Ramblings & ephemera

1 Henry VI: contrarities

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (II: 3): COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE: This is a riddling merchant for the nonce; He will be here, and yet he is not here: How can these contrarieties agree? contrarities: contradictions

1 Henry VI: captivate

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (II: 3): COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE: But now the substance shall endure the like, And I will chain these legs and arms of thine, That hast by tyranny these many years Wasted our country, slain our citizens And sent our sons and husbands captivate. captivate: past participle of captured, […]

1 Henry VI: servitor

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (II: 1): First Sentinel: Thus are poor servitors, When others sleep upon their quiet beds, Constrain’d to watch in darkness, rain and cold. servitor: One that performs the duties of a servant to another; an attendant; in this case, soldiers. [Middle English servitour, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin servÄ«tor, […]

1 Henry VI: an urn … rich-jewel’d of Darius

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 6): CHARLES: ‘Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won; For which I will divide my crown with her, And all the priests and friars in my realm Shall in procession sing her endless praise. A statelier pyramis to her I’ll rear Than Rhodope’s or […]

1 Henry VI: Astraea

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 6): CHARLES: Divinest creature, Astraea’s daughter, How shall I honour thee for this success? Astraea: in Greek religion and mythology, goddess of justice; daughter of Zeus and Themis. Because of the wickedness of man, she withdrew from the earth at the end of the Golden Age and […]

1 Henry VI: an example of euphuism

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 5): TALBOT: My thoughts are whirled like a potter’s wheel; I know not where I am, nor what I do; A witch, by fear, not force, like Hannibal, Drives back our troops and conquers as she lists: So bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench Are […]

1 Henry VI: contrived

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 4): TALBOT: Accursed tower! accursed fatal hand That hath contrived this woful tragedy! contrived: planned, devised

1 Henry VI: espials

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 4): Master Gunner: The prince’s espials have informed me How the English, in the suburbs close intrench’d, Wont, through a secret grate of iron bars In yonder tower, to overpeer the city, And thence discover how with most advantage They may vex us with shot, or with […]

1 Henry VI: sirrah

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 4): Enter, on the walls, a Master Gunner and his Boy Master-Gunner: Sirrah, thou know’st how Orleans is besieged, And how the English have the suburbs won. sirrah: a contemptuous term of address to an inferior man or boy; often used in anger

1 Henry VI: contumeliously

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I: 3): Mayor: Fie, lords! that you, being supreme magistrates, Thus contumeliously should break the peace! contumeliously : Exhibiting contumely; rudely contemptuous; insolent; disdainful.

Word of the day: Froschmäusekrieg

Froschmäusekrieg: Literally, “war between the frogs and the mice”, a poem attributed to Homer (Batrachomyomachia), a satire about the pointlessness of war or feuding.

Word of the day: creative destruction

From Wikipedia’s “Creative destruction” (13 July 2006): Creative destruction, introduced by the economist Joseph Schumpeter, describes the process of industrial transformation that accompanies radical innovation. In Schumpeter’s vision of capitalism, innovative entry by entrepreneurs was the force that sustained long-term economic growth, even as it destroyed the value of established companies that enjoyed some degree […]

Word of the day: Synecdoche

Adapted from Wikipedia’s “Synecdoche“: Synecdoche is a figure of speech that presents a kind of metaphor in which: * A part of something is used for the whole (“hands” to refer to workers, “head” for cattle, “threads” for clothing, “wheels” for car, “mouths to feed” for hungry people, “The Press” for news media) * The […]

Word of the day: pareidolia

Pareidolia (from Greek para– amiss, faulty, wrong + eidolon, diminutive of eidos appearance, form) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (usually an image) being mistakenly perceived as recognizable. Common examples include images of animals or faces in clouds, seeing the man in the moon, and hearing messages on records played in […]

Word of the day: disemvoweling

Disemvoweling: removing the vowels from a message board troll’s posts. First performed (to my knowledge) by Teresa Nielsen Hayden at http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/001551.html#001551.

Word of the day: lucubration

lu·cu·bra·tion, n. 1. Laborious study or meditation. 2. Writing produced by laborious effort or study, especially pedantic or pretentious writing. Often used in the plural.

Word of the day: cunctative

Cunctative: Cunc’ta*tive, a. Slow; tardy; dilatory; causing delay. Cunctator: Cunc*ta’tor, n. [L., lit., a delayer; — applied as a surname to Q. Fabius Maximus.] One who delays or lingers. From Wikipedia’s “Fabius Maximus“: Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (c. 275 BC-203 BC), called Cunctator (the Delayer), was a Roman politician and soldier, born in Rome around […]

Word of the day: aposiopesis

Today’s word: aposiopesis: ap.o.si.o.pe.sis n., pl. -ses [Lat. <Gk. aposiopesis <aposiopan, to become silent: apo- (intensive) + siopan, to be silent <siope, silence] A sudden breaking off of a thought in the middle of a sentence, as though the speaker were unwilling or unable to continue.

Word of the day: larboard

"larboard": the left side of a boat; AKA "port"