D is for Dictionary (Feb 2020, 29 pages, 91 pages in total)

(2020-04-01 17:05:37) 下一個

A quick Web search shows that it takes 66 days to form a new habit. If that is
true, my dictionary-reading addiction should have arrived after three months.
Other addictions, e.g., running, took a good chunk out of me and were to blame
for the delay for Feburary's update.

I usually read one page a day, taking copious notes. When for some reason I
cannot finish, I will pick up the slack the next day. After each month, I number
the note sheets and go through them once more to glean words interesting to me.
These words form the short-list which I copy onto a log file. Once this is done,
I would put the month's sheets in a giant three-ring binder. I intend to keep
doing this in case I would be asked someday for proof for having read the
dictionary. In this manner, four months have passed and I have almost done A.

Words short-listed don't have to be exotic and in fact, I avoid multi-syllable
Latin or French words that I see no use in my writing or daily life. From my
experience, words such as "responsible" sound grave and pompous and can actually
kill conversations. Instead, I love slang and the informal. I have found them
unassumming and good in communicating with my son. For example, "antsy" and
"ants in one's pants" are so vivid that they instantly stick.

I often encountered words that led to new discoveries that I had never
suspected. Of course, this spoke volumes of my own ignorance. Nonetheless, those   
moments felt like magic as if I were Alibaba and had just entered the bandits'            
cavern: so much wealth unknown to the world and yet piled in front of me. For 
example, this month, words from psychology, e.g., anima, animus, anal-repulsive,  
etc., were just fascinating. They might be rubbish but they were so fun and they  
allowed me to describe things for which I previously would have been lost for words.   
Do I remember all the words I read or even those short-listed? No. But I am sure     
they went somewhere in me and someday may just show up. I don't know exactly 
how this works but the other day the word 'uncharitable' just sprang up from nowhere
when I was writing something (a post or a comment). Similar experiences (with  
other words) have happened frequent enough for me to suspect that they all stay 
somewhere in the brain waiting for the trigger.                                                                  
OK. First, let's get the diseases out of the way, even though they are great.                                                                                 
- anaclisis n. Psychological dependence on others. [Greek anaklisis, leaning back.]     
- anaphrodisia n. Decline or absence of sexual desire.                              
- anemic also anaemic adj. 1. Relating to or suffering from anemia. 2. Lacking 
  vitality; listless and weak: an anemic attempt to hit the baseball; an anemic 
  economic recovery. 
- angina pectoris n. Severe paroxysmal pain in the chest associated with an 
  insufficient supply of blood to the heart. 
- anhedonia n. the absence of pleasure or the ability to experience it.

- apoplexy n. 1. Sudden impairment of neurological function, especially that
  resulting from a cerebral hemorrhage; a stroke. 2. A sudden effusion of blood
  into an organ or tissue. 3. A fit of extreme anger; rage: "The proud ...
  members suffered collective apoplexy, and this year they are out for blood."

For history and culture, we have

- Annam A region and former kingdom of central Vietnam on the South China Sea.
  It was ruled by China from 111 BC until AD 939 and came under French control
  in the 19th century.

- annunciation n. 3. Annunciation Christianity a. The angel Gabriel's
  announcement to Virgin Mary of the Incarnation. b. The feast celebrating the
  event. c. March 25, the day on which this feast is observed.

- Antaeus n. GM A giant wrestler who cannot be defeated as long as he remains in
  contact with the earth. Hercules defeated him by lifting him off the ground.  
- Arachne n. GM A young woman who was transformed into a spider by Athena for
  challenging her to a weaving contest.
- arachnid n. Any of various arthropods of the class Arachida, such as spiders,
  scorpions, mites, and ticks, characterized by four pairs of segmented legs and
  a body that is divided into two regions, the cephalo thorax and the abdomen.
  Also called arachnoid.
- arachnophobia n. An abnormal fear of spiders.  
- Aramaic n. A Semitic language originally of ancient Arameans but widely used
  by non-Aramean peoples throughout SW Asia. Also called Aramean Chaldean.

- Aquino, Corazon Cojuangco Born 1933. Philippine political leader. After the
  assassination of her husband, on his return to the Philippines fro political
  exile, she ran for president (1986) and won.

- Ararat, Mount A massif of extreme eastern Turkey near the Iranian border
  rising to about 5168m. It is the traditional resting place of Noah's Ark.  
- Antipodes 1. Australia and New Zealand. Usually used informally. 2. A group of
  rocky islands of South Pacific Ocean south east of New Zealand, to which they
  belong. They were discovered by British seaman in 1800 and are so named
  because they are diametrically opposite Greenwich, England.

- antinomianism n. 1. Theology The doctrine or belief that the Gospel free 
  Christians from required obediance to any law, whether scriptural, civil, or
  moral, and that salvation is attained solely thorugh faith and gift of divine
  grace. 2. The belief that moral laws are relative in meaning and application
  as opposed to fixed or universal.  
- Antisthenes 444 - 371 BC Greek philosopher who founded the Cynic school.
- apparatchik 1. A member of a Communist apparat. 2. An unquestioningly loyal
  subordinate, especially of a political leader or organization.

- angary also angaria n. The legal right of a belligerent to seize, use, or
  destroy the property of a neutral, provided that full compensation is made
  [Late Latin angaria, service to a lord, from Greek angareia, impressment for
  public service, from angaros, conscript courier.]

- Angeleno n. A native or inhabitant of Los Angeles.
- apple-pie adj. Informal 1. Perfect; exemplary: put the room in apple-pie
  order. 2. often apple pie: Of, relating to, or marked by values regarded as
  distinctively American: "Family, neighborhood, community are apple pie values,
  unassailable and unavoidable in political rhetoric."

