Monday, 30 April 2012

Entry: neurasthenic (adj.)


In context: "It's surely been spelled out already that prorectors teach only one marginal class per term and serve as on-court assistants to Schtitt's Lebensgefährtin Aubrey deLint, and that their existence at E.T.A. is marginal and low-prestige and their spiritual state on the low continuum between embittered and accepting, and for many of the more neurasthenic E.T.A. students the prorectors are kind of repellent the way hideously old people are repellent, reminding the students of the kind of low-prestige purgatorial fate that awaits the marginal and low-ranked jr. player; and while a couple of the prorectors are feared, none of them is all that much respected, and they're avoided, and stick together with one another and keep to themselves and seem on the whole sad, with that grad-schoolish sense of arrested adolescence and reality-avoidance about them."

Definition:   Of the nature of or characteristic of neurasthenia; affected or caused by neurasthenia.

Neurasthenia (n.):   A disorder characterized by feelings of fatigue and lassitude, with vague physical symptoms such as headache, muscle pain, and subjective sensory disturbances, originally attributed to weakness or exhaustion of the nerves and later considered a form of neurotic disorder.


Other: One of my favorite set of extensions in Scrabble is STHENIA -> ASTHENIA -> MYASTHENIAS.


Also "grad-schoolish sense of arrested adolescence and reality-avoidance about them" is a sentence I should have read and considered part-way through my too-long tenure as a grad student.

SNOOT score: 2

Page:1003
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: nystagmic (adj.)


In context: "Troeltsch, left eye ominously nystagmic, pretended to recap the day's match highlights for a subscription audience, speaking earnestly into his fist."

Definition: Of the nature of or characteristic of nystagmus; of or relating to nystagmus. Also in extended use.

That's not so helpful, is it?  Here's nystagmus (n.)

Involuntary, rapid, oscillating movement of the eyeballs (most commonly from side to side); an instance or type of this.


Other: It's Monday and you're probably dying to take a look at nystagmus up close and personal, right?  The movement is less exaggerated than I had thought - here's a short video clip.  Since this is the Internets, of course there's also a video of a cat with nystagmus.

SNOOT score: 1

Page: 281
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary, YouTube   


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Entry: mokus (adj.)


In context: Here we go:


"It was one reason he'd ever been able to stick out his nine residential months here with twenty-one other newly detoxed housebreakers, hoods, whores, fired vagrants, indignant car salesmen, bulimic trauma-mamas, bunko artists, mincing pillow-biters, North End hard guys, pimply kids with electric nose-rings, denial-ridden housewives and etc., all jonesing and head-gaming and mokus and grieving and basically whacked out and producing nonstopping output 24-7-365."

Definition: I had initially figured this for a neologism or slang.  Turns out it's the latter and well-recognized.  A neat word, for sure.


Loneliness, depression; (with the) a state of depression, ‘the blues’. Occas. also: drunkenness; alcoholic drink.

Other:Neat!  Guess who gets the most recent usage in the OED?

SNOOT score: 2

Page:273
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: iona (n.)


In context:"The sponsor, Ferocious Frnacis G., doesn't give Gately one iona of shit for feeling some negative feelings about it: on the contrary, he commends Gately for his candor in breaking down and crying like a baby and telling him about it early one A.M. over the pay phone, the sense of loss."

Definition: A neologism - either misspoke for "iota", or combining "iota" and "ion", I think.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page: 273
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Entry: redolent (adj.)


In context: "'And tonight I'm just settling in in yet another uneven-legged chair, cultivating that glazed passive spectatorial state of mind that is clearly what they're trying to inspire in the ephebe, settling in next to a positively redolent Emil M. and trying to hold my poor addled Denial-ridden mind open with all available main, listening to this ravaged-looking Yalie in yellow slacks detail episodes of tremens whose gruesomeness inderdicted any possible Identification ---'"

Definition: Originally: having or diffusing a pleasant smell, aroma, or scent; sweet-smelling, fragrant. In later use chiefly: strong smelling, pungent.

Other: More than learning really obscure or field-specific words, I'm enjoying getting a better handle on words I'm familiar with, but maybe slightly uncomfortable using.

SNOOT score: 1


Page:1001
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: egregulous (adj.)


In context: "His detox at Dimock, where they barely have the resources to give you a Librium if you start to D.T., must have been just real grim, because Geoffrey D. alleges it never happened: now his story is he just strolled into Ennet House on a lark one day from his home 10+ clicks away in Malden and found the place too hilarious egregulous to want to ever leave."

