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 Tidbit: Longest Word

Want to know what the longest English language word is? Hint: it’s not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Currently, the longest word in our dictionary is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis, created by Everett M. Smith in 1935, is a lung disease caused by inhalation of very fine sand and ash dust. Continue reading Daily Tidbit: Longest Word

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: 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

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