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Thread: Word of the Day!

  1. #101
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    Word for the Day- Monday March 13th

    GEOSEQUESTRATION (ge-o-se-que-stra-tion) n.: the storage of compresses near-liquid carbon dioxide in underground chambers.

    Geosequestration is a seemingly sensible idea - trap polluting gases from power plants, compress them until they are liquid and pump them underground. No more greenhouse gases trapping heat in the atmosphere and, therefore, no global warming.

    The nightmare scenario for geosequestration - also known as geostorage - occurred in Africa in 1986. In the dark of night, Lake Nyos in Cameroon emitted a huge cloud of carbon dioxide. The gas, which is heavier than air, settled in a thick layer over the surrounding area, asphyxiating 1800 people and countless animals.

    The so-called "catastrophic release" is one reason why many groups are nervous about geostorage. But defenders of the process point out a couple of things. The Lake Nyos disaster was a natural disaster - the lake is in a volcanic basin where carbon dioxide occurs naturally on the lake floor. No sane power producer would pump carbon dioxide and other waste gases into a lake (ocean geostorage is possible but not popular). It would be pumped hundreds of metres underground into porous rock.
    Last edited by ksquared; 03-15-2005 at 07:09 AM. Reason: wrong date

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    Word for the Day, Tuesday March 14th

    Hamster Care n. high-volume health care in which patients are not given specialized attention. Also hamster health care.

    1999 Federal News Service (July 14) “National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon With Dr. David Lawrence, CEO, Kaiser Permanente”: Ian Morrison…has coined a phrase. I think it’s going to appear in “Modern Health Care,” actually. He calls it “hamster care,” where people are just churning like mad to keep up with the demand.

    2000 Richard Smith British Medical Journal (Dec. 23) “Hamster health care: time to stop running faster and redesign health care”: Perhaps the purest examples of hamster care are in Canada and Germany. In these countries there is a fixed budget for all services provided by doctors and a standardised schedule of fixed fees. Doctors try to earn their target income by providing more and more services. But as the number of services provided by all doctors rises and exceeds set total budgets, so the fee for each service goes down. Like frantic hamsters the doctors run ever faster—but to no avail.

    2004 Nancy Luna @ Santa Ana, Calif. Orange County Register (Calif.) (Jan. 12): “The average doctor is seeing thousands of patients a year to survive, and the result is hamstercare, or treadmill medicine,” said Dr. Jack Lewin, chief executive officer of the California Medical Association.

    2004 Arthur Caplan Witchita Eagle (Kan.) (July 7) “Good health care should not be only for wealthy”: One might wonder why it is necessary to pay a bounty to get a doctor to call you back. The answer is that under the watchful eye of managed care and insurance companies, the quality of care has gotten so awful that doctors refer to it as “hamster care.” Only those patients who pay more are going to get treated by the “concierge” doctors who get off the daily treadmill and practice good medicine.

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    Word for the Day, March 16th

    interview without coffee n. a formal disciplinary meeting or official reprimand; a dressing-down.

    1990 John Goodbody Times (U.K.) (Apr. 2) “Greater communication urged to fight drugs”: Mahony said that the final interview by the IOC Medical Commission “was one of the most unpleasant, intimidating experiences of my life. After two carefree days, with a medal burning a hole in my pocket, it was an interview without coffee. It was not a pleasant experience.”

    1999 [Tex Bennett] Usenet: uk.people.ex-forces (Apr. 30) “Re: Off topic fried bread”: “‘Stern’ warning, does that mean ‘Off Caps’ at Defaulters on the QD?” “An interview without coffee?”

    2000 [Phil Mc Carty] Usenet: alt.military.army-cadet (Jan. 27) “Re: What Would You Do?”: A definite Commandant’s “IWOC’ (as we used to say in the Regulars…an ‘Interview without Coffee’) and serious disciplinary sanction. (Demotion? Transfer?)

    2001 Matthew Hickley Hobart Mercury (Australia) (Dec. 1) “Daring raid fails to nab bin Laden”: Eighteen Taliban were killed and dozens wounded and taken prisoner. I imagine they will be given a fair but tough interrogation—what the lads call interview without coffee.

    2004 Robert Fox Evening Standard (U.K.) (Jan. 19) “Troops face an unacceptable level of risk” p. 2: The meeting between Geoff Hoon and Samantha, the widow of Sergeant Steve Roberts, shot after he had handed back his body armour in Iraq, will be something of an interview without coffee—military jargon for a commander’s dressing-down of a subordinate.

