Abandoning WordPress

Dear Reader,

I want to start by thanking you for following this humble blog.  I introduced One Word Each Day WordPress, in part to teach myself how to use the WordPress service. I can appreciate how annoying format changes can be so thank you for your patience.

If you enjoy my word articles, I invite you to visit One Word Each Day at its new home.  I will definitely be continuing the service, in large part because I enjoy it, but more importantly because I believe that language is the most powerful technology we have and we must preserve the ideas embedded in our language.

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Posted in One Word Each Day

52. Diaspora

(letters – 8 | syllables – 4)
(scrabble score – 11)

  • |noun| the body of Jews (or Jewish communities outside Palestine or modern Israel
  • |noun| the dispersion or spreading of something that was initially localized (as in a people or language or culture)

(Wolfram Alpha)

Diaspora

|capitalized|

  • |noun| the settling of scattered colonies of Jews outside Palestine after the Babylonian exile
  • |noun| the area outside Palestine settled by Jews
  • |noun| the Jews living outside Palestine or modern Israel

diaspora

  • |noun| the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland
  • |noun| people settled far from their ancestral homelands
  • |noun| people settled far from their ancestral homelands African diaspora
  • |noun|the place where these people live

(Merriam-Webster)

Origin and Etymology of ‘Diaspora’:

1876, from Greek diaspora “dispersion,” from diaspeirein “to scatter about, disperse,” from dia- “about, across” (see dia-) + speirein “to scatter” (see sprout). The Greek word was used in Septuagint in Deuteronomy xxviii.25. A Hebrew word for it is galuth “exile.” Related: Diasporic.
(Etymonline)

Posted in Diaspora, One Word Each Day | Tagged ,

51. Asymmetric

Asymmetric

(letters – 10 | syllables – 4 )

  • |adjective| characterized by asymmetry in the spatial arrangement or placement of parts or components.

Assymetry:

  • |noun| a lack of symmetry

Symmetry:

  • |noun| (mathematics) an attribute of a shape or relation; exact reflection of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane
  • |noun| balance among the parts of something
  • |noun| (physics) the property of being isotropic; having the same value when measured in different directions

(Wolfram Alpha)

Brick work deteriorating from time and weather.

Asymmetry in devolving brickwork

Asymmetric

  • |adjective| having two sides or halves that are not the same : not symmetrical
  • |adjective|not symmetrical

(Merriam-Webster)

Origin and Etymology of Asymmetric:

asymmetrical (adj.)
1680s; see asymmetry + -ical. Other forms that have served as an adjective based on asymmetry are asymmetral (1620s), asymmetrous (1660s), and asymmetric (1875); only the last seems to have any currency. Related: Asymmetrically

Asymmetry:

1650s, “want of symmetry or proportion,” from Greek asymmetria, noun of quality from asymmetros “having no common measure; disproportionate, unsymmetrical,” from a- “not” + symmetros “commensurable” (see symmetry).


Bloggers Note:

The term ‘asymmetric warfare’ is used extensively to describe battle operations by Department of Defense Officials. After researching however, I have come to realize that the term has become ubiquitous across many disciplines and sometimes in very interesting ways.

Asymmetric Information: When one party has much more information or data than another and is therefore in a better position to gain advantage.

http://www.cato-unbound.org/2015/04/06/alex-tabarrok-tyler-cowen/end-asymmetric-information

Asymmetric political polarization:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/yes-polarization-is-asymmetric-and-conservatives-are-worse/373044/

Asymmetric warfare:

http://warontherocks.com/2015/06/bad-guys-know-what-works-asymmetric-warfare-and-the-third-offset/

Posted in Asymmetric, One Word Each Day | Tagged , , , ,

50. Portmanteau

portmanteau
(letters – 11 | syllables – 3 )
(scrabble score – 15)

  1. |noun| a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings.
  2. |noun|a large travelling bag made of stiff leather

(Wolfram Alpha)

  1. |noun| A large travelling bag, typically made of stiff leather and opening into two equal parts.
  2. |noun| A word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others, for example: motel or brunch.
  3. |noun| [AS MODIFIER] Consisting of or combining two or more aspects or qualities.

