Wordcraft Community Home Page
Book Reviews: Fertile Ground for Word-Hunting

This topic can be found at:

October 14, 2009, 09:04
Book Reviews: Fertile Ground for Word-Hunting
Ordinary, everyday reading often presents you with words you could add to your vocabulary. To demonstrate this, I like to periodically offer a theme of "Words Found in Recent Reading". At least that's my rationale for such themes. (They're also easy for me to prepare.)

Doing so, I was struck by how many of my quotes came from book reviews. Could it be that book reviewers like to display their erudition by using fancy words? For whatever reason, finding good words it book reviews is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.prelapsarian – relating to the period before the fall of Adam and Eve; hence, innocent, unspoilt, carefree
October 16, 2009, 07:26
triumphalism – a smug or boastful attitude of your own side's victory or superiority
(such as in the supposed superiority of one's religion, nationality or ideology)

From the same source as our last quote:
October 17, 2009, 07:40
darkling – dark; dim; also, occurring in the dark
dyspeptic – suffering from indigestion (dyspepsia – indigestion); but more commonly figurative: morosely irritable, as if suffering from indigestion
polemicist – one aggressively attacking the opinions or principles of another; a controversialist
October 18, 2009, 09:44
fissiparous – tending to break up into parts; divisive [akin to fission]

Quoting further from yesterday's source. Talk about being dyspeptic!
October 19, 2009, 05:13
Robert Arvanitis
Merriam-Webster says of "dyspeptic:"

Etymology: Latin, from Greek, from dys- + pepsis digestion, from peptein, pessein to cook, digest.

From that we get the common meaning of "pessimistic."

In the case of Mr. Derbyshire, we should consider whether he truly is dyspeptic, or has perhaps better digested the implications of current macroeconomic and demographic trends.

October 21, 2009, 20:28
When I look pessismistic up, it says: "[French pessimisme (on the model of optimisme, optimism), from Latin pessimus, worst; see ped- in Indo-European roots.]
October 21, 2009, 22:53
or has perhaps better digested the implications of current macroeconomic and demographic trends.

His seems like the kind of stomach that can tolerate only the bland and flavorless without filling with bile. I'll take my chances with the children and leftists; fools, alas, are everywhere.
October 22, 2009, 05:09

Pessimistic and dyspeptic are not etymologically related.

Ceci n'est pas un seing.