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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Hustle   Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:30 am

Word of the Day: Hustle


Hustle means to work energetically, to push, or to be aggressive in certain endeavors (e.g., playing a sport or conducting business). When used with a subject it means to urge, coerce, push or force to move (e.g., hustle something out of the way).


"They had a second, stand-by offense ready to rush to the line after each practice play, forcing the regular Dallas defense to hustle and make snappy personnel replacements." (NY Times)


"He embraces the persona of the guy from the streets who had to hustle his way to the top, the little guy — 5-foot-6 at most — who couldn’t rely on innate genius to get his famous shots." (LA Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Vex   Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:08 am

Word of the Day: Vex


Vex means to annoy, disturb or torment. Usually the distress is a mental one, but vex can also mean to cause physical pain.


"What appeared to vex Mr. Cheney the most were Mr. Emanuel’s remarks, which the former vice president cast as an attempt to shift the blame for inaction onto the Bush administration." (NY Times)


"Few topics vex Americans more than the high price of many life-saving drugs. In contrast Britons worry about whether they can get them at all." (The Economist)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Standstill   Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:31 am

Word of the Day: Standstill


Standstill is a state of rest or the cessation of a certain activity. The word originated from the stand still phrase.


"The announcement of a debt standstill on November 25th by Dubai World, a conglomerate based in the desert emirate, was almost as effective in catching investors unaware." (The Economist)


"A general strike called by Ecuador’s major unions brought the country to a standstill today, Labor Minister Vladimiro Alvarez Grau said." (NY Times)

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PostSubject: Word of the Day - Ferrule   Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:15 pm

Word of the Day - Ferrule


1: A ring or cap usually of metal put around a slender shaft (as a cane or a tool handle) to strengthen it or prevent splitting

2: A usually metal sleeve used especially for joining or binding one part to another (as pipe sections or the bristles and handle of a brush)

EXAMPLES"A band of metal called a ferrule is glued onto the end of the pencil where a recess has been cut, while at the same time a plunger presses an eraser plug into the ferrule. When the glue dries, everything is bliss." — From an article by Steve Ritter in Chemical & Engineering News, December 16, 2002

"Making a brush is as simple as knotting and gluing bristles to the handle, and holding them in place by slipping a tight metal ferrule over the bond between bristle and handle." — From a post at swatchgirl.com on May 15, 2013

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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Indulge   Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:25 pm

Word of the Day: Indulge


Indulge means to yield to a desire, to be permissive. The adjective is indulgent. The expression self-indulgent is often used to describe a person who is indulgent with her own desires.


"Francis must sublimate his passion for forces and fulcrums while he is playing; he would be pummeled, on the mound or otherwise. But in the privacy of rehab, during his lost 2009 season, he can indulge in an interest that will long outlive his playing career." (NY Times)


"At a time when they are not short of pressing problems to deal with, the presence of 100-odd world leaders at the two-week meeting that starts in Copenhagen on December 7th to renew the Kyoto protocol on climate change might seem a little self-indulgent." (The Economist)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sublimate   Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:37 pm

Word of the Day: Sublimate


Sublimate, in chemistry, means to purify a substance or to transform a compound from solid to gas state (without passing through the liquid one). In psychology, on the other hand, it means to direct a sexual impulse to a more accepted social activity (e.g., art or sports), thus calming the sexual impulse.


"For Mailer, incest represents the sick inversion of everything he cherishes: expansion of the self beyond one’s origins; the gift of empathy with the other; the ability to sublimate love into work and vice versa." (NY Times)


"It’s not unlike followers of Zellweger’s anti-male manifesto in Down With Love who gobble chocolate to sublimate their animal urges." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sift   Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:20 pm

Word of the Day: Sift


Sift means to separate the fine part of a substance with a sieve. It can also be used figuratively, where it means to examine something closely.


"As he talked, his wife, Setsuko, squatted in the ruin of the house. A small woman, she had a smudge of soot on her face as she carefully poked and sifted through a powdery ash, digging up wine glasses that had melted into misshapen lumps, uncovering shards of china, then moving on, foot by foot." (NY Times)


"Instead, Mr Collins advocates old-fashioned management virtues such as determination, discipline, calmness under pressure and strategic decision-making based on careful sifting of the evidence." (The Economist)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Caveat   Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:23 am

Word of the Day: Caveat


A caveat is a warning or admonition. It can also mean a detail or condition to be taken into consideration while doing something.


"After country icon Minnie Pearl died, Rod Harris commissioned a statue. The donation came with one caveat: The statue had to stay on one exact spot in downtown Centerville, Tenn." (USA Today)


"Europeans have more confidence than Americans do in his [Barack Obama] ability to deal with international issues ranging from terrorism to Russia to the Middle East. Europeans trust Mr. Obama to handle such issues more than they do their own leaders. But there are three important caveats. One is Central and Eastern Europe, where the Obama magic works less well…" (NY Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Peruse   Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:34 am

Word of the Day: Peruse


Peruse means to read or examine something with great care, checking all the details. Many people believe that peruse means to glance over something, but this is clearly not the case.