(Oxford Dictionary)

  1. |noun| a large suitcase.
  2. |noun| a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms.

(Merriam-Webster)

Origin and Etymology of ‘portmanteau’:

  • “1580s, ‘traveling case or bag for clothes and other necessaries,’ from Middle French portemanteau “traveling bag,” originally “court official who carried a prince’s mantle” (1540s), from porte, imperative of porter “to carry” (see porter (n.1)) + manteau “cloak” (see mantle (n.)).Portmanteau word is a “word blending the sound of two different words” (1882), coined by “Lewis Carroll” (Charles L. Dodgson, 1832-1898) for the sort of words he invented for “Jabberwocky,” on notion of “two meanings packed up into one word.” As a noun in this sense from 1872.

(Etymonline)

Bloggers Note:

The writer Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) has Humpty-Dumpty define the term as so:

“You see it’s like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word.”

I find Humpty’s a far more elegant description of the usage which Carroll himself coined, than those presented above.

Thus, a term which had hitherto been somewhat specialized to a, no doubt dreary, field of luggage science took upon an entirely different future than it might have otherwise. The magician strikes again, you see.

For my purpose, I encountered the term while engaging in research for an entirely separate website I maintain. ‘Portmanteau‘ I found, in use describing a fresh term known as ‘Lawfare‘ the conjunction of ‘law,’ and ‘warfare.’ Incidentally this succeeds as a truly Dodgson-esque portmanteau only because the ‘war’ part of warfare is removed, otherwise it would have been a conjunction. To understand that is to understand that although portmanteaus succeed in creating a new thing out of two separate things, certain parts of those separate things must be lost.

This brings to mind the adage of breaking eggs to make an omelet, an irony that I’m sure was not lost upon Dodgson and his fictitious Humpty-Dumpty.

[A Warning:

For those ambitious researchers who decide to look into the matter themselves, I would like to give you a fair warning beforehand. Each word I post, is accompanied with a ‘featured image.’ In most cases these images are my own creations, but occasionally I must peruse the Internet in search of the proper Image to augment the explanation in question.  

search for ‘Humpty Dumpty’ imagery, can be quite disturbing.  The metaphor works on many different levels and is imbued with deep-level meaning so as to touch facets of the consciousness you may or may not be aware of. The more profoundly that a story or image is seeded into the mind, the more disturbing I find the connatations of that image to be when represented online. Words beget Ideas in a magical sense and not necessarily in a positive way each time. That is my warning, take it as you will. ]

-j

Posted in Alchemy, One Word Each Day, portmanteau, Words | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

49. Citadel

 Citadel

(letters – 7 | syllables – 3)
(scrabble score – 10)

  1. |noun| a stronghold into which people could go for shelter during a battle.

|anagram| ‘dialect’

|synonyms|
bastion, kremlin

(Wolfram Alpha)

  1. |noun| castle or fort that in past times was used to protect the people of a city if the city was attacked.
  2. |noun| a fortress that commands a city

(Merriam-Webster)

  1. |noun| A fortress, typically one on high ground above a city.
  2. |noun| a meeting hall of the Salvation Army.

(Oxford Dictionaries)

“The term is a diminutive of “city” and thus means “little city”, so called because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core.”

“Also: The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, commonly referred to simply as The Citadel, is a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston, South Carolina, United States.”
(Wikipedia)

Derivative:
Citadelled
: Having the form of or resembling a citadel; housed in or as if in a citadel; having a citadel or citadels.
Origin
Mid 19th century.

