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A few days ago we looked at the word behindhand, a rarely-used known counterpart of beforehand. This week well look at other lesser-known counterparts of common words. In doing so we continue a theme we discussed in * under another title.

inhume – to bury [a person] in a grave or tomb
[The -hum- portion means 'earth'. So too, a 'human' is a creature who, though having the same shape and appetites as a god, is 'of the earth'. Compare Hebrew: adam = man; adamah = earth.

As our quotes show, inhume, like its counterpart exhume, can be used either literally or figuratively.
    For months assistant managing editor Craig Neff has found himself inhumed beneath a wall of papers, surveys actually, 305 in all ...
    – Bill Colson, How the magazine researched its piece on the top 50 college sports schools, Sports Illustrated, April, 1997

    The dead (7,000) outnumber the cadets (4,000) at West Point [US Military Academy]. Some of the inhumed died in war, others in peace , one on the launching pad. But just as all lie under West Point, in the end their loyalties lie with West Point.
    – Bill Kauffman, The West Point Story, American Enterprise, July, 1999 (ellipses omitted)

    While self-fictionalization brings about the Oedipal transgression that requires the boy be resurrected as the adult storyteller, it compels him to inhume a secret, inchoate identity, the name of who he would have been had the story not been written.
    – Robert Ziegler, Studies in Short Fiction, Winter, 1994
 
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Today's adjectives are counterparts of literate and illiterate.

numerate (adj.) – able to think and express oneself effectively in quantitative terms (verb: to count; enumerate). innumerate – antonym of numerate
(noun forms: numeracy; innumeracy)
    "We don't want to get into a row over Prince Charles, but what business wants is youngsters who are literate, numerate and motivated to get on."
    – BBC News, Nov. 19, 2004, quoting spokesman for The Confederation of British Industry, re debate sparked by Prince's comments about the schools
The term numerate seems to be much more common in Britspeak than in USspeak. At the moment, Google-News has 12 current cites from the Commonwealth (ten of them from the UK), and only two from the US.
 
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Ubiquitous – being everywhere at the same time; omnipresent – is a fairly common word. The noun form is ubiquity, 'being everywhere', but what are the obvious counterparts?

  • the state of being in a particulary place? ubiety; ubication (rare)
  • the state of being nowhere at all? nullibiety, nullibicity (very rare)
  • the state of being in two or more place? (so rare that I can't find any such word)
      Ukraine can be regarded either the Central Europe state or the Eastern Europe one. Due to its ubiety at the Black Sea shore Ukraine has a connection with the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Balkan Peninsula and Turkey.
      – Personal website of Viktor Yushchenko, reformist candidate for President of Ukraine

      Something of the genius that was Athens and the order that was Rome at their heights thrived later in Renaissance Florence and again in today's New York. Without Leidner's map, surely the films of Spike Lee, the music of Lou Reed, the writing of Isaac Singer, and the paintings of Keith Haring could reseed some of New York's ubiety—its ineffable, undeniable sense of place—in a dead hole smoldering at 41 degrees north latitude and 74 degrees west longitude.
      – Erik Baard, Cities Die. Should New York Be the First to Clone Itself? Village Voice, Aug. 14-20, 2002

      Here lies Piron, a complete nullibiety,
      Not even a Fellow of a Learned Society.
      Alexis Piron (1689-1773), "My Epitaph"
    I'd assume the adjective forms are ubietous, nullibietous, etc. But I've not yet found verification.

    Off subject: hunting for quotes unearthed this fine example of inpenetrable gobbledygook – an article abstract:
    Two arguments have recently been advanced that Maxwell-Boltzmann particles are indistinguishable just like Bose–Einstein and Fermi–Dirac particles. Bringing modal metaphysics to bear on these arguments shows that ontological indistinguishability for classical (MB) particles does not follow. The first argument, resting on symmetry in the occupation representation for all three cases, fails since peculiar correlations exist in the quantum (BE and FD) context as harbingers of ontic indistinguishability, while the indistinguishability of classical particles remains purely epistemic. The second argument, deriving from the classical limits of quantum statistical partition functions, embodies a conceptual confusion. After clarifying the doctrine of haecceitism, a third argument is considered that attempts to deflate metaphysical concerns altogether by showing that the phase-space and distribution-space representations of MB-statistics have contrary haecceitistic import. Careful analysis shows this argument to fail as well, leaving de re modality unproblematically grounding particle identity in the classical context while genuine puzzlement about the underlying ontology remains for quantum statistics.
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    Quote "...The term numerate seems to be much more common in Britspeak than in USspeak..."

    This is true; we often talk about illiterate people in the same breath as we talk about inumerate people. Sadly the afflictions, like the terms, are rather too common for comfort!


    Richard English
     
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    The -hum- portion means 'earth'. So too, a 'human' is a creature who, though having the same shape and appetites as a god, is 'of the earth'.

    I've always been suspicious of this earthling etymology homo (gen. hominis) 'human' and humus 'earth, soil', but it's not rational on my part. Both from the PIE root *dhghem- (older reconstruction *ghðdom-) 'earth'; cf. Skt ksham, Greek χθων (khthon), Old English guma 'human'.