    2004 James Kirkup, Gethin Chamberlain The Scotsman (July 22) “Commanders warn all ranks to silence dissent in public” p. 2: Punishments could include “administrative action and a nasty letter or interview without coffee,” a reference to a formal disciplinary meeting with superior officers.

    2005 Ireland On-Line (Jan. 21) “Officer not punished over Iraqi crackdown order”: The order by Major Dan Taylor breached the Geneva Convention and the crackdown which followed at an aid camp near Basra led to three soldiers being charged with abusing civilians. But Maj Taylor was only dealt with at “summary level,” which means he was spoken to by senior officers—a process known in Army slang as “interview without coffee.” The officers concluded that he was guilty no more than “misguided zeal,” the court heard today.

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    Word for the Day, Thursday March whatever....

    Ja well no fine - a noncommittal expression of unconcern, indifference, apathy, or ambivalence.

    1991 John MacLennan Sunday Star (Johannesburg, South Africa) (July 7) “The ANC could take a tip or two from the NP” p. 14: The question was put directly to new secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa this week and his inconclusive reply can best be described as a diplomatic “Ja, well, no fine.”

    1994 James Flannery @ Johannesburg, South Africa (Reuters) (Apr. 14) “Paradoxes abound in S. Africa’s march to democracy”: A casual conversation includes the benediction: “Ja well, no fine,” meaning: “How interesting, do go on” or “I"ve had enough, go away.”

    2000 Kurt Shillinger @ Johannesburg, South Africa Boston Globe (Oct. 22) “Letter from South Africa: Blend of Languages Hard to Digest” p. A17: Consider the local expression, “Ja, well, no fine."….Is it one word? Does it have commas? Even the Dictionary of South African English stumbles: “to explain this to a non-South African is a challenge.” A few years ago, the former radio broadcaster RJB Wilson, who coined the expression back in 1978, tried to explain it. “My youngest brother,” he wrote, “was in the habit of saying ‘no fine’ to everything that really required a ‘c’est la vie’ or ‘that’s the way the cookie crumbles.’ It had a nice South African feel to it. I added ‘Ja, well…’ to it to reinforce the South Africanism.”

    2002 Jean-Marie Dru Beyond Disruption: Changing the Rules in the Marketplace (Apr. 12) p. 93: Because “ja well no fine” make sense to us.

    2004 [Marcia Klein] Sunday Times (South Africa) (May 2) “Grapevine: Casualties of jargon”: The blurb reads: “The intention is to pilot various healthcare models to focus on cost-effective and quality healthcare delivery that is comprehensively measured by clinical outcomes.” Ja-well-no-fine.

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    Word for the day, Friday, March 18th

    KATASTROIKA (ka-tas-tro-I-ka) n.: In the former Soviet republics, a disastrous government reform or change, esp. the perestroika movement of the 1990s and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Also catastroika

    1989 Richard I. Kirkland Jr. Fortune (NYC) (June 19) “How China’s Chaos Affects the West” p. 77: While Gorbachev’s political reforms are breathtaking, his economic perestroika appears overly cautious and utterly ineffectual. French scholar Jacques Rupnik has suggested a new label: catastroika. The sprawling Soviet empire—full of fractious Ukrainians, Armenians, Tatars, and other nationalities—constantly threatens to come apart at the seams.

    1990 Jonathon Steele Guardian (U.K.) (Mar. 9) “Five Years of Gorbachev: Soviet fears of katastroika”: In the first phase of Mr Gorbachev’s rule, some Russians thought that glasnost was just a trick to get the reformers to stick their heads above the parapet and identify themselves. “Perestrelka,” said the satirists, meaning a general shoot-up. Now the joke is at the expense of the economic collapse: “katastroika.”

    1991 Desmond Christy Guardian (U.K.) (Oct. 18) “Europe: Light at the Opera—Gazetta”: Catastroika. A mixture of catastrophe and perestroika, it is used by Alexander Sinoviev in the title of a satirical novel he wrote in 1989.

    2004 Mark G. Field New England Journal of Medicine (July 8) “HIV and AIDS in the Former Soviet Bloc” vol. 351, no. 2, p. 120: The threats in the region from AIDS and other epidemics are potentially dire. Prophecies are always hazardous, but in the former Soviet Bloc, the outlook for the next few decades is perhaps best characterized by a Russian neologism invented to describe the adverse effects of the disintegration of the Soviet system: “katastroika.”

    Debt Crisis 2011: All the ostensible nobility in the world notwithstanding, we have run out of other people's money to spend.