Origin and Etymology of ‘Citadel’ :

1580s, “fortress commanding a city,” from Middle French citadelle (15c.), from Italian cittadella, diminutive of Old Italian cittade “city” (Modern Italian citta), from Latin civitatem (nominative civitas; also source of Portuguese citadella, Spanish ciuadela; see city).(Etymonline)

Bloggers Note:

Posted in One Word Each Day | Tagged ,

#48. Rubric

Rubric

(letters – 6 | syllables – 2 )
(scrabble score – 10)

  1. |noun| an authoritative rule of conduct or procedure
  2. |noun| an explanation or definition of an obscure word in a text.
  3. |noun| directions for the conduct of Christian church services (often printed in red in a prayer book)
  4. |noun| | a heading that names a statute or legislative bill; may give a brief summary of the matters it deals with
  5. |noun| a title or heading that is printed in red or in a special type
  6. |noun| category name
  7. |verb| Adorn with ruby red color.

(Wolfram Alpha)

  • “Centuries ago, whenever manuscript writers inserted special instructions or explanations into a book, they put them in red ink to set them off from the black used in the main text. (They used the same practice to highlight saints’ names and holy days in calendars, a practice which gave us the term red-letter day.) Ultimately, such special headings or comments came to be called rubrics, a term that traces back to ruber, the Latin word for “red.” While the printing sense remains in use today, rubric also has an extended sense referring to any class or category under which something is organized. “

(Merriam-Webster)

Origin and Etymology of. :

c. 1300, “directions in religious services” (often in red writing), from Old French rubrique, rubriche “rubric, title” (13c.), from Latin rubrica “red ochre, red coloring matter,” from ruber, from PIE root *rudhro- (see red). Meaning “title or heading of a book” is from early 15c. Related: Rubrical

(Etymonline)

Posted in One Word Each Day, rubric | Tagged , ,

#47. Metacognition

 

#47. Metacognition:

(letters – 13 | syllables – 5 )
(scrabble score – na )

  1. |noun| the underlying consciousness of perceptive analysis and thought.
Moon upon the water

Moonlight upon the waves

(Wolfram Alpha)

  1. |noun| Psychology-
    Awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.

(Oxford Dictionary)

  1. |noun| awareness or analysis of one’s own learning or thinking processes

(Merriam-Webster)

How does God see?

Bloggers Note:

Although a search may indicate metacognition is an educational topic, and indeed its implications extend profoundly into education science, in reality the concept has existed for far longer. The idea, in fact has a deep tradition in both Eastern and Western thought. Even before the modern thrust of eastern Yogis began asserting itself on the undercurrents of societal belief, thinkers such as Manly Hall and Alan Watt were softly guiding the reluctant masses to:”think about thinking,” and “separate mind from body,” in both literal and actual sense.

Certainly metacognition, though not by that name, resided in the occult tradition for far longer than most non-initiates might suspect. Although academic studies have furthered our understanding greatly, it is the occultists and alchemists from whom metacognition, conceptually, was raised ‘from a babe’ as you would.

If you want more ‘metacognition ‘try this excellent site:

Global Cogniton

Do animals have metacognitive abilites?  Scientific American examines whether Scrub Jays can know they are thinking.

Let me know what you think of metacognition by leaving a comment below.

The Ocean mirrors a firework

Metacognitive Mirroring

Posted in metacogniton, One Word Each Day | Tagged , , , ,

Preposterous

Preposterous

#46. Preposterous:

(letters – 12| syllables – 4 )

  1. |adj.| incongruous, inviting ridicule

(Wolfram Alpha)

  1. |adj.| Very silly or stupid
  2. |adj.| Completely unreasonable and ridiculous, not to be believed.

(Cambridge Dictionary)

  1. |adjective|contrary to nature, reason, or common sense

(Merriam-Webster)

  1. |adj.| with the hinder part first. before reversed, inverted, perverted.

(Century Dictionary 1911)

  1. |adj.| Having that first which ought to be last; inverted in order. [Obs.]
  2. |adj.| Contrary to nature or reason; not adapted to the end; utterly and glaringly foolish; unreasonably absurd; perverted.

