mercurial

Word of the Day

mercurial

adjective
mer·​cu·​ri·​al | \ (ˌ)mər-ˈkyu̇r-ē-əl \
1 of, relating to, or born under the planet Mercury
2 having qualities of eloquence, ingenuity, or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury or to the influence of the planet Mercury
3 characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood
4 of, relating to, containing, or caused by mercury
noun
a pharmaceutical or chemical containing mercury

-=0=-

Bob does not have a mercurial personality. His wife describes him as “entirely predictable”.

catachresis

Word of the Day

catachresis

noun
cat·​a·​chre·​sis | \ ˌka-tə-ˈkrē-səs \
plural catachreses\ ˌka-​tə-​ˈkrē-​ˌsēz \
1 use of the wrong word for the context
2 use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of speech (such as blind mouths)

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Joe was oft unwitting,
When choosing a word that’s fitting,
And thinking that catachresis
Was how to write out sneezes.
Of course, the rest of us knew
It was best to write “Katchoo!”

Be careful to avoid going down a mute alley while searching for the best chance to use today’s word. 😉

paradox

Word of the Day

paradox

noun
par·​a·​dox | \ ˈper-ə-ˌdäks, ˈpa-rə- \
1 one (such as a person, situation, or action) having seemingly contradictory qualities or phases
2a a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true
2b a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true
2c an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises
3 a tenet contrary to received opinion

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The hope associated with buying a lottery ticket is a paradox, considering the odds against winning.

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ad hoc

Word of the Day

ad hoc

adverb
\ ˈad-ˈhäk, -ˈhōk, ˈäd-ˈhōk \
for the particular end or case at hand without consideration of wider application
adjective
1a concerned with a particular end or purpose
1b formed or used for specific or immediate problems or needs
2 fashioned from whatever is immediately available : improvised

-=O=-

This is just an ad hoc sentence about today’s word.

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niggle

Word of the Day

niggle

verb
nig·​gle | \ ˈni-gəl \
niggled; niggling\ ˈni-​g(ə-​)liŋ \
intransitive verb
1a trifle
1b to spend too much effort on minor details
2 to find fault constantly in a petty way : carp she haggles, she niggles, she wears out our patience— Virginia Woolf
3 gnaw
transitive verb
to give stingily or in tiny portions
noun
chiefly British
a trifling doubt, objection, or complaint

-=O=-

Henri wished he were a “broad strokes” kind of guy, but he simply could not avoid niggling over every comma in any document. His software documentation was woefully unfinished. It didn’t help at all that his first draft was always done with a quill.

indoctrinate

Word of the Day

indoctrinate

verb
in·​doc·​tri·​nate | \ in-ˈdäk-trə-ˌnāt \
indoctrinated; indoctrinating
transitive verb
1 to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle
2 to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments : teach

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Bob never tried to indoctrinate his students at any time during his time as a teacher. He wished, instead, to expand their horizons.

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Coming up with a workable illustration for “indoctrinate” was difficult.

I hope it works to have used an optical illusion.

It may well be a stretch as an appropriate illustration, but I think illusions try to “convince” us of something which isn’t true, though it may take some work to see through the illusion, like indoctrination.

accompany

Word of the Day

accompany

verb
ac·​com·​pa·​ny | \ ə-ˈkəmp-nē, -ˈkämp-; -ˈkəm-pə-, -ˈkäm- \
accompanied; accompanying
transitive verb
1 to go with as an associate or companion
2 to perform an accompaniment to or for
3a to cause to be in association
3b to be in association with
intransitive verb
music : to perform an accompaniment

-=0=-

Bob accompanied his beloved wife to her appointment.

epithet

Word of the Day

epithet

noun
ep·​i·​thet | \ ˈe-pə-ˌthet also -thət \
1a a characterizing word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of the name of a person or thing
1b a disparaging or abusive word or phrase
1c the part of a taxonomic name identifying a subordinate unit within a genus

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Lefty smiled as he greeted his nearest neighbor with his traditional epithet, “Howdy, Hoss!”

esoteric

Word of the Day

esoteric

adjective
es·​o·​ter·​ic | \ ˌe-sə-ˈter-ik, -ˈte-rik \
1a designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone
1b requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group
2a limited to a small circle
2b private, confidential
3 of special, rare, or unusual interest

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There is nothing esoteric about this sentence, except that it contains the word, of course.

balance

Word of the Day

balance

noun
bal·​ance | \ ˈba-lən(t)s \
1a physical equilibrium
1b the ability to retain one’s balance
2a stability produced by even distribution of weight on each side of the vertical axis when the two sides of the scale are in balance
2b equipoise between contrasting, opposing, or interacting elements

[Snipped the much longer definition entry from Merriam-Webster in the interest of space…or possibly to save time…or just being lazy.]

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It is often tricky to achieve writing balance, somewhere between verbosity and concise clarity.