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    Word for the Day, Monday March 21st

    learning cottage n. a residential trailer (British ‘caravan’; American ‘mobile home’) used as a temporary or portable classroom.

    1996 Mark Schultz Chapel Hill Herald (Durham, N.C.) (July 10) “Trailers still needed despite new school” p. 1: “The big joke around here is we call them ‘learning cottages,’” said Joines, who taught in the same trailer last year, her first in the system.

    1999 Victoria Benning Washington Post (May 6) “Learning On The Run: Trailer classrooms are a way of life at Centre Ridge Elementary, which makes getting to class—and to the bathroom—a negotiation” p. B1: Eight of the trailers—or “learning cottages,” as Fairfax parents and staff jokingly call them—house fourth-grade classes, four are third-grade classrooms, and the remaining ones are used for music and classes for gifted and disabled students.

    2000 Mary MacDonald Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Ga.) (Nov. 4) “Marietta schools fight battle of bulge; ‘Retreat’ today to discuss influx” p. G6: Photo Fifth-graders in Erica Allen’s class at Lockheed Elementary School place their book bags into plastic bins outside their “trailer,” which has been dubbed a “learning cottage.”

    2004 Meredith Byrne B9_Learning (Atlanta, Ga.) (Dec. 9) “A Little TinTin-Nabulation:Trailer Trainin’ (web hook-up)!”: Somehow, trailer (be it on a farm, or in a public school parking lot) just seems to lack esteemable associations. So now they’ve coined the term “learning cottage” to soften up the blow...at the same time I can’t help but to think “learning cell.”

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    Word for the Day, Tuesday March 22nd

    monkeyfishing n. to catch fish by charging water with an electric current then netting the stunned or panicked fish which rise to the surface. This works as long as you have some fish left to stun.

    1995 Jovida Fletcher Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (Mar. 19) “Resident Recalls Times Of Drunken Hogs, Monkey-Fishing” p. 3: In those days, he said, before it was outlawed, fishermen “monkey-fished” area lakes, meaning they would shock the fish and collect them as they floated to the top.

    2004 The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.) (May 29) “Anglers Charged With a Shocking Crime” (in Ocala, Fla.): Once highly popular, a monkeyfishing angler uses a homemade device to send an electrical charge into the water. To escape the shocks, the fish swim to the surface where fishermen scoop the stunned fish out of the water with a long-handled dip net.

    2004 J.R. Absher Sportman’s Guide (June 2) “The Outdoor News Hound—Shock And Awe Fishing”: The act of taking game fish through the use of an electro-shocking device is known in some regions as “telephoning,” and in others as “monkey-fishing.”

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    Word for the day, Wednesday March 23rd

    neurodiversity n. the whole of human mental or psychological neurological structures or behaviors, seen as not necessarily problematic, but as alternate, acceptable forms of human biology.

    1998 Harvey Blume Atlantic (NYC) (Sept. 30) “Neurodiversity”: Neurodiversity may be every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general.

    1998 [lioness1@prodigy.net] Usenet: alt.support.learning-disab (Dec. 29) “Neurodiversity Pride”: Any thoughts on the idea of neurodiversity pride: that is, that those who are wired differently from what is considered the norm, are not BAD, or DISABLED and don’t need “fixing,” but merely…different?

    2004 Coventry Evening Telegraph (U.K.) (Jan. 14) “Open meeting” p. 15: The next meeting of the Coventry and Warwickshire Neurodiversity Group is on January 29 at 7.30pm….Guest speaker Janet Taylor will talk about dyspraxia, a condition affecting movement and co-ordination.

    2004 Amy Harmon New York Times (May 9) “Neurodiversity Forever” p. 4-1: But in a new kind of disabilities movement, many of those who deviate from the shrinking subset of neurologically “normal” want tolerance, not just of their diagnoses, but of their behavioral quirks. They say brain differences, like body differences, should be embraced, and argue for an acceptance of “neurodiversity.”

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    Word for the Day, March 24th

    on (one’s) bicycle adj. in boxing, constantly moving around a ring (to avoid an opponent).

    1979 Globe and Mail (Toronto, Can.) (Nov. 26) “Weaver defeats LeDoux” (in Bloomington, Minn.) p. S20: We came out here (in the 12th) and Weaver was on his bicycle, dancing around.

    1996 W.H. Stickney Jr. Houston Chronicle (June 24) “Nunn takes his time, defeats Armenta” p. 11: Capitalizing on the expansive 18-foot ring, Sullivan got on his bicycle for the entire fight to avoid the power and hand speed of Zamarron, who trains in the same Austin gym.

