10 Words You Simply Must Know

July 19, 2006
Today I read an interesting article about linguistics from Encarta. I couldn’t believe what I read. The topic was ”10 Words You Simply Must Know”. I must confess, that I barely knew those words!!!. How the hell in the world, that those words must have been known. The quote is shown as follows;

British novelist Evelyn Waugh once said, “One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilization or it will die.” Encarta editors picked some of their favorite words to nourish your vocabulary. Some of them you may even use. (Tip: Click to see the full definition and hear the word pronounced.)

1. Defenestrate: “throw somebody or something out of window: to throw something or somebody out of a window (formal or humorous)”

It is quite entertaining to defenestrate paper airplanes.

2. Garbology: “study of waste materials: the study of a cultural group by an examination of what it discards”

Garbology might be a good career choice for dumpster divers. Recycling may make the job of future garbologists extremely difficult–they’ll have less to study.

3. Digerati: “computer experts: people who have or claim to have a sophisticated expertise in the area of computers, the Internet, and the World Wide Web”

Not too long ago, computer expertise was considered nerdy. These days, many people strive to be among the digerati.

4. Antipodes:
1. “places at opposite sides of world: places at opposite sides of the world from each other, or the areas at the side of the world opposite from a given place”
2. “opposites: two points, places, or things that are diametrically opposite each other”

One could say that Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli and Warren “Potsie” Weber are antipodes.

5. Hallux: “first digit on the foot: the big toe on the human foot, or the first digit on the hind foot of some mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians (technical)”

The ballerina had her hallux insured for $10 million!

6. Otiose:
1. “not effective: with no useful result or practical purpose”
2. “worthless: with little or no value”
3. “lazy: unwilling or uninterested in working or being active (archaic)”

Will e-mail render traditional letter writing otiose? Let’s hope not.

7. Cullet: “glass to be recycled: broken or waste glass returned for recycling”

Don’t forget to take the cullet out to the curbside, and be sure to put it next to the trash, not in it.

8. Pellucid:
1. “clear in meaning: easy to understand or clear in meaning (formal)”
2. “transparent: allowing all or most light to pass through (literary)”

The police officer’s warning was pellucid: Drivers must go the speed limit in the school zone.

9. Borborygmus: “stomach rumble: the rumbling sounds made by the movement of gases in the stomach and intestine (technical)”

If you lay your head on someone’s stomach, you are likely to hear borborygmus.

10. Expropriate: “take away something belonging to somebody: to take property or money from somebody, either legally for the public good or illegally by theft or fraud”

The thief’s goal was to expropriate the ladies’ jewelry.

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