Posts Tagged ‘The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraodinarily Literate’

I’ve Changed My Mind!

July 26, 2017

I have never actually encountered this word before and according to the difficulty index, few English speakers likely know this word.  Following weeks of negotiations, imagine our surprise at the abrupt, 11th-hour volte-face.

volte-face

\ volt-fahs, vohlt-; French vawltuhfas \, noun;

  1.  a turnabout, especially a reversal of opinion or policy.
  2.  a complete change of one’s attitude toward something.

Sources: www.dictionary.com and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Let’s Not Quibble!

July 3, 2017

When I think back to last April’s NCAA tournament, we can pettifog over the lineups and player rotations all you want, but ultimately, the Spartans lost to the Jayhawks because Michigan State wasn’t hitting their shots down the final stretch.

pettifog

\ pet-ee-fog, -fawg \, verb;

  1. to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
  2. to carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business.
  3. to practice chicanery of any sort.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich and http://www.dictionary.com

Spruce Things Up a Bit!

June 13, 2017

Many an owner will go to great lengths to titivate their home before putting the house on the market in the hopes of further enticing a buyer.

titivate

\ tituh-veyt \, verb;

  1. spruce up
  2. adorn
  3. put the finishing touches to

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

A Shrewish Wife!

May 3, 2017

When one thinks of a quarrelsome or nagging wife, one name (word) immediately comes to mind . . . Shakespeare was wise to use the word “shrew” instead (The Taming of the Shrew).

Xanthippe or Xantippe

\ zan-tip-ee \, noun;

  1. the wife of Socrates
  2. a scolding or ill-tempered wife; a shrewish woman

Source: The Highly Selective Dicationary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Repudiate or Request Earnestly?!

April 11, 2017

Here are a couple of uncommon words that, while similarly spelled, mean totally different things.  For example (from The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate): “My attorney advised me to abjure any further action that could be construed as harassment of my ex-wife,” and “The judge testily adjured the witness to speak before the jury only in response to questions put to her by her attorneys.”

abjure

\ ab-joo r, jur \, verb;

1.  to renounce, repudiate, or retract, especially with formal solemnity; recant
2.  to renounce or give up under oath; forswear
3.  to avoid or shun.
While . . .

adjure

uhjoo r \, verb
1.  to charge, bind, or command earnestly and solemnly, often under oath or the threat of a penalty.
2.  to entreat or request earnestly or solemnly.
Source: http://www.dictionary.com, and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Threatening!

February 28, 2017

“Some held knives, scalpels, syringes, objects he could not recognize tho their minatory nature was all too apparent.” (Usage example courtesy of fatLingo.com)

minatory

minuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee \, adjective;

  1.  menacing; threatening.

    Some additional synonyms might include the following: abusive, blustering, bulldozing, comminatory, fear-inspiring, hectoring, intimidating, menacing, ominous, terrorizing, and threatful.

Source: http://www.dictionary.com

Some Puns Are Intended!

January 31, 2017

I’ve long used paronomasia as a form of humor which has elicited many a groan over the years.

paronomasia

\ par-uh-noh-mey-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh \, noun;

Rhetoric
1.  the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound to achieve a specific effect, as humor or a dual meaning; punning
2.  a pun

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Why Just Say ‘Evil’. . . ?!

January 24, 2017

. . . when there are so many other words that could be used instead (and for variety).

evil

\ ee-vuh l \, adjective;

According to http://www.dictionary.com, evil is defined as:

1.  morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked
2.  harmful; injurious 
3.  characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate;disastrous

4.  due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character
5.  marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.

noun
6.  that which is evil; evil quality, intention, or conduct
7.  the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin.
8.  the wicked or immoral part of someone or something 
9.  harm; mischief; misfortune  
10.  anything causing injury or harm  
11.  a harmful aspect, effect, or consequence  
12.  a disease, as king’s evil

adverb
13.  in an evil manner; badly; ill  

Idioms
14. the evil one, the devil; Satan
But according to my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, here are some other options to help extend your vocabulary (depending on your specific need or usage):

Source: The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Sought After!

December 19, 2016

I was never shy to talk about my career path (from police officer to librarian) and how I was able to build a library from scratch.  This was more than enough to make me recherché among my librarian peers.

recherché

\ ruh-shair-shey, ruhshair-shey; French ruh-shershey \, adjective;

1.  sought out with care.
2.  very rare, exotic, or choice; arcane; obscure.
3.  of studied refinement or elegance; precious; affected; pretentious.
Source: http://www.dictionary.com and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literateby Eugene Ehrlich.

Things Are Getting Cloudy!

November 28, 2016

Here in Oklahoma, especially during tornado season, I have witnessed many a storm that obnubilates the sky.

obnubilate

\ ob-noo-buh-leyt, –nyoo– \, noun;

 1.  to cloud over; becloud; obscure.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.