    2003 Tim Smith N.Y. Daily News (NYC) (Sept. 21) “Win Despite Boo Byrds” p. 81: He never got on his bicycle, as they say in ring parlance about excessively defensive fighters, during his boxing career.

    2005 Brett Anderson Opti-board Forum Analysis (Cyberspace, US) (March 24th) “Lady boxer will hang up her gloves”: In the 11th round it looked like she had hit her opponent with a clean right, bouncing him into cyber-space. And for a breif moment got on her bycycle as we all awaited the final outcome.

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    Word for the Monday, March 27th

    paleoconservative n. a holder of outdated or old-fashioned conservative beliefs; a long-standing conservative. Also adj.

    The term paleoconservative (sometimes shortened to paleo or paleocon when the context is clear) refers to an American branch of conservativeOld Right thought that stands against both the mainstream tradition of the National Review magazine and the neoconservatives. The term derives from the greek paleo- meaning ancient, and has a humourous association with the dinosaurs through terms like "paleolithic" and "paleobiology."

    The phraseology "paleoconservative" was a rejoinder issued in the 1980s to differentiate itself from "neoconservatism". The rift is often traced back to a dispute over the director of the National Endowment for the Humanities by the incoming Reagan Administration. The preferred candidate was professor Mel Bradford and he was replaced after an effective media and lobbying effort (focusing on his dislike of Abraham Lincoln) by William Bennett. The trends preceding that pronounced schism go back as far as the 1950s.

    The paleoconservatives view the neoconservatives as interlopers. Their view of the mainstream conservative movement is that of a self interested movement lacking the self confidence to defend its old ideas.

    Many American Paleoconservatives see themselves as iconoclasts, breaking what they regard as liberal taboos.

    Paleoconservatives esteem the principles of subsidiarity and localism in recognizing that one must surely be an Ohioan, Texan or Virginian as they are an American.

    Though paleoconservatives may often hold views considered to be out of the "mainstream" in terms of conservative thought, a distinction should be drawn between them and right wing extremists. While paleoconservatives remain engaged in political discourse and promote academic and intellectual discussion, the latter group is characterized mostly by their pursuit of isolation and fringe status, as well as a general obsession with race and violence at the expense of broader political concerns

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    Word for the Day, March 29th

    qualoid n. a newspaper format roughly the size of a traditional tabloid, but with content similar to that of a broadsheet. Also adj.

    1990 Campaign (U.K.) (Sept. 28) “Sunday Correspondent; advertising must grab readers”: The “qualoid” form may just be enough differentiation to help the Corrie escape the continuing broadsheet print warfare.

    2002 Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) (Oct. 25) “Tunga nomineringar för SvD” p. 64: Lena K. Samuelsson nomineras “för att hon lett den journalistiska förnyelsen när SvD utvecklas från missmodig broadsheet till själfull qualoid.”

    2004 Steve Johnson Kansas City Star (Kan., Mo.) (Nov. 12) “For U.S. newspapers, future may be in tabloid size”: The roughly 18 1/2-by-12 1/2-inch size is also known as the “European midi” (France’s Le Monde uses it) or, really grimly, as “qualoid,” as in quality tabloid.

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    Words for the day March 31st

    Rummy’s Dummies n. a derogatory name for the U.S. military under the leadership of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

    2001 NY Transfer News Collective (NYC) (Dec. 21) “Mullah Omar, Entire Taliban Leadership Safe”: It’s only the tribal leaders “loyal to the new Afghan government of Karzai” who are getting wiped out at the moment, thanks to the Taliban’s superior counterintelligence convincing Rummy’s Dummies to bomb them on…the Road to Kabul. Good title for a movie.

    2004 [Quixotoes] Usenet: soc.sexuality.spanking (May 9) “Re: Another paddling cop”: Love that “unauthorized photography” charge. It’s probably all that will happen to Rummy’s Dummies.

    2004 Richard Kiefer @ Golden, Colo. Rocky Mountain News (Denver, Colo.) (May 26) “Letters”: Just what did Rummy’s dummies think Saddam and his cronies were doing while they were “fighting” a token war against “coalition” forces—knitting prayer shawls?

    2005 Tim Appelo Seattle Weekly (Wash.) (Mar. 9) “A Rap on War”: The sharpest blow to Rummy’s Dummies is a scene, shot long before the recent Rumsfeld press-conference debacle, wherein a gunner in mock-TV-news tones explains how safe he feels.

