Word of the day

May 21, 2008

4aI love reading and I'm so fascinated with words.  Yesterday while Zach and I were at Barnes and Noble I picked up a couple more books, books for reading just for fun.

But one that I was really interested in that I DIDN"T get was the Webster's  New world Essential Vocabulary. I think I may need to go back for it...

There is an online version and they have a word of the day site - so for now I might increase my vocabulary with that.



The Word of the Day for May 20, 2008 is:

ramshackle • \RAM-shak-ul\  • adjective
*1 : appearing ready to collapse : rickety
2 : carelessly or loosely constructed

Example Sentence:

The properties were separated by a ramshackle wooden fence that was just barely held together with chicken wire.

Did you know?

"Ramshackle" has nothing to do with rams, nor the act of being rammed, nor shackles. The word is an alteration of "ransackled," an obsolete form of the verb "ransack," meaning "to search through or plunder." ("Ransack" in turn derives, via Middle English, from Old Norse words meaning "house" and "seek.") A home that has been ransacked has had its contents thrown into disarray, and that image may be what caused us to start using "ramshackle" in the first half of the 19th century to describe something that is poorly constructed or in a state of near collapse. These days, "ramshackle" can also be used figuratively, as in "He could only devise a ramshackle excuse for his absence."


The Word of the Day for May 21, 2008 is:

opine • \oh-PYNE\ • verb
: to state as an opinion

Example Sentence:

In his review, Malcolm opined that it was good to see the band returning to the formula that had worked so well for their first album.

Did you know?

"Opine" has been around since the 15th century, and while it certainly is not a rare word today, not everyone is inclined to take it seriously. Commentators have described it as a stilted word, appropriate only in facetious use -- and it does have an undeniable tendency to turn up in humorous writing. Recent evidence, however, suggests that it is being used in perfectly respectable contexts more often. It typically serves to emphasize that the opinion being reported is just that -- an opinion. The etymology of "opine" is perfectly respectable, too. The term derives from the Middle French "opiner" ("to express one's opinion") and the Latin "opinari," meaning "to have an opinion" or "to think."


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