Interesting words need not be so obscure as to be worthless. This week we demonstrate that by reading a single newspaper, you can find an unusual and non-technical word daily.
I chose one of the few national papers in the US, and arbitrarily chose the week in which its publication expanded to six days. There was no difficulty finding a daily word to present. In fact, I rarely had to read more than just the editorial page.
Gresham's Law – fig: a process whereby inferior products drive out superior ones
[OED notes only the literal use, meaning the economic principle that 'bad money drives out good'. When two currencies in use are perceived to have different likelihoods of becoming debased, people tend to hoard and keep the better, thus leaving only the worse currency in circulation. Named after Sir Thomas Gresham, who noted this in a 1558 letter to Queen Elizabeth.]
– Theodore B. Olson, Wall Street Journal, Monday, Sept. 12, 2005
Note: Apologies for yesterday's error. It's objet d'art, not object d'artThis message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
alluvial – made of or relating to alluvium; that is, soil deposited by flowing water
– Pete Wilson, former Calif. governor, Wall Street Journal, Tuesday Sept. 13, 2005
– Wall Street Journal, Tuesday Sept. 13, 2005, quoting article in Oct. issue of PloS Medicine
rentier – a person living on income from property or investments
– Amir Taheri, Guess Who's Coming to Dinar, Wall Street Journal, Wed. Sept. 14, 2005
Zukunftangst – fear of the future
Today's word does not yet appear in any dictionary I know of. But what a useful word!
– Gabor Steingart, Wall Street Journal, Thursday Sept. 15, 2005
Let me begin with a quibble: there's an 's' missing: ZukunftSangst
Having said so, it must be admitted that the the placement/omission of this 's' (the "semi-genitive" is one name for it) is controversial among the German Safires.
Which is not the point here; the point is it reminded that there are a fair number of sesquipedalian German words in English, the main reason for which being that German is a language that not only permits, but outright allows, the fomration of new words; where English has a phrase -- small cattle breeder's association -- German will often have a single (nonce) word -- Kleinviehzuchtverband.
So, we have Weltanschauung (maybe the only EuroWord with 2 u's in a row?), Weltschmerz, Fahrvergnügen (a real word, BTW), Schadenfreude (what a compact way to say: happiness at someone else's expense), Gemütlichkeit ...
D the F
fractious – 1. difficult to control 2. easily irritated; quarrelsome
– Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal, Friday Sept. 16, 2005
– Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
[from a noun meaning "a lamb brought up by hand, as a pet"]
Corrective note: Yesterday's word was Zukunftsangst.
perdurable – extremely durable and long-lasting; also, permanent; everlasting
perdure – to continue, endure; to persist; to last forever
– Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Sat./Sun. Sept. 17-18, 2005
Our sweete lord God of hevene, that no man wole perisse [will perish], but wole that we comen alle to the knoweleche of hym, and to the blisful lif that is perdurable …
– Chaucer, Parson's Tale
anthropic – of or belonging to a human being; of a human sort
anthropic principle – the principle that theories of the universe are constrained by the need to allow for man's existence in it as an observer
Today we cite a most interesting article.
–Sharon Begley, Are the universe's traits random or inevitable?, Wall Street Journal, Friday, Sept. 16, 2005