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I am stunned to realize that it's been years since we've presented a theme of Words that Sound Dirty, but Aren't. It's time to get our minds back in the gutter.

titular – (the adjective form of "title"): of or relating to a title (especially: existing in name only; nominal: the titular head of the family)
    Grampa was still the titular head, but he no longer ruled. His position was honorary and a matter of custom. But he did have the right of first comment, no matter how silly his old mind might be.
    – John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
 
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flocculent – wool-like, esp.: of a loosely clumped texture, like tufts of wool; more commonly, something that causes such clumping

Our first quote, from an article titled The great hair battle, notes the delicious irony that "every silver lining has a cloud".
    I belong to a small minority group, men with uncontrollably thick hair -- that is, males who were dispatched into the world with extreme follicular overload, and have retained it against the depredations of time, bad diets, stress and cheap shampoo. The age-old fear among bald men that their condition suggests premature aging and attenuated sexual potency is something that we need not contend with. But below the flocculent surface there is another trying reality. We face a lifetime of struggle attempting to tame hair that is so dense, and so obdurate, that its maintenance eclipses many other vital daily pursuits, like picking up the kids from school.
    – Salon, May 26, 2004 (ellipses omitted; text re-ordered)

    … lambs mature into the older, flocculent statesmen of the clovered fields they roam …
    – Times, May 10, 2008

    The pond was a disconcerting grey and … Simpson was intending to pour in a purifying agent to clear the water. 'It's called a colloidal flocculent,' he explained. 'You pour it into the pond and it binds with the debris which is in suspension in the water and falls to the bottom.'
    – Times, Apr. 6, 2003
 
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castrametation – the art or science of laying out a camp

So says the dictionary, which might lead you to think that the word could be apply to your next camping trip. But in my judgment, the word refers to a military camp or fort.
    A space for ground, large enough to accommodate perhaps thirty tents, according to the Crusaders' rules of castrametation, was partly vacant-because, in ostentation, the knight had demanded ground to the extent of his original retinue …
    – Sir Walter Scott, Talisman
Some related terms and distinctions:
    Castrametation in its strictest technical sense is the art of laying out camps and placing the troops so that the different arms of the service afford support to each other. … Troops at rest are said to be in "camp" when in tents or huts, and when it is probable that they will remain some time; they are said to be in "bivouac" when they have no shelter except such as each soldier carries or is able to improvise with material available in the vicinity, or when near the enemy and when they are to remain but a short time; and they are said to he in "cantonment" when lodged in houses and inhabited places and ready to resume military operations at short notice.
    – Herbert Everett Tutherly, Elementary treatise on military science and the art of war‎ (1898)
 
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Well, this one is borderline.

The Latin stem serves for "castle." the "*chester" ending of certain British cities, and of course "castrate."

See this from etymoline.com:

castle
late O.E. castel, from O.N.Fr. castel, from L. castellum "fortified village," dim. of castrum "fort;" cognate with O.Ir. cather, Welsh caer "town" (and perhaps related to castrare "cut off"). This word had come to O.E. as ceaster and formed the -caster and -chester in place names.


RJA
 
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Today's word is sometimes spelled shist, which increases its "seems dirty" factor. The adjective form is shistose or schistose.

schist – a coarse-grained rock, metamorphic, which consists of (and can be split into) layers of different minerals
[Greek skhistos split]
    The author of these hand-wringing transmissions was a geologist. … He was continually pestering Berlin with details of his plans for the spring, the schists and coal seams he intended to unearth.
    – Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
 
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I'm presenting an ordinary garden-variety word today, not a fancy flowery one. But the illustrative story is irresistible.

horticulture – the study or activity of growing garden plants
[from Latin hortus garden]

It's reputed that when "horticulture" was presented to Dorothy Parker as her challenge in a game of Can-You-Give-Me-A-Sentence?, she immediately responded with this bon mot:
    "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think."
Motto for apprentice seamstresses: As ye sew, so shall ye rip.
 
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P.S.:
– re yesterday's word: If you practice horticulture, are you horticultivating?
– re yesterday's Parker quote: Is Parker implying that horticulture is an oxymoron?

Let us move on. We've seen that horticulture is the culture (or cultivating) of gardens, not of (w)hor(e)s. One that basis, what is a horologist devoted to: to gardens, or to (w)hor(e)s?

Neither. It's still another "hoary" root.

horologist – a clockmaker; a person who makes or repairs clocks or watches
[from Greek hora time, hour. horology – the science, study, or art of measuring time]

Watchmaking imagery has long been part of "Does God exist?" arguments and the evolutionist-vs-creationist debate. The Blind Watchmaker was a recent popular book by evolutionist Richard Dawkins. And Dawkins' title echoes a memorable watchmaker-analogy, in a prominent 1802 statement of the opposing "intelligent design" view. "The watch must have had a maker," that work had argued, and its opening words are quoted (inexactly) within the quotation below.
    In his book Natural Theology, published in 1802, Anglican theologian William Paley made what was regarded for more than a century as an irrefutable argument for the existence of God. "In crossing a heath," Paley wrote, "suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there: I might possibly answer, that for any thing I know to the contrary, it had lain there forever." But suppose, Paley continued, "I had found a watch upon the ground, I should hardly think of the answer I had given before." Paley's point was that you don't have to be a horologist to see right away that the watch was intentionally designed.
    – Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great About Christianity

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Watchmaking imagery has long been part of "Does God exist?" arguments and the evolutionist-vs-creationist debate.

