Monday, December 20, 2010

Karma Has Something To Say on Etymology Monday

This is what I get, dear readers, for missing two weeks of updates-- karmic punishment in a truly painful method. I signed on to write a post about one of my favorite words, "ignominious," and as with all of my Etymology Monday entries I appealed first to my holy of holies, the OED online. I was shocked to find that the entire site had been redesigned, but the full horror of the situation did not become apparent until I tried to log in and was confronted with a request for my e-mail address.

I have a confession to make. My access to the OED is not strictly on the up-and-up. As far as it is concerned, I am a student at a small British girls' school, and I have a login and password that keeps up this charade. I do not, however, have an e-mail address to correspond with it. 

Oh, loud were my lamentations when I contemplated a future without the Oxford English Dictionary at my fingertips! Great was my woe as I considered having to stoop to! I was about to begin the gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments when I found the regular login screen again, merely moved to a slightly different link. Crisis averted, but a doleful reminder of the sorts of things that can happen if I ever cease my vigilance.

"Ignominious," by the way, is a simply marvelous word. It is formed upon ignominy, which comes from the Latin negative prefix in- added to gnomen, meaning name or reputation. An ignominious man, then, is in such shame and disgrace that he has un-named himself. Mentioned in the definition is another marvelous word, obloquy, coming from Latin roots meaning "to speak against" (ob- + loqui, "to speak.") In Middle English it became mingled with "obliquity," which is connected with "oblique" as in angles, but is also figuratively used to mean "divergence from right conduct or thought; perversity, aberration; an instance of this, a fault, an error." The current definition is acknowledged to be an admixture of both.


Posted by Silent Five @ 3:37 PM

Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

Standard Disclaimer

This is all in no way meant to incur copyright-infringement-related wrath. I'm harmless. I promise. Oh, and if you're offended by anything I may post herein, I guarantee I didn't mean to do so (unless, of course, you are a humorless prig. In which case, go right on and be offended, with my blessings.)