dress or adorn in gaudy manner"

Word of the Day for Friday, March 14, 2008



bedizen \bih-DY-zuhn\, transitive verb:


To dress or adorn in gaudy manner.



At 18, he attended a party "frizzled, powdered and curled, in radiant pink satin, with waistcoat bedizened
with gems of pink paste and a mosaic of colored foils and a hat blazing
with 5,000 metallic beads," according to Michael Battersberry in
"Fashion, The Mirror of History."
-- Donna Larcen, "Details Details: Everything Old Is New Again", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 19, 1994


. . .Ford's 2001-model F-150 SuperCrew "Harley-Davidson" model. This special edition pickup truck is bedizened with enough chrome, leather, and H-D logos to bring a RUBbie (Rich Urban Biker) weeping to his knees.
-- "Summer Autos 2001", Newsday, May 19, 2001




Bedizen is the prefix be-, "completely; thoroughly; excessively" + dizen, an archaic word meaning "to deck out in fine clothes and ornaments," from Middle Dutch disen, "to dress (a distaff) with flax ready for spinning," from Middle Low German dise, "the bunch of flax placed on a distaff."


Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for bedizen

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