Subtlety = Sub-Till-Tea

Subtlety sub-till-tea n. the act of avoiding an unpleasant situation through clever maneuvering. Literally: waiting under a rock until tea time. Words are pretty cool. They let you write a letter confessing your love to your crush, understand your favorite Friends episode, tell your roommate to stop stealing your food, or negotiate a pay raise with your boss. If you’re like me, you like words … Continue reading Subtlety = Sub-Till-Tea

The Daily: American Slang “Extra”

Part of the beauty in any language is the slang used by native speakers. Slang typically arises from younger generations who come up with coded language to discuss sensitive matters without older generations understanding them. Today, I’d like to define the word extra, which is used by younger generations with an alternative connotation: extra (adj.) Pronunciation: /ˈekstrə/ Meaning: over the top or acting in a … Continue reading The Daily: American Slang “Extra”

Daily Tidbit: albatross (metaphor)

Definitions for albatross al·ba·tross ˈalbəˌtrôs/ a seemingly inescapable moral or emotional burden, as of guilt or responsibility. something burdensome that impedes action or progress. The word albatross is sometimes used as a metaphor to mean a psychological burden that feels like a curse. It is also an allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, written in 1798. In the poem, an albatross starts to follow a ship — being followed by … Continue reading Daily Tidbit: albatross (metaphor)

Daily Tidbit: Definition of Reductive

reductive (adj.) Pronunciation: [re-duhk-tiv] Meaning: presented in an overly simple or crude way Synonyms: crude, coarse, declining, simplified Examples: The way she presented the quantum entanglement theory was a bit reductive; it was way too simplified and lacking detail. “Umm… It feels reductive. Look it up.” – Madonna re: Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” Continue reading Daily Tidbit: Definition of Reductive

Daily Tidbit: Breaking Down “media res”

The literal definition of the Latin term media res is “in the midst of things.” When it comes to literary works, media res refers to the common trope of starting stories after important events have already happened. A great example is the Odyssey. The Odyssey begins after the main character, Odysseus, fights in a war and kills a wild sea monster, is kidnapped by a nymph, and witnesses his comrades turn into … Continue reading Daily Tidbit: Breaking Down “media res”

Daily Word: consensus

consensus (n.) Pronounciation: con-SEHN-suss Meaning: geneeral agreement Synonyms: agreement, harmony, unanimity, solidarity, accord Example: The consensus among the nine judges was that Johan Walter was the best contestant in the dance competition, and he was accordingly awarded the 1st place prize. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Continue reading Daily Word: consensus

Daily Word: abject

abject (adj.) Pronounciation: AB-jekt Meaning: 1. In a low state or condition. 2. Showing hopelessness or resignation. Cast down in spirit. 3. Offered in an ingratiating spirit. Without pride or dignity. Synonyms: spiritless, servile, wretched, degrading, pitiful, base, miserable Example: The orphaned puppy gave an abject whimper as he struggled to find some remnant of warmth on the cold cement ground. Tears and snot streamed down his mother’s face as … Continue reading Daily Word: abject

Daily Word: prosody

prosody (n.) Pronounciation: pra-suh-dee Meaning: 1. the patterns of rhythm and sound in poetry and language, especially spoken. 2. The systematic study of metrical structure in linguistics, poetry, and music. Synonyms: inflection, versification, metrics, poetic rhythm. Explanation: Prosody is characterized at the phonetic level by vocal pitch, loudness, and rhythm. Analyzing prosody in speech can help uncover the speaker’s emotional state, attitude, and speech community. For more information on prosody and … Continue reading Daily Word: prosody

Daily Word: Negus

Negus (n.) Pronounciation: knee-gus Meaning: 1. Negus is the formal title given to kings of provinces or kingdoms within Ethiopia. 2. Negus can also mean a hot drink made of wine, sugar, water, and lemon. Synonyms: king, ruler, monarch Can you use it in a sentence?  “Italy would get control of most of Abyssinia while the Negus, Haile Selassie, would retain nominal sovereignty over his kingdom.” (Paths … Continue reading Daily Word: Negus

Daily Word: portmanteau

portmanteau (n.) Pronounciation: port-man-toe Meaning: 1. A large trunk or suitcase that opens into two equal halves. Any bag (usually leather) used to carry clothes while traveling. 2. Consisting of or combining two or more separate parts or qualities, such as a word that combines the sounds and meanings of two words to create a new word. Synonyms: 1. bag, luggage. 2. compound word, blend Example (literary): … Continue reading Daily Word: portmanteau

Punctuation: Facts We Never Knew

Punctuation is everywhere in writing. Sometimes, we can even hear quotation marks or dashes in the way we speak. Every day, we are surrounded by all kinds of punctuation marks, but do we really know them as well as we like to think? Below, I’ve compiled my seven favorite facts about punctuation to change the way we see our friendly neighborhood period or comma. 1. Punctuation … Continue reading Punctuation: Facts We Never Knew

Daily Word: litotes

litotes (n.) Pronounciation: lie-toe-tees Meaning: A figure of speech in which an affirmative understatement is expressed by negating its opposite. A litotes emphasizes or draws attention to an idea or situation through ironical understatement. Do you have an example? Kira’s lunch with her ex was not the most cordial affair. It is not uncommon for the average college student to sleep less than five hours on a … Continue reading Daily Word: litotes

Daily Word: bamboozle

  bamboozle (v.) Pronounciation: bam-boo-zul Meaning: to deceive or confuse by underhanded or unexpected methods. Synonyms: dupe, hoodwink, cheat, perplex, trick, fool Can you use it in a sentence? “In Catch Me If You Can (2002), Leonardo DiCaprio plays a hugely successful scammer who had bamboozled people of billions of dollars before he was even 19 years old.”   Continue reading Daily Word: bamboozle

Daily Word: edict

edict Pronounciation: eee-dikt Meaning: an official order or proclamation issued by a person in authority Synonyms: order, command, decree Can you use it in a sentence? “New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Sunday requiring local officials throughout the state to force the homeless into shelters when temperatures dip below freezing and vowed to defend the edict if challenged in court.” Source: Reuters … Continue reading Daily Word: edict