Is that still a hot topic in the USA? The only people I have ever met in the UK who still deny the theory of evolution are religious extremist such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and their ilk.


Richard English
 
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Is that still a hot topic in the USA?

Check out this site. He's a former TV star / atheist who converted to Christianity and is a devout Creationist. He's in the news because, for Darwin's 150th anniversary, he intends to pass out Origin f Species to college students. However, his is a special edition with a fifty=page introduction which supposedly refutes evolution and ascribes its existence to the worst ideas of Hitler and Stalin.


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Is that still a hot topic in the USA?

Yes, it's not just a debate but includes litigation, too. The neo-creationist intelligent design movement has been wasting public resources trying to get their flavor of fundamentalist religion (e.g., evangelical Christianity, Roman Catholicism) to be taught in science classes. I'm not sure what the demographics of it are.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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PBS recently aired a documentary about the battle a small mid-western town went through to keep Creationist textbooks out of their classrooms. Thr group pushing the new books said they had nothing to do with Creationism but were instead based on Intelligent Design (as if that was different).

When the case went to court, one piece of evidence that blew their claim out of the water was a draft of the book in question. In the original draft the word "creationism" was in place throughout. But the next draft had the word replaced by "Intelligent Design." The gambit might have worked except the change was made on a computer which didn't 'find and replace' correctly, so each instance said something like "CreaIntelligent Designtionism."


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Check out this site. He's a former TV star / atheist who converted to Christianity and is a devout Creationist.

I didn't get as far as reading his beliefs. Any website that tries to force me to listen to its creator's choice of music provokes one of two responses from me - "click to return to previous page" - or "click to close".

quote:
However, his is a special edition with a fifty=page introduction which supposedly refutes evolution and ascribes its existence to the worst ideas of Hitler and Stalin.

Do you know, I had always believed that Stalin and Hitler lived after Darwin...


Richard English
 
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In the original draft the word "creationism" was in place throughout. But the next draft had the word replaced by "Intelligent Design." The gambit might have worked except the change was made on a computer which didn't 'find and replace' correctly, so each instance said something like "CreaIntelligent Designtionism."

That sounds to me like very unintelligent design.


Richard English
 
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The neo-creationist intelligent design movement has been wasting public resources trying to get their flavor of fundamentalist religion (e.g., evangelical Christianity, Roman Catholicism) to be taught in science classes.

Interesting that this link leads to one of the longest Wikipedia articles I have ever seen.

Sixteen pages discussing, in great detail, a concept that is a load of complete cobblers.


Richard English
 
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I had always believed that Stalin and Hitler lived after Darwin...

Guess I didn't word that correctly. He claims they were unduly influenced by Darwin and misused his conclusions.

Is that clearer?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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I did have another go and tried to find where this character had said what you ascribe to him, but I couldn't find it. And whenever I went to the home page I got that foul music of his - at full volume even though I had muted it - and so just gave up. What kind of idiot forces people to listen to his choice of music when what he really wants is for people to look at his website?

Ah yes, an idiot who believes in the dubious and quite unproven writings of a few ignorant writers of two-thousand years ago.


Richard English
 
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I don't think his site goes into the controversial statements. It seems more concerned with selling his videos and books. There are other sites that are more informational if you google his name.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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More info about Mr Cameron and his beliefs can be gleaned by visiting Wikipedia and reading the article on him (link).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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petcock – a small valve or faucet used to drain or reduce pressure, as from a boiler

The well-equipped lady, Betty Crocker advises, keeps a petcock in the kitchen.
    A pressure canner is a large heavy pot … and has a tight-fitting lid with a vent petcock and … pressure gauge and safety fuse. It's important to use only this type of canner for low-acid foods, such as meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables.
    Betty Crocker Cookbook: New Tenth Edition
 
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Petcock? What about a peacock?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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I took a look at the Wikipedia article and saw this item ".... In this picture, Cameron cites the lack of a "crocoduck" as evidence against evolution...."

I have heard this nonsense before from the likes of the Jehovah's Witnesses, who also seem to believe that the theory of evolution suggests that everything will, sooner or later, evolve. Which of course it doesn't.

Mr Cameron claims that, because he's never seen a crocoduck, evolution is a falsehood. Well, he's never seen a god either, so presumably that is also proof that a deity is a falsehood.


Richard English
 
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Originally posted by Proofreader:
PBS recently aired a documentary about the battle a small mid-western town went through to keep Creationist textbooks out of their classrooms. Thr group pushing the new books said they had nothing to do with Creationism but were instead based on Intelligent Design (as if that was different).

When the case went to court, one piece of evidence that blew their claim out of the water was a draft of the book in question. In the original draft the word "creationism" was in place throughout. But the next draft had the word replaced by "Intelligent Design." The gambit might have worked except the change was made on a computer which didn't 'find and replace' correctly, so each instance said something like "CreaIntelligent Designtionism."


They incorrectly replaced "creationists" with "design proponents" and got "cdesign proponentsists".

At the trial, ID creationist Michael Behe admitted that if ID was a scientific theory, then so was astrology.

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They incorrectly replaced "creationists" with "design proponents" and got "cdesign proponentsists".

Thanks, Goofy. I knew they replaced the words incorrectly but it's been quite some time since I saw the film.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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