Word of the Week Wednesday: draconian

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: draconian

Draconian means harsh or severe as in a law or its enforcement.

The word comes from Draco, who established the first constitution of Athens.

The fact that draco is also the Latin word for dragon, also known to be harsh and severe, seems to be entirely coincidental.




Word of the Week Wednesday: concupiscence

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: concupiscence

Concupiscence mean a strong yearning or desire, usual is a sensual or carnal sense.

Since I strive to keep this blog PG-13, I chose the image of cupid rather than the many, many more explicit images that Google Image Search returns.

I also chose the image  because the words share the same Latin root: cupere, to long for.

It’s basically a fancy latinate word for lust.  As a result, I learned the word while growing up going to Catholic School.


Word of the Week Wednesday: befuddle

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: befuddle

Befuddle, like many previous words of the week means to confuse or perplex.

Also, like many of the similar words I’ve chosen previously, I think this word is just fun.

Maybe it’s a function of the concept of confusions that gives so many of its synonyms an amusing sound.

Maybe it’s a quality of self-deprecation; the ability to laugh at our own limitations that causes us to tend towards amusing-sounding words to describe not being at our best.

It could also be something of a defense mechanism to convince ourselves that, even though everything’s not quite right, it’s not all that bad.


Word of the Week Wednesday: discombobulate

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: discombobulate

I picked this word just because it’s fun.

Discombobulate means confuse, befuddle or flummox.

It’s quite an informal word, almost slangy.  It also lends itself to self-deprecation.

It gives the impression that one is admitting to not having all of one’s pieces in the right places; all one’s “bob” misplaced.

Table Topics Thursday: Topic 17

This Thursday’s Table Topics question is: Is it always better to know the truth, even when it hurts?

I would say that it’s usually better to know the truth and I’m not sure that how much it hurts is necessarily a factor for when it’s better and when it’s not.

Beyond the truths that are just none of my business, there are truths that it probably wouldn’t help me to know.

For instance, if someone had said unkind things about me once or twice, I understand that nobody is perfect and everyone can be mean and unthinking from time to time, but if occasional gossiping or venting is not a sign of anything more serious, I don’t see the benefit of knowing about it.

Granted, that answer took a whole High School, “Mean Girls” turn but I’m sure there are other instances where an unpleasant truth is not necessary for me to know.

So, what do you think? Is it always better to know the truth, even when it hurts?

Word of the Week Wednesday: anecdote and antidote

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is a twofer.  The words are anecdote and antidote.

These words are unrelated.  An anecdote is a short, usually amusing story and an antidote is a remedy for poison or, figuratively, for anything negative.

I’m presenting the two words together because I’ve noticed how often they’re used in place of each other in speech, or at least sound as if they are.

What I’ve noticed more often than someone saying “antidote” when they mean “anecdote” is that both words tend to sound identical when not fully pronounced.

Many people will not pronounce the c in anecdote and will also not pronounce the first t in antidote.  As a result, both words tend to come out sounding like an-uh-dote.

While this confusion occasionally manifests in the written word, I  suspect that that’s probably an outgrowth of hearing them as the same word.

So, that’s my weekly dose of pedantry.  Join me next Wednesday for more.


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