Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I torment my students on occasion with "fun with words," impromptu little vocabulary or etymology lessons. Sometimes it's apropos of what we're studying; sometimes it's just me getting exuberant over certain words I just think are cool. Lately, the mot du jour was "specious," which gave me an excuse to quote Lisa Simpson's use of it vis a vis the bear patrol. That of course led into a explication of certain logical fallacies, most notably post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Which, incidentally, is a phrase I know solely for the fact that it was used on the West Wing once.

Wow, I can really get pedantic sometimes, no? Ah well. Deal.

Other favourite words: malevolent, quotidian, melifluous, amsculescent, putative, dessicated, illuminati, liminal, interstitial.

OK, I made one of those up.

Anyway, the one running through my head today is an all-time favourite: serendipity. Defined basically as a happy coincidence. It's making the rounds because of today's Savage Chickens posting. Savage Chickens, listed among my favourite links here, is a blog of insane chicken cartoons that range from the groanworthy to the inspired ... and I used one a few posts ago to punctuate my entry on the fading appeal of boneless-skinless-chicken breasts (yet another fascinating episode in my intellectual musings). During the post I briefly considered and quickly dismissed the possibility of turning to tofu. And then this morning? This cartoon:

Glass houses, chicken-dudes. But seriously, if you haven't yet done so, check out Savage Chickens ... truly inspired.


Chris B said...

amsculescent is a perfectly cromulent word.

Anonymous said...

You're not the only one who can get really pedantic sometimes...

"mellifluous" has three "l"s, and "desiccated" has one "s" and two "c"s.

Ah well. Deal.

Chris in NF said...

Hoisted on my own petard!

"Petard" is a pretty cool word too. And it's a single letter away from "retard" as in "being too retarded to do a spell check."

Lesley said...

You English geeks...always trying to make yourselves look smarter than the rest of us (although, in my case, that's totally true)!!

Chris in NF said...

It's our compensation for never making very much money.

mr. tomas ubik said...

the comin made me laugh, the comments made me dizzy.