Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Word Search to Your Mother

A reader contributed the following puzzle, made entirely of words covered in "Words to Your Mother". And I do mean entirely. If you find all of the words, there will not be any letters left. As such, to create more of a challenge, I am not providing a list of words in the puzzle: You'll have to figure out for yourself which words they are. You should be able to find 79 words, most or all of which you can find on my last word index. (I don't believe there are any from more recent posts.)

Here you go:



Hiatus is the temporary state that this blog is entering while I do some traveling. I'm not completely sure how often I'll be near an Internet connection, and I don't expect to have much time to make these posts while I'm gone in any case. (In my preparation to leave I haven't even had much time to make them while I'm here.) I might post occasionally, but don't expect my roughly daily post to show up again until early December.

A few things to help hold you over while I'm gone:

The menal_floss blog has a nice little list of words today. See if you can guess which ones are realy and which aren't.

Also, if you want to keep up your vocabulary while I'm gone, here are thirty words randomly selected from the list of words that I've been considering posting about. (The total list would be over 150 words at this point.) I've assigned each word a day for the next month should you choose to go back and research any of them. (I may still use some of these when I get back.)

November 8: hyacinth
November 9: whinge
November 10: recazier
November 11: telemores
November 12: mata hari
November 13: hemantaschen
November 14: piquante
November 15: melanoma
November 16: caprice
November 17: declension
November 18: poxy
November 19: fin de siecle
November 20: triptych
November 21: chalet
November 22: tureen
November 23: sonata
November 24: diaspora
November 25: lannguorous
November 26: funereal
November 27: abortifacient
November 28: aphorism
November 29: furtive
November 30: ichnologist
December 1: scrye
December 2: bugaboo
December 3: mycelium
December 4: inveterate
December 5: usurer
December 6: ferous
December 7: xenial
December 8: zylorimba

technorati tags:, vocabulary, hiatus

Blogged without Flock :-(


Rumspringa is Deitsch for a "running around". In the Amish community, this is a period in which Amish youths are encouraged to explore the "English" world before deciding to live permanently in the Amish community. This usually lasts from age sixteen through to the early twenties. During this time the Amish youths experience things normally considered sinful, potentially including dating, driving, drinking, smoking, and drug use, among other things. According to the Amish, around 80-90% of these youths return to their communty.

technorati tags:, vocabulary, Pennsylvania German, Pennsylvania Dutch, Amish

Blogged without Flock :-(

Monday, November 6, 2006

This blog is officially legitimate

It has attracted attention. How do I know? I just had my first comment spam.

(The message itself has been deleted, but I left the name and time as a memento of this special occasion.)

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Sunday, November 5, 2006


A bicameral government is composed of two separate legislative chambers or branches. The U.S. government is one example of this, since it has both a Senate and a House of Representatives.

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Saturday, November 4, 2006


You might be a victim of neuroses (being unwanted mental lack of mental fitness) if, unlike most folks, you have encountered the symptoms for apophenia.

For example, your tendency to see patterns in otherwise meaningless data might lead you to look suspiciously for a hidden message in every tenth letter in the first paragraph of this post. Lunatic.

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Friday, November 3, 2006


Revenant can mean a few things:

A revenant is one who returns after a lengthy absence.

Another type of revenant is a person who returns from the dead (i.e., a ghost), possibly to achieve a specific goal (e.g., taking revenge on their killer). I believe this is the most common form of the word.

Revenant can also be an adjective meaning something typical of a revenant. Of course, since I firmly believe the dead aren't wandering around, I'm not really sure what a typical sound of a dead person would be. However, "revenant shrieks and groans" is one example phrase that should give you a rough idea.

Revenant can also mean returning or recurring. I would guess this is the least common of the four uses.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006


Something that is crepuscular is dim or like twilight. It can also refer to animals that become active during twilight or between twilight and sunrise.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006


I'm slowing down... I believe this is the first time that I've had a (approximately) 72 hour gap between posts. So, to catch up (although I still insist that this isn't necessarily a daily feature), I will use Flock's "blog this" feature to minimize the amount that I have to write. I'll try to minimize my laziness for future posts. Until then:
ras·ci·ble Pronunciation (-rs-bl, -rs-)adj.1. Prone to outbursts of temper; easily angered.2. Characterized by or resulting from anger.

irascible - definition of irascible by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

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Edit: Due to a daylight-saving-related time warp, this post is listed after the two following posts. Go figure.


My third and final (for the moment) lazy-catch-up post:

A MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or Maguffin) is a plot device that motivates the characters and advances the story, but has little other relevance to the story.The director and producer Alfred Hitchcock popularized both the term "MacGuffin" and the technique. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Hitchcock explained the term in a 1939 lecture at Columbia University: "[W]e have a name in the studio, and we call it the 'MacGuffin.' It is the mechanical element that usually crops up in any story. In crook stories it is always the necklace and in spy stories it is always the papers."

MacGuffin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In medias res

Again, I'm feeling lazy, so I'll let Wikipedia speak for me. I will note that the Star Trek: The Next Generation epsiode "Suspicions" is one of many examples of this technique.

In medias res (Latin for "into the middle of things") is a literary technique where the narrative starts in the middle of the story instead of from its beginning (ab ovo or ab initio). The characters, setting, and conflict are often introduced through a series of flashbacks or through characters relating past events to each other. Classical works such as Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Iliad begin in the middle of the story.

In medias res - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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