Definition: A neologism.  Searching for the word I came across a blog entry that made the plausible claim that its  "meaning...perhaps spans “egregious” and “ridiculous.”"


Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page:272
 
Source: Infinite Detox


Friday, 27 April 2012

Entry: sedulously (adj.)


In context: "'I cultivate it assiduously.  I do special gratitude exercises at night up there in the room.  Gratitude-Ups, you could call them.  Ask Randy over there if I don't do them like clockwork.  Diligently.  Seduously."

Definition2. Of actions: Constant, persistent.

Other:  I always hear sedition as a root here, but that's not correct.  From the etymology:


The Latin word appears to have been evolved from the adv. sēdulō sincerely, honestly (hence diligently, assiduously), repr. Old Latin sē dolō without guile (see se- prefix).

SNOOT score: 1

Page: 271
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: pregnable (adj.)


In context: "There is a nourishing sense of pregnable space in a big indoor club that you never get playing outside, especially outside in the cold, when the balls feel hard and sullen and come off the stick's strung face with an echoless ping."

Definition: b. fig. Open to attack, vulnerable, assailable; accessible.

Other:  I thought the word would have some connection to pregnant, but the etymologies don't appear to be linked.


Etymology:  < Anglo-Norman and Middle French prenable that may be taken by force (c1155 in Old French; French prenable )

SNOOT score: 2

Page: 268
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Entry: paraboloid (adj.)


In context:"Schacht's orange Gamma-9 synthetic strings have AMF-Head Inc.'s weird Taoist paraboloid logo sprayed on."

Definition: From parabola (n.): b.  Math. More widely: a plane curve resembling a parabola in having branches which do not tend towards asymptotes, and represented by an equation analogous to that of the common parabola. Chiefly with distinguishing word.

Though this may be easy to parse:

c. In extended use and fig. Any similar (actual or notional) curve, esp. one described by something moving through time or space; a curving trajectory, an arc.



Other: Take a look at the interesting examples real-world examples of parabolae from Wikipedia.

SNOOT score: 1

Page:265
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia


Entry: reticulate (adj.)


In context: "He just got back to the baseline farthest from Schacht's little tarp-window and bounces a ball up and down in the air with the reticulate face of his stick s the Port Washington boy sits in his little canvas director's chair and towels off the sweat off his arms (neither of which is large) and looks briefly up at the gallery behind the panel."

Definition: Constructed or marked so as to resemble a net or network; reticulated; (Bot.) (of leaves) marked by a (prominent) network of secondary veins interconnecting the main veins; (of veins) forming such a network.


Other: Quite a nice, apt usage of 'reticulate' in the above quote from Infinite Jest.

SNOOT score: 2


Page:262
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Entry: revenant (n.)


In context: "Schtitt calls Hal Incandenza his 'revenant,' now, and sometimes points his pointer at him in an affectionate way from his observation crow's nest in the transom, during drills."

Definition: A person who returns from the dead; a reanimated corpse; a ghost

Other: Some great usages here, such as 1823   Q. Rev. July 460   The apparition of a dead man is termed a Gienganger, that is to say, a revenant, one who ‘gangs again’.

and

1880   J. H. Shorthouse John Inglesant II. xiii. 274   The yellow glamour of the sunset‥clothed in transparent radiance this shadowy revenant from the tomb.

but definitely not

2004   Believer Oct. 69/1   Vampires‥seem to be few and far between. They are such specialized revenants when compared to ghosts.


SNOOT score: 2

Page:260
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: dewlaps (n.)


In context: "'His hands were no bigger than a four-year-old girl's.  It was unreal.  This massive authoritative figure, with a huge red meaty face and thick walrus mustache and dewlaps and a neck that spilled over the rim of his shirt-collar, and his hands were tiny and pink and hairless and butt-soft, delicate as shells."

Definition: Transferred to similar parts in other animals, as the loose skin under the throat of dogs, etc., the pendulous fleshy lobe or wattle of the turkey and other fowls, and humorously to pendulous folds of flesh about the human throat.

Other:  I really had to look this word up.  Dewlaps sounds like something wonderful to have - dictionaries really can be destroyers of dreams.

SNOOT score: 1


Page:257
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Entry: paroxysmic (adj.)


In context: "My overall demeanor was paroxysmic."