    (8 more to go and we are through the alphabet. I for one can hardly wait!!!)

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    Word for the Day March 31st.

    salvage v. to kill or assassinate.

    1983 Globe and Mail (Toronto, Can.) (Sept. 22) “Church leads way as Filipinos urge political reforms” p. P17: According to the task force report, 1,082 Filipinos were “extra-legally executed or salvaged (a euphemism for assassinations)” between 1975 and 1983. During the same period, 266 others “disappeared.”

    2003 Manila Standard (Philippines) (Sept. 9) “Use Arnold in a Sentence”: One has to admire the way Panfilo Lacson has evolved as a public figure. The development of his vocabulary adequately reflects this. Ping is quoted as saying it would be “ridiculous for me to execute my own witness.” The three syllable word execute shows a marked improvement over that two syllable Pinoy colloquialism, “salvage.” Four syllable words assassinate, exterminate and annihilate cannot be that far behind.

    2004 Patricio P. Diaz Minda News (Mindanao, Philippines) (July 13) “On Regrettables”: During martial law, “salvage” came into use in the Philippines to mean “to execute or dispose of a person summarily and secretly.” Filipino journalists use it that way without regret. I wonder if it will ever be entered into reputable English dictionaries.

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    Word for the Day April 1st

    twidget n. a soldier or other military individual whose job primarily involves using or maintaining electronics.

    1995 P.T. Deutermann Edge of Honor (May 1) p. 110: A twidget was anybody who wasn’t an engineer, and therefore, according to the snipes, not a real man.

    1996 Alex Lee Force Recon Command: 3D Force Recon Company in Vietnam, 1969-70 (Nov. 1) p. 152: As the Marines laughingly said, once they had become fans of the use of sensors, “If you want it done right, keep the ‘twidgets’ out of the field!”

    2002 Douglas Morgan Tiger Cruise (Mar. 1) p. 63: At this evening’s muster, ET2 Fred Larousse, one of Cushing’s twidgets—electronic technicians—and the senior man on the BAF, was holding forth on the subject of security alerts.

    2004 Peter Hall Express-Times (N.J.) (June 20) “Cullen ‘kind of an oddball’ in Navy”: Cullen was a “twidget”—someone who made fine adjustments to computers rather than turning a wrench to fix the ship’s heavy equipment.

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    Word for the Day, Saturday April 2nd

    unass v. to dismount or disembark (a vehicle); to get off of (something); to unseat (someone); to leave (somewhere).

    English.Military.Slang. This term dates back to at least the 1960s and the Vietnam War. It is especially associated with the military, from where it has spread to politics and aeronautics.

    1989 Richard West The Independent (U.K.) (Nov. 29) “Misfortunes of war: ‘About Face’—David H Hackworth & Julie Sherman”: Airmobile assaults were both exciting and frightening. Each one was a gut-churning event not dissimilar to the moment before you unassed a plane with a parachute on your back.

    1990 [geoffm@purplehaze.EBay.Sun.COM (Geoff Miller)] Usenet: rec.autos.driving (Nov. 15) “Re: getting rear ended”: “I’ll take ‘un-assing the A.O.’ to mean ‘helping up the arresting officer.’"…"Get a clue. The phrase is Army slang for ‘leaving the area of operations.’”

    1992 [Rick Pavek (kuryakin@bcstec.ca.boeing.com)] Usenet: sci.military (Dec. 30) “Re: Sheridan”: The crew felt they would be more useful elsewhere and dismounted the tank in record time. (We called it “Unassed the vehicle.")

    1993 [prb@access.digex.net (Pat)] Usenet: sci.space (Aug. 14) “Re: engine failures and safety”: There have been numerous cases of the plane making an acceptable touchdown while significant passenger casualties are taken before they can un-*** the aircract.

    1993 [barrey@Novell.com (Barrey Jewall)] Usenet: alt.war (Oct. 13) “Re: barefooted warriors in somalia”: Un-*** the place and leave them to fight over the food and die!

    1997 [ciacon@ix.netcom.com (Wayne Johnson)] Usenet: soc.culture.african.american (Dec. 20) “Re: The national debt to slavery”: But all these kinte-cloth pillbox hat mumia fans aren’t going to get two feet trying to convince anyone to un-*** several BILLION dollars, with the weak **** I’ve seen bandied about here.

    1999 ["Redleg" (jgriffin@qadas.com)] Usenet: alt.war.vietnam (Dec. 16) “Re: Vietnam F.A.Q.”: Move it. Move it. Move it! Unass my chow line.