(Websters revised unabridged 1913)

Origin and Etymology of preposterous:

1540s, from Latin praeposterus “absurd, contrary to nature, inverted, perverted, in reverse order,” literally “before-behind” (compare topsy-turvy, cart before the horse), from prae “before” + posterus “subsequent.” Related: Preposterously; preposterousness
(Etymonline)

Bloggers Note:

Preposterous is of interest to me because it combines two Latin prefixes pre-, and post-.  I can’t help but consider their meaning when evaluating the term’s subtext.  Research brought clarity and I now see that the meaning has indeed evolved from the once staid ‘out of order’ context implied by the Latin, to the ‘silly’ definition applied to it today. Pun intended.

Incidentally, I found Wolfram’s defintion the most notable, largely because of its open-ness. In fact wolfram’s definition one might safely allow ‘preposterous’ use without intending offense, but instead perhaps intending complimentary sentiments depending upon circumstance. Such a turn would have be un-allowable by the callous definitions of mainstream dictionaries  that followed. 

Just in case:

Incongruous: not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something.

-j

Posted in One Word Each Day, preposterous | Tagged ,

#45. Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis:

(letters – 13 | syllables – 5)
(scrabble score – n/a)

  1. |noun| the marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in some animals
  2. |noun| a striking change in appearance or character or circumstances
  3. |noun| a complete change of physical form or substance especially as by magic or witchcraft

(Wolfram Alpha)

Metamorphosis:

  1. |noun| a typically marked and more or less abrupt developmental change in the form or structure of an animal (as a butterfly or a frog) occurring subsequent to birth or hatching

(Merriam-Webster)

Origin and Etymology of metamorphosis:

metamorphosis (n.)
1530s, “change of form or shape,” especially by witchcraft, from Latin metamorphosis, from Greek metamorphosis “a transforming, a transformation,” from metamorphoun “to transform, to be transfigured,” from meta- “change” (see meta-) + morphe “form” (see Morpheus). Biological sense is from 1660s. As the title of Ovid’s work, late 14c., Metamorphoseos, from Latin Metamorphoses (plural).
metamorphose (v.)
1570s, from Middle French métamorphoser (16c.), from métamorphose (n.), from Latin metamorphosis (see metamorphosis). Related: Metamorphosed. The Greek verb was metamorphoun.
(Etymonline)

Bloggers Note:

Sidestepping the not insignificant biological implications posed by the term, I’d like to focus instead upon its literary iterations. Being the title and theme of Ovid’s, the famed Roman writers, ‘ poetic opus, ‘metamorphosis’ existed as a high brow term through most of its English history. Ovid’s poem itself is extensive and encompasses 15 books taking the reader from the flood myth through the life of Julius Ceaser; incorporating the metamorphosis theme throughout.
In Ovid’s work this theme many times takes the form of inversion; putting things on their heads. Most notably the relative position of Man and the Gods Many of Ovids Gods are seen as slaves to their desires while humans are portrayed having the ability to transcend such base limitations.

Thus it becomes doubly ironic that ‘metamorphosis’ comes to its own inversion in the work of Franz Kafka, in eminently more readable form, in his work of the same name. Far from being transcendent any longer, a man takes on the odious position of metamorphosizing into a beetle or even cockroach (though scholars dispute which). It is Kafka’s work that influences the modern mind to greater degree, in large part due to its proximity and dissemination.

What are we to make of this inversion?

In an earlier evaluation, I discussed the term ‘fecund’ and it’s relationship to ‘feces,’ and the inversion it endured by means now lost in time. Mental association is indeed a magic being played upon the mind, but where the spell cast upon ‘faeces’ is the work of unknown sorcery, at least with ‘metamorphosis,’ we have the names of the principal magicians in question.