Definition: Likely 3.a. . A violent attack or outburst of emotion or activity, but also see  1. Med. An episode of increased acuteness or severity of a disease, esp. one recurring periodically in the course of the disease; a sudden recurrence or attack, e.g. of coughing; a sudden worsening of symptoms.


Other: A surprisingly early first usage (1413!).  At any rate, probably not your first adjective choice for an online dating profile.

SNOOT score: 2


Page:255
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: obversion (n.)


In context: "It was such a simple obversion of my normal goods-delivery-preparation system that it hadn't once occurred to me, Lyle explained."



Definition: Likely 3. The formation of an obverse or counterpart. rare.

Other:

SNOOT score: 2

Page:255
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Monday, 23 April 2012

Entry: asphyxuated (adj.)


In context: "And you were totally shocked and traumatized.  He was asphyxuated, irradiated, and/or burnt."

Definition: Orin, describing his father's death, pretty clearly means asphyxiated, but I like the little slip.

The etymology is kind of interesting: modern Latin, < Greek ἀσϕυξία , < ἀ priv. + σϕύξις pulse (whence also asphyxis has occas. been used).


This seems to suggest that asphyxia meant, at one point, death (or the moments immediately preceding death once the heart has stopped).  The more colloquial meaning (The condition of suspended animation produced by a deficiency of oxygen in the blood; suffocation.) could as easily apply.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page:250
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: telemetry (n.)


In context: See previous.

Definition: The process or practice of obtaining measurements in one place and relaying them for recording or display to a point at a distance; the transmission of measurements by the apparatus making them.

Other: Sorry I'm a few hours late with this week's updates.  Was a busy weekend and I'm still catching up.

SNOOT score: 1


Page:249
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Entry: telemachry (n.)


In context: "Launching the nail out toward the wastebasket now seems like an exercise in telemachry."


'You mean telemetry?'


'How embarrassing.  When the skills go they go.'"


Definition: Neologism.  Intentional?


Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page:249
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Entry: apposite (adj.)


In context: "'Apparently the Ahts tried to fill up ancestors' bodies completely with virgin-blood to preserve the privacy of their own mental states.  The apposite Aht dictum here being quote "The sated ghost cannot see secret things."  The Discursive O.E.D. postulates that this is one of the earliest on-record prophylactics against schizophrenia."


Definition:  2. Well put or applied; appropriate, suitable (to).


Other: A SNOOT is nothing if not apposite.

SNOOT score: 2

Page:244
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Entry:micturation (v.)


In context: "'Micturation."


Definition: To urinate.


Other:  This entry can't help but remind me of this clip (language warning!)

SNOOT score: 2

Page:243
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary, YouTube


Entry: apotropaic (adj.)


In context: "'I suddenly understand the gesundheit-impulse, the salt over the shoulder and apotropaic barn-signs."


Definition:   Having or reputed to have the power of averting evil influence or ill luck.

Other:Neat word!


Etymology:  < Greek ἀποτρόπαιος averting evil ( < ἀποτρέπειν to turn away, avert) + -ic suffix


1904   W. M. Ramsay in Hastings Dict. Bible V. 115/1   The‥employment of a bull's head on‥sarcophagi‥evidently‥had at first an apotropaic purpose.

SNOOT score: 3

Page:243
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Friday, 20 April 2012

Entry:acclivated (adj.)


In context: "...the E.T.A. hilltop overlooking on one side, east, historic Commonwealth Avenue's acclivated migration out of the squalor of Lower Brighton..."


Definition:  Not sure - it's a neologism.  What do you think?  I'd be happy to include user-submitted suggestions.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1


Page:241
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Entry:calliopsis (n.)


In context: "..briars and calliopsis and pines mixed artfully in on the inclines with deciduous trees.."


Definition: Plains coreopsis or calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), is an annual forb. The small, slender seeds germinate in fall (overwintering as a low rosette) or early spring. Growing quickly, plants attain heights of 12 to 40 inches (30–100 cm). Leaves are pinnately-divided, glabrous and tending to thin at the top of the plant where numerous 1- to 1.5-inch (2.5-to 4-cm) flowers sit atop slender stems. Flowers are brilliant yellow with maroon or brown centers of various sizes. Flowering typically occurs in mid-summer.

Other:  See the Wikipedia page for images.

SNOOT score: 1


Page:241
 
Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Entry:brachiform (adj.)


