Tag Archives: definition

What Could be Worse? (06/08)

Well the day has come, I have finished reading Musicophilia by Dr. Oliver Sacks. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the inter-workings of the brain and its response to music. What I like most about Dr. Sacks’ writing style is that he teaching you, not talking at you. Which makes sense, as he is a professor. Perhaps I should save the book review for goodreads and get on with my post…

This word came up often towards the end of the book: Anhedonia

Now I provide you with a definition…

anhedonia |ˌanhēˈdōnēə; -hi-|
noun Psychiatry
inability to feel pleasure.

anhedonic |-ˈdänik| adjective.

ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from French anhédonie, from Greek an- ‘without’ + hēdonē ‘pleasure.’

Perhaps if I realized that the root of the word was hedonic, I would have figured it out sooner.

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Getting Closer…(04/19 – 04/23)


How often have you walked by a tree and wondered what type of a tree it was? Often, I presume. Such was the case with me and this tree:

Catalpa Tree

Catalpa Tree

It is sometimes called the “Cigar Tree” because the pods visible in the picture above continue to brown. (thus looking like cigars)

The Catalpa tree is found in forests from southern Illinois and Indiana to western Tennessee and Arkansas. First cultivated in 1754, the wood was used for fence posts and railroad ties because of its resistance to rot coupled with the fast growth rate of the tree. In the south, Catalpa trees are traditional sources of fish bait. Catalpa worms, the larvae of Catalpa Sphinx Moths, are eagerly sought in early summer by anglers.

Catalpa Worms

Catalpa Worms

And my Mom would be happy to know that hummingbirds visit these trees.

BOOK IT (04/20)

I learned a bit about book binding:

signature |’signə ch ər; – ch oŏr|

3. Printing a letter or figure printed at the foot of one or more pages of each sheet of a book as a guide in binding.
• a printed sheet after being folded to form a group of pages.


LOOK UP! (but I don’t see anything!)* (04/21)

Perseids |’pərsēidz| Astronomy
an annual meteor shower radiating from a point in the constellation Perseus, reaching a peak about August 12.


Read more at BBC’s website.

*title in reference to an old Detroit Edison commercial featuring Isiah Thomas.

OH DEERE! (04/22)

While sitting in a concept meeting for a book about the John Deere company I learned the following:

The first John Deere tractor was not made until 1912. However, the company began in 1837 selling plows and parts

to read a full chronological history visit Deere.com


I have always love sand dollars. In fact, I remember learning about them in grade school (Catholic School) and something religious being taught about them. (which I found a poem explaining this here.)


Recently, sand dollars came up in a conversation and their genus was questioned. (My guess was there were related to a sponge, I was wrong.)

Sand dollars are of the Phylum Echinodermata, class Echinoidea. They, like the sea urchin, have no arms or legs but move around by tiny spines on their body. Sand dollars are usually found lying in a bed buried under a layer of sand. If a sand dollar is found alive it will appear to have a layer of very fine hair on its body. These are the spines. They are a slow moving grazer that feeds on disintegrating organic material found within their sand beds.

read more.

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Blow it Out Your…(04/05)

Learned a new word today:

embouchure |ämboō sh oŏr|
1 Music the way in which a player applies the mouth to the mouthpiece of a brass or wind instrument.
• the mouthpiece of a flute or a similar instrument.
2 archaic the mouth of a river or valley.

ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: French, from s’emboucher ‘discharge itself by the mouth,’ from emboucher ‘put in or to the mouth,’ from em- ‘into’ + bouche ‘mouth.’

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Whatchamacallit (03/15)

I have heard a lot of talk about bow good the series Battlestar Galactica is, so with some persuasion I watched the debut mini-series. My review is that I can see its potential – my reason for brining it up is that I learned a new word:

gimbal |’gimbəl; ‘jim-|
noun (often gimbals)
a contrivance, typically consisting of rings pivoted at right angles, for keeping an instrument such as a compass or chronometer horizontal in a moving vessel or aircraft.

Not a word that will come up in a daily conversation, but than again, you never know.

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Spume Me (02/01)

I was on the Amtrak train for most of today, but I did manage to pick up new vocabulary today. (What can I say, some days are more exciting than others)

This word came from David Foster Wallace’s essay, A Supposedly Fun Thing I Will Never Do Again, which is about his experience on luxury cruise ship.

spume |spyoōm| poetic/literary
froth or foam, esp. that found on waves.

verb [ intrans. ]
form or produce a mass of froth or foam : water was spuming under the mill.

spumous |-məs| adjective
spumy adjective

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French (e)spume or Latin spuma.

froth or foam or spume

froth or foam or spume

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Word of the Day… (01/26)

Often before going to bed, I like to read a book until I get drowsy. Still other times I enjoy playing a good game of Scrabble on my phone, such was the case last night.

It was during this game that the computer decided to play the word: FIAT

one can not 'fiated'

one can not 'fiated'

This frustrated me because I play by the rules and you CAN NOT use proper nouns. OK – I didn’t really think that the computer was trying to use a proper noun, I just didn’t know what the definition was. I wasn’t too upset about it as I did end up winning the game (318 – 211).

After gaining the satisfaction of winning, I decided to also gain the knowledge of a new definition – and here it is:

a formal authorization or proposition; a decree : adopting a legislative review program, rather than trying to regulate by fiat.
• an arbitrary order : the appraisal dropped the value from $75,000 to $15,000, rendering it worthless by bureaucratic fiat.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin, ‘let it be done,’ from fieri ‘be done or made.’

Now I encourage you do use the word in a sentence this week or at least use in your next game of Scrabble.

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