  • j
Posted in metamorphosis, One Word Each Day | Tagged , ,

43. Dexter & 44. Sinister

Dexter and Sinister

Dexter: (letters – 6| syllables 2)
Sinister: (letters – 7| syllables 3)

Dexter(scrabble score -14) Sinister(scrabble score -8)

DEXTERHeraldic Term
1 |adjective| on or starting from the wearer’s right.
Derivations: Dextrous, dexterity,

SINISTER:
1 |adjective| threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments.
2 |adjective| stemming from evil characteristics or forces; wicked or dishonorable.
Heraldic Term
3. |adjective| on or starting from the wearer’s left
(Wolfram Alpha)

Bloggers Note
In heraldry references of right-dexter and left-sinister concern spatial relation ship between the escutcheon, or shield, and that of the person holding it. We as viewers of said shield inevitably see its front or face anf therefore are looking upon the mirror images of the design from the designers point of view. ‘Dexter’ then, refers the side of the escutcheon to the right of the person behind it, facing the viewer. ‘Sinister’ refers to the shield-holders left the viewers right.

Also you may hear the terms ‘Bend Dexter‘or ‘Bend Sinister‘. These refer the the strips that diagonally cover Shields from the top of the side referred. Thus a bend dexter looks like this:

While a bend sinister looks:

Heraldry itself being a sort of proto-semiotics trade is quite fascinating and a search of the topic can lead down quite wondrous rabbit holes.
-j

Origin of Dexter and Sinister:

Dexter:
masc. proper name, from Latin dexter “on the right hand” (see dexterity). Compare also ‘benjamin’

Sinister:
Early 15c., “prompted by malice or ill-will, intending to mislead,” from Old French senestre, sinistre “contrary, false; unfavorable; to the left” (14c.), from Latin sinister “left, on the left side” (opposite of dexter), of uncertain origin. Perhaps meaning properly “the slower or weaker hand” [Tucker], but Klein and Buck suggest it’s a euphemism (see left (adj.)) connected with the root of Sanskrit saniyan “more useful, more advantageous.” With contrastive or comparative suffix -ter, as in dexter (see dexterity).

The Latin word was used in augury in the sense of “unlucky, unfavorable” (omens, especially bird flights, seen on the left hand were regarded as portending misfortune), and thus sinister acquired a sense of “harmful, unfavorable, adverse.” This was from Greek influence, reflecting the early Greek practice of facing north when observing omens. In genuine Roman auspices, the augurs faced south and left was favorable. Thus sinister also retained a secondary sense in Latin of “favorable, auspicious, fortunate, lucky.”

Meaning “evil” is from late 15c. Used in heraldry from 1560s to indicate “left, to the left.” Bend (not “bar”) sinister in heraldry indicates illegitimacy and preserves the literal sense of “on or from the left side” (though in heraldry this is from the view of the bearer of the shield, not the observer of it).

dexterous (adj.)
c. 1600, “convenient, suitable,” formed in English from Latin dexter (see dexterity) + -ous. Meaning “skillful, clever” is from 1620s.
dexterity (n.)
1520s, from Middle French dexterité (16c.), from Latin dexteritatem (nominative dexteritas) “readiness, skillfulness, prosperity,” from dexter “skillful,” also “right (hand)” (source of Old French destre, Spanish diestro, etc.), from PIE root *deks- “on the right hand,” hence “south” to one facing east (source also of Sanskrit daksinah “on the right hand, southern, skillful;” Avestan dashina- “on the right hand;” Greek dexios “on the right hand,” also “fortunate, clever;” Old Irish dess “on the right hand, southern;” Welsh deheu; Gaulish Dexsiva, name of a goddess of fortune; Gothic taihswa; Lithuanian desinas; Old Church Slavonic desnu, Russian desnoj). The Latin form is with the comparative suffix -ter, thus meaning etymologically “the better direction.” Middle English dester meant “right hand,” and in heraldry dexter means “on the right side.”
(Etymonline)

Posted in Dexter, One Word Each Day, Sinister | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments