Tag Archives: writing

Word of the Week – May 28, 2022

Habile

[HA-bəl]

Adjective

Latin, 15th century

Deft; skillful.

In Latin, “habilis” means something is easily handled. The French word habile means skillful, and we kept that definition in Middle English as well.  Able is the more common word today, but habile remains a particularly skillful word.  In today’s parlance, you’re more likely to use the word able rather than habile.  The pronunciations are somewhat similar, and the meanings are close.  Able implies you have at least the basic ability to do something.  But to be habile is to be quite talented.

Example: I had to explain my habile approach to composing documentation for software development to the project manager.

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Word of the Week – May 21, 2022

Metanoia

[me-tə-noi-ə]

Noun

Greek, late 19th century

A transformational change in one’s way of life; a change resulting from repentance and spiritual awareness

Metanoia has sometimes been personified throughout history as a shadowy goddess cloaked in sadness.  She was accompanied by Opportunity, and was known to cause regret for having missed important moments.  Metanoia literally translates to “afterthought.”  The ending -noia has long been associated with thought, as it is in “paranoia,” which are thoughts that don’t reflect reality.

Example: I experienced a moment of metanoia when I decided my opinion of myself mattered more than that of others.

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Word of the Week – May 7, 2022

Monopsony

[mə-NAHP-sə-nee]

Noun

Greek, 1930s

Economics – a market situation in which there is only one buyer.  From the Greek suffix “mono” meaning “one” and the Greek “opsōnein,” meaning “buy provisions.”  Monopsony can be easily mistaken with “monopoly,” but they have somewhat inverse definitions.  While a “monopsony” is a fiscal condition in which there is only one buyer of a good or service, a “monopoly” is a situation in which there is only one producer of a good or service.  Economic theory proposes that monopsonies can lead to lower wages for workers because they are paid less than their marginal revenue product.

Example: Elon Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter is proof the ultra-rich have been granted a monopsony over the media by the U.S. Congress.

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Word of the Week – April 30, 2022

Pervicacity

[per-vi-KA-si-tee]

Noun

Latin, 17th century

The quality or state of being pervicacious. Obstinacy; stubbornness; willfulness; from the Latin “pervicacitas,” meaning obstinacy.

Example: My individual pervicacity compels me to write, no matter my circumstances.

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May 2022 Literary Calendar

Events in the month of May for writers and readers

  • May 1 – Loyalty Day
  • May 1 – Save the Rhino Day
  • May 2 – Brothers and Sisters Day
  • May 3 – Garden Meditation Day
  • May 3 – Lumpy Rug Day
  • May 4 – National Candied Orange Peel Day
  • May 6 – Space Day
  • May 7 – National Babysitters Day
  • May 7 – National Train Day
  • May 8 – Mother’s Day (U.S.)
  • May 9 – Lost Sock Memorial Day
  • May 11 – Twilight Zone Day
  • May 13 – Blame Someone Else Day
  • May 13 – Frog Jumping Day
  • May 13 – Leprechaun Day
  • May 14 – National Windmill Day
  • May 15 – National Chocolate Chip Day
  • May 16 – Love a Tree Day
  • May 16 – National Sea Monkey Day
  • May 23 – Lucky Penny Day
  • May 24 – International Tiara Day
  • May 25 – National Towel Day (UK)
  • May 27 – Don’t Fry Friday
  • May 27 – Memorial Day (U.S.)

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Word of the Week – April 23, 2022

Eidetic

[i-DED-ik]

Adjective

Greek, 1920s

Relating to or denoting mental images having unusual vividness and detail, as if actually visible.  Though based on the Ancient Greek “εἰδητικός” (meaning “constituting an appearance”), the word was only coined in the early 1900s by German psychologist Erich Rudolf Jaensch who used the term “eidetisch” to describe the particular precision of mental images that were different from and far clearer than regular memories.

“Eidetic” is often used interchangeably with “photographic” to describe the capacity for incredibly detailed and precise memories, but there is a difference between the two terms.  Photographic memory usually describes the ability to recall detailed information (including texts and numbers), while “eidetic memory” describes an ability to maintain a vivid picture of something after it is gone, even experiencing a feeling of the image still being present.

Example: Memories of my recently-departed friend have been occurring with eidetic clarity.

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Instagram of the Week – April 16, 2022

Writer Steven Pressfield offering more brutally practical advice to aspiring writers and other creative types, as part of his ongoing “Move Your Ass” series.

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Word of the Week – April 16, 2022

Noetic [no-ED-ik]

Adjective

Greek, 17th century

(Formal) Relating to mental activity or the intellect.  Stems from the Greek “noētikos,” from “noētos,” meaning “intellectual”, which comes from “noein,” meaning “perceive.”  The Institute of Noetic Sciences is a nonprofit research center in Petaluma, California. Former astronaut Edgar Mitchell co-founded the center in 1973 after claiming he entered a meditative trance upon his return to Earth after the Apollo 14 moon landing.  He also said he conducted ESP experiments with earthbound friends during spaceflight. The institute conducts research on topics like consciousness-based healthcare, spontaneous remission, survival of consciousness after bodily death, psychokinesis, and alternative healing practices.

Example: I normally want to deal only with people who express a noetic sense of confidence.

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Word of the Week – April 9, 2022

Noumenon

Noun

Greek, 18th century

A thing as it is in itself, as distinct from a thing as it is knowable by the senses through phenomenal attributes (in Kantian philosophy). “Noumenon” is based on the Greek “νοούμενον,” meaning “something that is conceived with the mind.” This was in direct contrast to “phenomenon,” which came from the Greek “φαινόμενον,” meaning “that which appears visibly.”

German philosopher Immanuel Kant coined the word “noumenon” (and the plural “noumena”) in 1783 in an effort to describe things occurring outside of appearances visible to human beings. “Noumenon” describes a transcendental thing too great to be fully conceived with limited human capacities. Kant used the word in direct contrast to “phenomenon,” which is a fact or event perceptible to humans through their senses.

Example: My unique views on life manifest themselves as the noumenon of my stories.

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Word of the Week – April 2, 2022

Adjure

[ə-DJUR]

Verb

Middle English, 14th century

Urge or request (someone) solemnly or earnestly to do something.  Stems from late Middle English via the Latin “adjurare,” from “ad-” meaning “to” plus “jurare” “swear” (from jus, jur- ‘oath’).

Example: I often have to adjure myself to finish working on my latest novel.

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