Sunday, 22 December 2013

Entry: depredation (n.)

In context:  "'...bemoaning the depredation of the Swiss land...'"

Definition:  The action of making a prey of; plundering, pillaging, ravaging; also, plundered or pillaged condition (obs.).

Other: Also:

depredationist   (n.) one who practises or approves of depredations.

1828   J. Bentham Wks. (1843) X. 581   The enemies of the people may be divided into two classes; the depredationists..and the oppressionists.

SNOOT score:  1 
Page: 777

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Entry:Anschluss (n.)

In context:  "'It is a long story to the side of this story, but my part of the Swiss nation is in my time of no legs invaded and despoiled by stronger and evil hated and neighboring nations, who claim as in the Anschluss of Hitler that they are friends and are not invading the Swiss but conferring on us gifts of alliance.'"

Definition:   Annexation or union, spec. of Austria to Germany (either the actual union in 1938 or as proposed before that date).

Other: I didn't expect this to be in the OED, but there you go.

SNOOT score:   2
Page: 777

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Friday, 20 December 2013

Entry: rococo (adj.)

In context:  See previous.

Definition:  Designating furniture, architecture, etc., characterized by an elaborately ornamental late baroque style of decoration prevalent in 18th-cent. Europe, with asymmetrical patterns involving intricate motifs and scrollwork.

Other: I'll admit it: I was surprised to find SCROLLWORK acceptable in Scrabble.

SNOOT score:   1
Page: 773

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Entry: buttresses (v.)

In context:  "'or then the type who sort of overelaborates on the lie, buttresses it with rococo formations of detail and amendment, and that's how you can always tell.'"

Definition:  To furnish, sustain, or strengthen with a buttress or support.

Other: From the etymology on the noun-form of the word:

Etymology:  perhaps < Old French bouterez nominative singular (or ? plural) of bouteret, ‘flying-buttress’, ‘arc-boutant’ (Godefroy); apparently < bouter to push, bear against.

SNOOT score:   1
Page: 773

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Entry: Kamikaze (n.)

In context:  "'Then there are what I might call your Kamikaze-style liars.'"

Definition:   ‘The wind of the gods’ (see small-type note above).

Other: This one turned out to be pretty fascinating.

The word was originally used in Japanese lore with reference to the supposed divine wind which blew on a night in August 1281, destroying the navy of the invading Mongols.

 One of the Japanese airmen who in the war of 1939–45 made deliberate suicidal crashes into enemy targets (usu. ships).

Etymology:  Japanese, ‘divine wind’, < kami god, kami n. + kaze wind.

SNOOT score:   4
Page: 773

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Entry: reductio  (n.)

In context:  "'Intuition, induction, reductio, what?'"

Definition:  Is DFW talking about reductio ad absurdum?

The practice of demonstrating the falsity of a hypothesis, principle, etc., by showing that the consequence of assuming it to be true is something absurd or contradictory; an instance of this; = reduction to the absurd at reduction n. 10b. Also in extended use: the action or an act of carrying something to an absurd extreme. 


SNOOT score:   1
Page: 772

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Monday, 16 December 2013

Entry: Panglossian (adj.)

In context:  "'How does somebody with your kind of Panglossian constitution determine whenever you're ever being lied to, I sometimes wonder, Booboo.'"

Definition:   Of, relating to, or characteristic of a Pangloss; unwaveringly or unrealistically optimistic.

Other:   Pangloss (n.): A person resembling Voltaire's character Pangloss, esp. one who is optimistic regardless of the circumstances. Also Doctor Pangloss.

Etymology:  < the name of Dr Pangloss (French Panglosse), the philosopher and tutor in Voltaire's Candide (1759) who believes that ‘all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds’.

SNOOT score:   3
Page: 772

Source: Oxford English Dictionary