Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sep
19
2013

platitude

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

plae tih tud

noun

1. an overused, dull, or trivial remark; hackneyed expression; cliché.
example: He was grieving, and hearing platitudes like “time heals all wounds” did nothing to ease his pain.

2. the quality of being unoriginal, dull, or trite.

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Sep
18
2013

Neologisms: what makes a new word sticky?

What does it take to invent a word that takes root in the American English language–at least for a while? Ralph Keyes suggests that necessity (new things demand new names) and, on the part of the coiner, not trying too hard, have often been a successful recipe. Read Keyes’ tour of American neologisms here: Is There a Word for That? in The American Scholar.

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Sep
18
2013

Word of the Day: maven

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

maven

meI vihn

noun

a person with specialized knowledge, often in practical or everyday matters; expert or connoisseur.
example: Her housewares brand and a successful cable show have made her a lifestyle maven.
example: I’m impressed that you’ve become such a wine maven.

Word History

The word “maven” is a fairly recent addition to English, having entered the language from the Yiddish meyvn (from Hebrew mebhin, “one who understands”) in the 1960s. In Time Magazine, the word first appears in the 1970s, three times, with “marigold maven” Burpee, “[Loch Ness] monster maven,” and “fast-food maven.” In the 450,000,000-word Corpus of Contemporary American English, the most frequent kind of maven mentioned is the “media maven,” with “style,” “food,” “makeup,” “marketing,” “fashion,” “word” and “policy,”  and “lifestyle” mavens also being typical.In the same corpus, Martha Stewart is the person most frequently called a “maven.” Oprah’s there too, as a “talk-show maven.”

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Sep
18
2013

likely

Posted in Academic Vocabulary of the Day by admin2

laIk li

adjective
definition:  probable; quite possible.
example:  It’s likely that flights will be delayed because of the snowstorm.
example:  Being allergic to dogs, it’s not likely that she would adopt one as a pet.

adverb
definition:  probably
example:  With the flame so high, he will likely burn the pan.
(more…)

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Sep
17
2013

persist

p@r sIst

intransitive verb
definition 1:  to last or continue in a steadfast, stubborn, or tenacious way .
example:  Freezing weather persisted for several weeks.

definition 2:  to continue steadfastly in a task or course of action or hold steadfastly to a belief or commitment; persevere.
example:  Although they were under great pressure, some senators persisted in opposing the bill. 

definition 3:  to pursue stubbornly or insistently a demand, line of questioning, or the like.
example:  The witness appeared close to weeping, but the lawyer persisted.

(more…)

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