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Opening Arguments

Word power

Regular readers will know that I love words, to the point where I used to watch William F. Buckley's "Firing Line," dictionary in hand, just so I could learn new ones. In that spirit, I've decided to create an irregular feature based on "interesting words I encountered while meandering through the blogosphere."

Two today.

farrago (fuh-RAH-goh), n. -- a confused mixture; hodgepodge, medley, as in: "Hillary Clinton's farrago of email explanations gets harder to take with a straight face every day."

perspicuous (per-SPIK-you-uh-s), adj. -- clearly expressed or presented; lucid, as in: "The Republicans' letter to Iran may have been a dumb political move, but it contained a perspicuous explanation of the constitutional role of the Senate in the treaty process." (Related to but not to be confused with: perspicacious (pur-spuh-KAY-shuh-s), adj. -- having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning, as in: "John Kerry's service in Vietnam did not make him a perspicacious observer of foreign affairs.")



Rebecca Mallory
Tue, 03/17/2015 - 6:48am

My favorite Buckley moment was warning his audience that Mortimer Adler's statement on creation should not be perceived as an "apodictic dispensation."

Headed straight for the dictionary on that one.

Leo Morris
Tue, 03/17/2015 - 7:56am

apodictic (ap-uh-DIK-ti), incontestable because of having been demonstrated or proved to be demonstrable; in logic, necessarily true or logically certain. dispensation (dis-pen-SAY-shuh-n) distribution; something that is distributed or given out; in theology, the divine ordering of the affairs of the world. In other words (I think), don't take what Mr. Adler says as gospel.

Thanks for the contribution. Mortimer was another one of my favorites. The Great Books collection with the "Synopticon" he compiled is one of my prized possessions.