    There's a student song called Gaudeamus igitur.

    Gaudeamus igitur
    Iuvenes dum sumus!
    Post iucundam iuventutem
    Post molestam senectutem
    Nos habebit humus.

    We rejoice for
    we are young.
    After a pleasant youth,
    after irksome old age,
    the earth shall have us.
     
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    quote:
    Originally posted by wordcrafter:
    Ubiquitous – being everywhere at the same time; omnipresent
    I am honoured and humbled.

    hic et ubique
     
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    What is the counterpart of intrepid (resolutely fearless, with fortitude and endurance in the face of danger)?

    trepid – timid; timorous
    (timorous – full of apprehensiveness; timid)

    My personal sense is that there are subtle distinctions. Trepid bespeaks anxiety, while timorous is more extreme: fear. [They are from Latin roots meaning 'anxiety' and 'fear' respectively.] Also, these two words refer mostly to actions that reveal fear or anxiety ('a timorous gesture'), while timid refers more to a person's state of being shy or fearful. But I freely admit that the dictionaries and usage often do not make these distinctions.
      For all the company's acknowledged technology competence, Sony has a history of timid, almost trepid marketing. – Mark Ferelli, Sony Comes Out From Under Cover, Computer Technology Review, June, 2001

      "What's so funny?" Kim giggled, a slight, trepid sound seeking inclusion into whatever it was her mother found so amusing. – Joy Fielding, The First Time

      The woman's voice was trepid, as if she wasn't sure. – Joy Fielding, See Jane Run


      ... couring [cowering], timorous beastie – Robert Burns, To a Mouse

      The women were seasick too. Each time the Grâce à Dieu wallowed and slid over a wave, Lady Scope clutched her companion and whispered wildly, "Blessed Jesus, save us, we shall all be drowned!" Lady Scrope was Lord de la Pole's sister, but she was a timorous little wisp of a woman, quite unlike her brother.
      – Anya Seton, Katherine
     
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    underwhelm – to fail to excite, stimulate, or impress: (adj. underwhelming)
      During his first-ever game of cricket, 16-year-old Bradenton bowler Jai Patel forced a hook and caught a batsman behind a wicket. While that achievement might underwhelm most Americans, it drew applause from Jai's uncle.
      – Richard Dymond, Bradenton (FL) Herald, Nov. 27, 2004

      There are no underwhelming crab apple trees. The simple fact of the matter is that any crab apple in bloom is a beautiful thing, usually breathtakingly so.
      – Craig Summers Black, Better Homes & Gardens, April, 2002
    Our second word today, a very rare counterpart of 'apology', requires a bit of care.

    antapology – a reply to an apology
    Erin McKean (OED Senior Editor) says, "This word deserves a wider use, to describe responses to apologies such as 'Well, you should be sorry!'"
    . . . .McKean misunderstands. 'Apology" once had a very different meaning: until the 1700s its primary sense, still occasionally used, was 'a defense, justification'. I can only two uses of 'antapology', apart from wordlists, and each is old (1693 and 1710) and clearly refers to a reply to the old sort of 'apology', not to the modern sort. The 1693 cite is in the titles of a series of writings arguing with each other.
    • An Apology for Writing against Socinians (William Sherlock, Dean of St. Paul's, 1693)
    • The antapology of the melancholy stander-by in answer to the dean of St. Paul's late book, falsly stiled, An apology for writing against the Socinians, &c. (Edward Wettenhall, 1693)
    • A defence of the Dean of St. Paul's Apology for writing against the Socinians in answer to the antapologist (William Sherlock, 1694)
    So an antapology would be a replay arguing against a defense or justification. It has nothing to do with the example McKean gives. Nonetheless her usage would be highly useful, and is highly commended.
     
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    Today’s word is the counterpart of hibernate. Its usage is almost always in the literal, zoological sense, but the extended sense is far more interesting and useful.

    estivate – (or aestivate) to pass the summer in a torpid state; also, to spend the summer, as at a special place
      So as the people we knew back east die, or are institutionalized, or take themselves off to Tucson or Sarasota or Santa Barbara to estivate their last years away as we are doing here, our contacts here shrink, too.
      – Wallace Stegner, The Spectator Bird

      Ms. Emshwiller teaches creative writing at New York University. She estivates in Bishop, California.
      – Back-jacket blurb for Leaping Man Hill by Carol Emshwiller
    Wordrafter note: e-mailings of the word-a-day will be suspended, pending resolution of computer troubles.
     
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    quote:
    Originally posted by wordcrafter:
    numerate (adj.) – able to think and express oneself effectively in quantitative terms (verb to count; enumerate). innumerate – antonym of numerate


    innumeracy

    Tinman
     
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    Re-reading the 'estivate' discussion reminded me of an interesting trio:

    Nocturnal, in biology, means active at night. Diurnal means active during the day.
    Cathemeral means having periods of activity and periods of rest throughout the 24-hour cycle.
    Apparently it applies only to a particular species of lemur on Madagascar, and me.
     
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