In context: "...the devices' slings are of alloy-belted plastic and their huge cupped vehicle-receptacles like catcher's mitts from hell, a half dozen or so of the catapults in this like blimp-hangarish things with a selectively slide-backable roof, taking up a good six square blocks of Enfield's brachiform incursion into the Allston Spur..."


Definition: Context isn't too helpful and difficult to find a dictionary with this one.


Best I could find is: Shaped or bent like an arm.

Other:I tried looking up words that might give a suggestion as to meaning.  Apparently brach (n.) is any type of female hound that hunts by scent.  This later became a term of abuse (cf. bitch)

SNOOT score: 1

Page:241
 
Source: encyclo.co.uk


Entry:strettoing (v.)


In context: "...people barely twitching and conversations strettoing against a ghastly old pre-Cater thing saying 'We've Only Just Begun'..."

Definition:   A direction to perform a passage, esp. a final passage, in quicker time.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page:240
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Entry: afflated (adj.)


In context: "The 'base frees and condenses, compresses the whole experience to the implosion of one terrible shattering spike in the graph, an afflated orgasm of the heart that makers her feel, truly, attractive, sheltered by limits, deveiled and loved, observed and alone and sufficient and female, full, as if watched for an instant by God."


Definition: Breathed upon; inspired.


Other:No surprise here, after afflatus a few days ago.  I like this:


1862   Thackeray Roundabout Papers (1879) II. 229   We spake anon of the inflated style of some writers. What also if there is an afflated style—when a writer is like a Pythoness?

SNOOT score: 2


Page:235
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Entry:elision (n.)


In context: "Low-bugget celluloid horror films created ambiguity and possible elision by putting the ? after THE END, is what pops into her head: THE END? amid the odors of mildew and dicky academic digestion?


Definition:  1. The action of dropping out or suppressing:
 a. a letter or syllable in pronunciation.
 b. a passage in a book or connecting links in discourse.



Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page:235
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Entry:ipecac (n.)


In context: "'And then it turns out he'd put ipecac in the brandy.  It was the most horrible thing you've ever seen.  Everyone, all over, spouting like whales.  I'd heard the term projectile vomiting but I never thought that I - you could aim, the pressure was such that you could aim."


Definition: Short form for ipecacuanha: The root of Cephaëlis ipecacuanha, N.O. Cinchonaceæ, a South American small shrubby plant, which possesses emetic, diaphoretic, and purgative properties; also popularly applied to various forms in which the drug is employed


Other:One of those words that looks like it shouldn't have an anagram, but ipecac/icecap.

SNOOT score: 1

Page:233
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Entry:tesseract (n.)


In context: "'Fucks with the emulsion's gradient so that all the tesseract's angles appear to be right-angled except in -'"


Definition: A four-dimensional hypercube. Also fig.


Other: A neat image of a tesseract.

SNOOT score: 1

Page:232
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia


Monday, 16 April 2012

Entry: vulgate (adj.)


In context: ""Few foreigners realizes that the German term Berliner is also the vulgate for a common jelly doughnut, and thus that Kennedy's seminal 'Ich bein ein Berliner' was greeted by the Teutonic crowds with a delight only apparently political," at which point he aims his thumb and finger at his own temple at which point his TA doubles the focal-length so there's this giant - ""

Definition3. Common or colloquial speech.

Other:  Connection to vulgar is clear enough.  Etymology: < Latin vulgāt-us, past participle of vulgāre to make public or common, < vulgus the common people.

SNOOT score: 1

Page:232
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Entry: afflatus (n.)


In context: "...she [Joelle] feels not empathy or maternal nurture any longer, just a desire to swallow every last drop of saliva she will ever manufacture and exit this vessel, have fifteen more minutes of Too Much Fun, eliminate her map with the afflatus of the blind god of all doorless cages..."

Definition: †1. Breathing, hissing.  [ < Latin afflātus serpentis.] Obs.

and/or

2. The miraculous communication of supernatural knowledge; hence also, the imparting of an over-mastering impulse, poetic or otherwise; inspiration.



Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page:231
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Entry: pram (n.)


In context: "There was nothing coherent in the mother-death-cosmology and apologies she'd repeated over and over, inclined over that auto-wobbled lens propped up in the plaid-sided pram."

Definition: A carriage for a baby or young child, designed to be pushed by a person on foot; (now usually) one consisting of a cradle-like structure mounted on four wheels, with a handle for pushing and a hood.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page:230
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary