Simanaitis Says

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Tag Archives: “Merriam-Webster Online” dictionary

THE ATLANTIC REDUX PART 1

I’M IN A postpositive mood today. My topic and the word “redux” in the title are, according to Merriam-Webster, “placed after or at the end of another word.” In particular, … Continue reading

October 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

DICTIONARIES—DULL, DRY, AND MUSTY?

SAMUEL JOHNSON’s A DICTIONARY of the English Language, 1755, is anything but dull. Nor is Ambrose Bierce’s A Devil’s Dictionary, 1911, at all dry and musty. The tradition is maintained … Continue reading

September 27, 2019 · Leave a comment

ETYMOLOGY: CAITIFF, VARLET PART 1

CAITIFFS! VARLETS! WHAT rare but appropriate words describing too many politicians these days. Merriam-Webster lists “caitiff” as an adjective meaning “cowardly, despicable.” It defines the noun ”varlet” as “attendant, menial; … Continue reading

July 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

ETYMOLOGY: TINHORN, TIN-POT

FOR A WHILE there, I thought I had completed my Etymology for Our Times series. (Google “SimanaitisSays Etymology” for a sampling.) However, on July 4, the bone-spur-challenged president’s reality TV … Continue reading

July 6, 2019 · 1 Comment

ETYMOLOGY: PEEVISH, PETULANT

“PETULANT” WAS the first word that came to mind when I heard Trump’s threat to dump immigrants into U.S.sanctuary cities. But then etymology furthered my enlightenment. According to Merriam-Webster, the … Continue reading

April 16, 2019 · 3 Comments

MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION: DOMINOES OF LOGIC

THE WORD “INDUCTION” has a whole bunch of meanings: Merriam-Webster starts with “the act or process of inducting (as into office),” which is sort of a definitional cop-out: What’s “inducting”? … Continue reading

March 19, 2019 · 2 Comments

STYLISH WRITING PART 1

THERE’S NO SHORTAGE of authorities on writing style, some of them even worth emulating. Readers of SimanaitisSays may already sense my trust in two sources, Merriam-Webster and The Compact Edition … Continue reading

February 20, 2019 · Leave a comment