"I.R.S. policies are not always so clear, so caution is advised. In cases where cooperative buildings have commercial space, a prospective buyer should be sure to peruse the annual statement by the association’s accountant just to make sure the building is in compliance with 80-20 guidelines." (NY Times)

"As many as 10,000 people now crowd downtown’s streets one Thursday a month, according to some estimates. Many come to peruse the galleries, but others come to visit the area’s bars, restaurants and many of the sidewalk vendors who also migrate to the area for the monthly event." (LA Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Propaganda   Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:44 pm

Word of the Day: Propaganda

Propaganda is any kind of information that is spread to help or harm a specific doctrine, system, person, group and so on. The origin of the word is connected with the “College of the Propaganda,” a school created by Pope Urban VIII to educate priests for missions around the world.

"In various pronouncements, top propaganda and security officials have stressed anew the need to police the Internet on ideological and security grounds." (NY Times)

"Military successes in Iraq have nearly crippled al-Qaeda’s ability to produce battlefield propaganda, hampering for now its ability to recruit fighters and raise money, the U.S. military and analysts say." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Anew   Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:46 pm

Word of the Day: Anew

Anew is an adverb, and it means again or once more.

"As a vice chairman and longtime stockholder of Bear Stearns, Fares D. Noujaim suffered an emotional and financial blow when the investment bank imploded. Now he gets a chance to start anew." (NY Times)

"In a break with the administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, also testifying before the panel, pressed anew for using $24 billion of the bailout money to help some American households avoid foreclosure. As foreclosures mount, the government is “clearly falling behind the curve,” she warned." (Houston Chronicle)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Heresy   Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:19 pm

Word of the Day: Heresy

Heresy is an opinion that goes against the values of an established doctrine or system. It is commonly used in the religious context.

"He is quick to acknowledge that scholarship is not more important than sanctity, but he still argues that it is sinful, and a kind of heresy, for evangelical Christianity not to honor God’s creation with study and contemplation." (NY Times)

"Surely their beliefs are strong enough to stand up to a children’s story. And surely Hollywood can put more faith in the power of great fiction. Fiddling with art to appease narrow-minded interest groups is its own heresy, one with which Hollywood unfortunately is all too familiar." (LA Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Whim   Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:29 pm

Word of the Day: Whim

A whim is a strange or capricious notion; a temporary eccentricity; a freak. A person or thing that has many whims can be called whimsical.

"When the Web site that he started on a whim, HOTorNOT.com, a meeting site popular with 20-year-olds, unexpectedly made James Hong a millionaire, he wanted to donate some of his newfound wealth toward good causes." (NY Times)

"A South Carolina woman’s whimsical approach to food is helping her crack the insular world of cooking contests with such novel dishes as pecan-encrusted oysters over asiago cheese grits." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Derision   Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:50 pm

Word of the Day: Derision

Derision is a scornful treatment of someone or something; a mockery or ridicule. The object that is being mocked can be called derision.

"President Reagan’s long-awaited announcement that he would run for a second term touched off celebrations last night by his supporters, choruses of derision by opponents and promises of a tough campaign by Republicans and Democrats alike." (NY Times)

"That’s what makes Google so intriguing, and a worthy subject for New Yorker writer Ken Auletta’s 11th book, Googled: The End of the World As We Know It. Unlike Curse, which treats moguls with derision, Auletta’s more interested in penetrating the often secretive world of the business elite and telling the stories with skill, intelligence and respect." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Paroxysm   Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:47 am

Word of the Day: Paroxysm

A paroxysm is a sudden outburst of something, a violent emotion. It can also refer to the exacerbation of a disease.

"Contemplating the economic rubble from our most recent paroxysm of enthusiasm, I wonder whether we should do something about our blind passions." (NY Times)

"For now, there will be a paroxysm of anger and mourning. But then Serbia has a choice: sulk for decades in impotent resentment, or take the European road to national reconstruction. It will be many years before Kosovo takes its seat at the United Nations. Russia, as a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, can and will block it." (LA Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Splurge   Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:15 am

Word of the Day: Splurge

Splurge means to make a great display in any way. Usually, however, the display comes through expensive or extravagant things.

"America’s most vibrant political force at the moment is the anti-tax tea-party movement. Even in leftish Massachusetts people are worried that Mr Obama’s spending splurge, notably his still-unpassed health-care bill, will send the deficit soaring." (The Economist)

"Holding their purse strings in one hand and customized leashes in the other, dog owners found ways to splurge at this weekend’s Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows." (The Chronicle)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Wrangle   Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:08 am

Word of the Day: Wrangle

Wrangle means to dispute something angrily; to argue noisily.

"But now, as planners try to figure out how to build and pay for the park, and lawmakers wrangle over the details, it is starting to look as if the political battle was the easy part." (NY Times)

"Caught between rasping laughter and the low moan of the phonograph, voices wrangle over the fate of Hitler’s armies, ensnared by the Russian winter, and the tactics of the United States, scrambling to defend its Pacific outposts after Pearl Harbor." (Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Veneer   Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:02 am

Word of the Day: Veneer

Veneer is a thin layer of attractive wood (or other material) glued on top of cheaper wood, to enhance the overall appearance. Usually the term is used figuratively, meaning anything that covers the real nature of something.