    2004 [DonLampson@webtv.net] Usenet: rec.outdoors.rv-travel (Sept. 23) “Re: OT—Should we remain in the UN”: Trying to unass the 3rd world leader of it because we don’t like him sure would be “sending a message” to the rest of the world “community,” wouldn’t it?
    2004 Argghhh! (Nov. 14) “Monteith provides this dope about the Ferret”: The Saracen swapped the engine from the rear to front for reasons of easy debussing (dismounting, “un-assing’ in US miltary parlance) by the PBI (Poor Bloody Infantry) carried in the back area.

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    I suspect the term goes back to when people rode mules and donkeys (asses).

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    Words for the Day, April 3rd Sunday

    Quote Originally Posted by chip anderson
    I suspect the term goes back to when people rode mules and donkeys (asses).
    And still (being ridden) today. But I digress, if I'm ever going to finish the alphabet I mustn't let myself get distracted...and wouldn't you know I couldn't make up my mind so here are 3 words that begin with "v", who'd have thought.......

    Verwaltungsvereinfachungsmassnahmen n. an anti-bureaucratese, anti-bafflegab campaign.

    Ger. Verwaltungs ‘administration’ + vereinfachungs ‘reduction’ + massnahmen ‘measures’

    2000 CDU/CSU Fraktion (Germany) (Oct. 12) “Verbesserung des “Meister-BAfoeG” dringend erforderlich” (in Berlin): Verwaltungsvereinfachungsmassnahmen sollen ebenfalls zu einem Zulauf an Antragstellern und damit potentiellen Existenzgruendern fuehren. Es bleibt abzuwarten, ob die bisher untaetige Bundesregierung aufgrund dieses Vorstosses der Opposition aus ihrer Lethargie erwacht. (if you need a translation, send me a PM.)
    2004 Don Hill @ Prague, Czech Republic Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (June 9) “Writing Campaigns Encouraging Bureaucrats To Come In From The Fog”: They’ve assigned the effort to rid their writing of fogginess a name. It is Verwaltungsvereinfachungsmassnahmen—that is, “simplified administrative procedures.”

    voodoo poll n. an opinion tallying system whose results are easily manipulated or are otherwise untrustworthy. Never happens in our media....

    1990 David Zizzo Sunday Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.) (July 29) “2 Republican Candidates for Governor Battle Over Poll ” p. 16: Cole previously had called a Hargis poll showing Hargis leading in Tulsa “a shell game.” Hunter said this week’s poll for Price was a “voodoo poll.”
    1995 Econmist (U.K.) (June 17) “Special—Democracy And Technology—Electioneering”: The telephone has made opinion polling vastly easier and faster. It has encouraged not only the carefully structured poll, which confronts a large random sample with a well-designed question, but what Robert Worcester, head of MORI, Britain’s largest polling firm, calls the “voodoo poll,” whereby newspaper readers or television viewers are encouraged to telephone with their opinions on some burning issue of the day. Charging a premium rate for the call makes money, too.
    1995 Robert M. Worcester Independent (London, England) (July 23) “Condon and the voodoo poll” p. 22: To test the system, I rang nine times in the two minutes given to register a “yes” vote (although I would not normally participate in such a “voodoo” poll).
    2005 [Anthony Wells] UK Polling Report (Feb. 24) “Voodoo Polling Corner”: “Voodoo polls” is a term coined by Sir Bob Worcester to refer to phone-in, click-on or “press-the-red-button” polls, the sort of thing you see on Sky News, the AOL homepage or in the tabloid press. These polls have no statistical validity whatsover, they do not attempt to be representative of the population, they are entirely self-selecting and they are spectacularly easy to fix by getting partisan supporters to repeatedly ring them. No one should mistake them for a worthwhile indication of public opinion.
    2005 Kay Squared Personal Exsperience Archives (April 3rd) If you craft a question just right, you can the majority of the poll participants to say yes to just about anything. The masters are the political polling pundits and ABC news.

    visibility whip n. a worker responsible for precisely orchestrating the presentation of placards, chants, and other demonstrations of support among delegates at a political convention, especially during speeches.

