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Opening Arguments

Word power

Interesting words encountered while wandering through the blogosphere.

disambiguate (dis-am-BIG-you-ate), v. -- to  make unambiguous; remove the uncertainty from (an ambiguous sentence, phrase or other linguistic unit), as in: "Disambiguate that sentence!" the editor shouted at the fledgling writer.

Disambiguation is a large part of what an editor does, and it occurs to me that it's the opposite of what a political speechwriter does. That jobs, I should think, involves making a speech as uncertain as possible. The politican has to be able to come back later and say, "No, I most certainly did not promise to do X -- just go back and listen to my speech if you don't believe me."

Oh, and I guess I broaden my introduction to these entries, to "Interesting words encountered in my readings" since I now include words (like today's) I highlight when reading in my Kindle. It has a nifty feature called vocabulary builder. Every time you highlight a word, it goes into a list that you can call up and study, clicking on the words to see their definitions.