"Nelson Mandela wants to use the rugby World Cup, for white South Africans the absolute pinnacle of sport, to prevent the veneer of social unity from being rent asunder." (The Economist)

"The music is broken up into obvious, clean-cut solos and Mr. Kuhn, for the most part, sticks to straight-ahead, swinging 4/4 time. But under that veneer, Mr. Kuhn is always thinking, and a close listener will hear a world filled with humor and slyness." (NY Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Cesspool   Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:43 am

Word of the Day: Cesspool

Cesspool is a pit or cistern, built to collect the sewage or other sediments from a house. It is commonly used to describe any filthy or immoral place.

"The problem is most Americans agree with Bolton that the U.N. is a cesspool of its own crapulence, stealing American tax dollars intended for global do-goodery while working against American interests." (LA Times)

"The establishment of the appropriate democratic structures would have proved to the world the PA’s capacity to govern and provide basic services to its people. Instead, Gaza continued to be a cesspool of terrorism, including reports of infiltration by al-Qaida, increased smuggling of weapons and the continuous launching of rockets into population centers in southern Israel." (Houston Chronicle)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tautology   Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:50 am

Word of the Day: Tautology

Tautology is the repetition of meaning in two consecutive words, or the needless repetition of an idea. A tautology is considered a fault of style. Examples include “free gift” and “extra bonus.”

"There are scary stories, and then there are scary stories, just as there is writing, and then there is writing. Evidence supporting that fuzzy tautology is abundantly provided in this excellent two-volume collection, “American Fantastic Tales.”! (USA Today)

"The popular shorthand version of it is “the survival of the fittest.” This is a phrase coined by the so-called Social Darwinist, Herbert Spencer, in work published before the appearance of the Origin of Species and adopted–with acknowledgment of Spencer as the source — in later editions of Darwin’s book. There is an apparent tautology in the phrase. Since Darwinian (and, of course, Spencerian) fitness is proved by survival, one could as well call the principle at work “the survival of survivors.”" (NY Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gestalt   Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:55 am

Word of the Day: Gestalt

A gestalt is a configuration or system so unified that it cannot be described by the sum of its individual parts.

"In Germany, a country that is home to Mercedes-Benz and the autobahn, life in a car-reduced place like Vauban has its own unusual gestalt." (NY Times)

"Now comes a fresh, noble perspective from Leander Kahney, news editor at Wired.com and a longtime follower of Apple and its mercurial co-founder. Rather than float on the periphery of the Jobs gestalt, he’s decided to get inside the man’s head." (USA Today)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ostracize   Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:23 am

Word of the Day: Ostracize

Ostracize means to exclude someone from society or from any group of people. It comes from the Greek ostrakízein, which was the practice of banishing citizens by popular vote.

"Yet there is still a woeful reluctance in Africa to chastise, ostracise or help to oust villainous leaders, such as Mr Mugabe or Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted as a war criminal at The Hague; indeed, too many African leaders have rejected that court altogether." (The Economist)

"Nicholas D. Kristof reports on rape survivors in eastern Congo struggling to recover from violence and trauma in the face of customs that blame and ostracize the victims." (NY Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Subliminal   Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:26 am

Word of the Day: Subliminal

Subliminal is an adjective used to describe things or stimuli that work below the threshold of consciousness, thus influencing the individual without being perceived as clear thoughts or ideas. For example you can have subliminal advertising.

"There is, in fact, a subliminal seriousness: The quest for marketing buzz, the worldwide ambition to be more than a blip on the dot.com community’s radar screen." (USA Today)

"On gut feeling, Riley gave the order to shoot down what turned out to be an enemy missile. After hours of analysis, the officer and a cognitive psychologist resolved that his feeling was a subliminal recognition that the missile entered his screen at a slightly different interval from the planes he was used to tracking." (LA Times)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ludicrous   Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:55 am

Word of the Day: Ludicrous

Ludicrous is an adjective used to describe something so absurd that it provokes laughs and mockery. One synonym is ridiculous.

"A San Diego stock adviser who is accused of bribing an F.B.I. agent to give him confidential government information may have had prior knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal prosecutor said yesterday. But a judge disregarded that contention and the adviser’s lawyer called the allegation ludicrous." (NY Times)

"Some attacks on health care reform are so ludicrous that you don’t think they need answering. A recent example invokes an evil plot to save money by knocking off the elderly." (Houston Chronicle)
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Maim   Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:41 am

Word of the Day: Maim

Maim means to cripple someone. It can also be used generally, where it means to damage something, making it defective.

"Workers at drilling sites are surrounded by heavy machinery that can kill or maim in an instant." (USA Today)

"Automakers Say Cuts in Duties Would Maim Industry." (NY Times)
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