    1988 Omaha World-Herald (Neb.) (July 19) “‘Dukakis Can Talk State Issues’ Kerrey Backs National Ticket”: Beatty Brasch of Omaha said her assignment at the Democratic National Convention is “visibility whip,” or cheerleader, of the Nebraska delegation. “It is extremely important that we demonstrate at the right time and that we are spontaneous,” she told the delegation.
    1996 Brad Cain (AP) (Aug. 29) “Week’s Worth of Politicking Just the Ticket for Delegate Couple”: Eymann is the state delegation’s “visibility whip.” It’s her job to coordinate which slogans the delegates chant, or the signs that they hold up at the right moment. On Wednesday night, it was her job to make sure delegates held up large cardboard pictures of salmon, fir trees and wheat when it came time for the Oregon delegation to cast its votes to nominate President Clinton.
    2004 National Journal (July 27) “Convention Dispatches: Definitely Thinkin’ About Tomorrow…”: Take, for example, the “America’s Future” signs brought out for President Clinton’s speech Monday night. Hotline sources report that DNCC “visability whips” were under strict orders not to pass them out even one second before New York Sen. Hillary Clinton finished her introduction.

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    OptiWizard ksquared's Avatar
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    Word for the Day Monday April 5th

    white knowledge n. information acquired without conscious effort.

    English. [This term originated in science fiction writing and is associated with the author Terry Pratchett, who probably coined it.]

    1995 [Colm Buckley] Usenet: alt.fan.pratchett (Feb. 12) “Re: IT Annotations (spoiler)”: I think it’s just a joke; the storming of the winter palace in the Russian Revolution is far more ingrained into people’s “white knowledge.”

    1997 Neil Gaiman Neverwhere (July 1) p. 9: He continued, slowly, by a process of osmosis and white knowledge (which is like white noise, only more useful), to comprehend the city, a process that accelerated when he realized that the actual City of London itself was no bigger than a square mile.

    1999 [knepveu@lynx.neu.edu (Kate Nepveu)] Usenet: rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan (Mar. 13) “Re: More on Verin”: _Why_ must you use the Socratic method to introduce the Old Testament? I mean, granted, most of your students will have absorbed the basics in a white knowledge sort of manner—I did, and I’ve never read it.

    2000 [Cassady Toles] Unknown Armies RPG Mailing List (Sept. 25) “Pacific NW Clio sites”: My friend Alexai describes the existance of a certain white knowledge that everyone has, but doesn’t know where they got it.

    2004 Priti Trivedi @ Toms River, N.J. Fractured Blog (Oct. 15) “See how busy we are?”: The production team is slowly picking up the lingo, so that last night when Chad asked for a “Half apple” I actually knew 1. what he was talking about 2. where it was and 3. where he needed to put it. That’s amazing! Okay, so maybe apple boxes was a bad example, but the amount of “white knowledge” we’re all picking up on this movie is what keeps us going when the going gets tough. Or cold.

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    Word for the Day April 5th Tuesday

    yips n. nervousness which interferes with precision playing, especially in golf; a case of nerves; the jitters.

    English. Sports. Golfer Sam Snead has been credited with coining this word, but while he certainly used it, no evidence has been found to support the claim that he created it.

    1937 Bill Braucher @ New York Hammond Times (Ind.) (July 3) “Tales in Tidbits” p. 9: Carl Hubbell says he got the “yips” so bad during his recent slump that he was walking into closed doors.

    1940 Hutt Martin Nevada State Journal (Reno) (Aug. 11) “It’s Well Worth While to Practice on Getting Out of Golfing Trouble” p. 14: The grass between the ball and the blade will cause a bit of run so allow for it and practice this shot at least twenty times the next time you go out, not that you will perfect it that quickly but having practiced it—it won’t give you those mental yips the next time you’re in that spot.

    1984 Jim Lassiter Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) (June 15) “Moody a Winner On Seniors Tour Moody Finds New Life on Seniors Tour”: Putting always was hard, if not impossible, for Moody, who spent 14 years in the armed services. He had trouble with three-footers. He seldom had a clue on anything longer than six feet. He had what they call the “yips."…If you’re a golfer and you have the “yips,” you don’t have to be told what they are. You also don’t have to be told you’re in trouble.

    2004 Barry Horn Dallas Morning News (July 3) “Rangers’ Bierbrodt tries to put shooting behind him”: After winning his first game against the Mariners on June 23, pitching six encouraging innings, Bierbrodt’s control looked lost again. In 1 2/3 innings Monday, he walked five batters. Once more, some misses could be measured in feet. In baseball, such misfiring is referred to as “yips.” They cost one-time Pittsburgh star Steve Blass his career. Most recently, St. Louis pitcher Rick Ankiel was afflicted with the yips in 2000.


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    Word for the Day Thursday April 7th

    zeitgeber n. a naturally occurring cue, such as light or temperature, which regulates biological rhythms; something which influences or regulates the timing or rhythm of something else.

    zeit ‘time’ + geber ‘giver.’ Coined by Jürgen Aschoff, ca. 1954.