A Few Animal-related Words:

- ankylosaur or ankylosaurus n. A large herbivorous dinosaur of the Cretaceous
  Period having a squat, heavily armored body and a clubbed tail.

- apatosaur or apatosaurus n. A very large hebivorous dinosaur having a long
  neck and tail and a relatively small head.

- anserine adj. 1. Of or belonging to the subfamily Anserinae, which comprises
  the geese. 2. Of or resembling a goose; gooselike.

- ant cow n. An aphid that yields a honeylike substance on which ants feed.

- ape n. 1a. Any of various large, tailess Old world primates of the family
  Pongidae, including the champanzee, gorilla, gibbon, and orangutan. b. A
  monkey. 2. A mimic or imitator. 3. Informal A clumsy or boorish person. tr.v.
  To mimic slavishly but often with an absurd result. --idiom go ape. Informal.
  To become wildly excited or enthusiastic: went ape at the party; goes ape over
  Thai cuisine.

- apish adj. 1. Relating an ape. 2. Slavishly or foolishly imitative: "My own
  performances were apish imitations of Olivier's stirring cadence." 3. Silly;

Other Gold Nuggets:
- animal spirits n. The vitality of good health.

- appestat n. The area in the brain that is believed to regulate appetite and
  food intake.

- apposite adj. Strikingly appropriate and relevant.

- aprise tr.v. To give notice to; to inform: apprised us of our rights.

- apron n. 2. The paved strip in front of and around airport hangars and
  terminal buildings. 3. The part of a stage in a theater extending in front of
  the curtain. 4. A platform, as of planking, at the entrance to a dock. 5a. A
  covering or structure along a shoreline for protection against erosion. b. A
  platform serving a similar purpose below a dam or in a sluiceway. 6. A
  continuous conveyor belt. 7. An area covered by sand and gravel deposited at
  the front of a glacial moraine. 8. A border of slightly longer grass that
  surrounds a green on a golf course. 9. The part of a boxing ring floor that
  extends beyond the ropes. tr.v. To cover, protect, or provide with an apron.

- apron string n. The string of an apron. Usually used in the plural with tied
  to indicate complete control or dominance: a grown man still tied to his
  mother's apron strings.

- apropos adj. Being at once opportune and to the point. See synonyms at
  "relevant." adv. 1. At an appropriate time; opportunely. 2. By the way;
  incidentally: Apropos, where were you yesterday? prep. With regard to;
  concerning: Apropos our date for lunch, I can't go.

- anchorman/woman/person n. 1 One who narrates or coordinates a newscast in
  which several correspondents give reports. 2. Sports A person who is an anchor
  in a competition, such as a relay race.

- anchor store n. A large store, such as a department store or super market,
  that is prominently located in a shopping mall to attract customers who are
  then expected to patronize other shops in the mall.

- androgynous adj. 1. Biology Having both female and male characteristics;
  hermaphroditic 2. Being neither distingushably masculine nor feminine, as in
  dress, appearance, or behavior.

- angle intr. v. 1. To fish with a hook and line. 2. To try to get sth by
  indirect or artful means: angle for a promotion.

- angle n. 4. Slang. A devious method; a scheme. v. --tr. 1. To move or turn
  (sth.) at an angle: angle the chair toward a window. 2. Sports To hit (a ball
  or puck, e.g.) at an angle. 3. Informal To impart a biased point of view or
  aspect to: angled the story in a way that criticized the candidate. --intr. To
  continue along or turn at an angle or by angles: The road angles sharply to
  the left. The path angled through the woods.

- apiece adv. To or for each one; each: There is enough bread for everyone to
  have two slices apiece.

- aplomb n. Self-confident assurance; poise.

- apogee n. 1a. The point in the orbit of the moon or of an artificial satellite
  most distant from the center of the earth. 2. The forthest or highest point;
  the apex: "The golden age of American Sail, which began with the fast clipper
  ships in 1848, reached its apogee in the Gold Rush years."

- apophasis n. Allusion to something by denying that it will be mentioned, as in
  "I will not bring up my opponent's questionable financial dealings."

- antepenultimate adj. Coming before the next to the last in a series. n.

- anti n. A person who is opposed to something, such as a group, policy,
  proposal, or practice. adj. Opposed: "D. MacArthur had a coterie of
  worshippers, balanced off by an equal number ... who were vehemently anti."
  Prep. Opposed to; against.

- antibiosis n. 1. An association between two or more organisms that is
  detrimental to at least one of them.

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閱讀 ()評論 (3)
7grizzly 回複 悄悄話 回複 '暖冬cool夏' 的評論 : Thank you, 暖冬, for reading and your avid comments. I like your word list as they lie on the border of my active vocabulary pool. A little more practice would make them readily available each time I need them. Cheers!
暖冬cool夏 回複 悄悄話 can only hold, better:))
暖冬cool夏 回複 悄悄話 Wow! I read your post last night, and need time to digest:))
I avoid multi-syllable Latin or French words that I see no use in my writing or daily life.
+1, Our brain is like a chip, and it can only contain a certain amount of memory:)))
Out of all the A-words listed here, I am only familiar with:
1. anemic also anaemic: Saw it a couple of times in the novel Of Human Bondage.
2. ape (v.)
3. apron (the most basic meaning, as a protective garment used in cooking:))
4. anchorman
5. anchor store
6. angle (v)
7. apiece
Found apple-pie (order/value) , and apron string (reminding me of shoe string) very interesting. Thanks for sharing!