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Words and all that

Word power

Interesting words I encountered while wandering through the blogosphere.

prepossession (pree-puh-zesh-uh-n), n. -- a prejudice or bias, especially in favor of a person or thing, as in: "When I encounter someone with a liberal prepossession, I listen to his arguments a little more suspiciously."

Yes, your imminents

Oh, Dear God in Heaven, please save us!

Researchers Predice 'Imminent Collapse' Of Universe After Period Of Rapid Expansion

Oh, wait.

Word power

Interesting words I encountered while meandering through the blogosphere:

gobsmacked (GOB-smakt), adj. -- Brithish slang (though used here, too) for utterly astounded, astonished, flabbergasted, as in: "I was gobsmacked that TeD Cruz could talk so eloquently for more than a half hour without using a teleprompter."

Not a people person

Word power

Interesting words I encountered while meandering through the blogosphere:

epistemic (ep-uh-STEE-mik, STEM-ik), adj. -- of or relating to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it, as in: "Poor reasoning can result in epistemic distorions, leading to a wrong conclusion and a poor decision" or "I can't swear that my reliance on search engines instead of encyclopedias has improved my epistemic habits."

Word power

Interesting words I encountered while meandering through the blogosphere:

razzia (RAZ-ee-uh), n. -- a plundering raid, as in "The United States is being overwhelmed by a razzia of uncontrolled immigration."

Ain't no right way

Those rotten kids and all that texting, I tell you. With the way they abbreviate and make up acronyms and leave grammar behind, they are just ruinin' the English language, ruinin' it, I tell you.

But hold on there, not so fast:

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."

Word time

Time for one of my periodic rants about the misuse of words. I've encountered two big ones in the same week, one of them twice.

The twofer is "slight" of hand instead of "sleight" of hand to mean prestidigitation, magic, fooling people, etc. Look, they sound the same, but mean different things, 'K? The only correct way to use "slight of hand" is to mean somebody with teeny, tiny hands. One of the goofs was in a newspaper article that should have been edited better, the other in a best-selling novel by an author who should know better.

The write stuff

I'm always on the lookout for good writing tips, both to improve my own work and to pass along to others who want to do likewise. Here's a good piece with six tips from Harvard's Steven Pinker. Two are expecially worth mentioning here.

The first is "Don't bury the lead":