    1958 Colin Pittendrigh, Victor Bruce, Peter Kaus Proceedings of the Natl. Acad. of Sciences (US) (Sept. 15) “On the Significance of Transients in Daily Rhythms” vol. 44, no. 9, p. 966: Light and temperature are the only periodic or quasi-periodic environmental variables to which endogenous oscillation can be coupled: in nature they entrain the endogenous oscillation, thereby controlling period and establishing appropriate phase. They are, to use Aschoff’s phrase, the principal Zeitgeber.

    1962 Miklos D. F. Udvardy American Midland Naturalist (Apr.) “Biology and Comparative Physiology of Birds” vol. 67, no. 2, p. 507-8: No reference is made to diurnal activity, Orstreue, Zeitgeber, and other terms of the last thirty years.

    2003 Franz Halberg Journal of Circadian Rhythms (Sept. 24) “Transdisciplinary unifying implications of circadian findings in the 1950s”: All three of us redefined our terms, they a zeitgeber and I a synchronizer (as primary or secondary), respectively, as an external agent, usually a cycle that does not “give” time and merely synchronizes existing body time with its own.

    2004 Alison Stein Wellner Inc.com (NYC) (June) “The Time Trap” p. 42: All companies exist in a cacophony of competing time rhythms, relentlessly drummed out by, among others, suppliers, clients, and competitors…These “external pacers” are known among academics as zeitgebers—German for “time givers”and they exert tremendous influence on your company. Zeitgebers can include anything from the fiscal year to the production schedule of a supplier to the school calendar in your community, and every company possesses a unique set of them. The more activities in your organization are synchronized with a particular zeitgeber, the more you’re “entrained” to it.

    And that concludes the off-words (finally)

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    Word for the Day Friday, April 8th

    bloviate (BLOH-vee-ayt) verb: to speak or write verbosely and windily

    Example sentence:On occasion I like to turn on the news and watch the media pundits bloviate about the top issues of the day.

    Did you know?
    Warren G. Harding is often linked to "bloviate," but to him the word wasn't insulting; it simply meant "to spend time idly." Harding used the word often in that "hanging around" sense, but during his tenure as the 29th U.S. President (1921-23), he became associated with the "verbose" sense of "bloviate," perhaps because his speeches tended to the long-winded side. Although he is sometimes credited with having coined the word, it's more likely that Harding picked it up from local slang while hanging around with his boyhood buddies in Ohio in the late 1800s. The term probably derives from a combination of the word "blow" plus the suffix "-ate."

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    For some further reading on Harding, try getting ahold of "Shadow of Blooming Grove" Warren G. Harding in his times, by Francis Russell. Its a fascinating account of this president. Amazon has it from $1.95 (used, I am sure) and if you get it, I guarentee you some excellent reading.
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    A round of Applause Please..............

    for Ksquared.......who works very hard at keeping this thread going. Great Job !!!!
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
    Lord Byron

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    Word for the day, Monday April 11th

    Schadenfreude - scha•den•freu•de (shäd'n-froi"du), noun

    -- Listen to the pronunciation: WAV format or AU format


    Vincent could not contain his schadenfreude


    a.) the sight of his dear friend humiliated and carted off to jail caused him untold anquish.
    b.) the comeuppance of his arrogant and supercillious tormenter filled him with a delicious sense of glee.
    c.) his ambivalence and inability to choose a set course and stick with it continued to plague him.



    And the answer is:b

    schadenfreude - Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

    German : Schaden, damage (from Middle High German schade, from Old High German scado) + Freude, joy (from Middle High German vreude, from Old High German frewida)

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    Word for the Day, April 12th

    Garrulous - gar•ru•lous (gar'u•lus, gar'yu-lus) adj.

    -- Listen to the pronunciation: WAV format or AU format

    I am a well-prepared, meticulous lecturer. In the cafeteria, however, I overhear one of my students complaining of my garrulous manner. Does this student consider me.

    a.) casual and indifferent.
    b.) chatty and annoying.
    c.) derisive and bitter.
    d.)
    Thought provoking and intelligent



    And the answer is: b
    1. excessively talkative in a rambling, roundabout manner, esp. about trivial matters.
    2. wordy or diffuse: a garrulous and boring speech.

    (how could they be so mistaken)

    Debt Crisis 2011: All the ostensible nobility in the world notwithstanding, we have run out of other people's money to spend.

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