Vocabulary Study: Special Meaning Words


Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land:
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Sonnet “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus, etched on the Freedom Goddess statue at New York. See also Las Vegas Travelog: New York New York.


Is Hillary Clinton the saviour of feminism? Or its albatross, dragging feminism backwards under a weary weight of old-guard victimology and male-bashing?
Why women shouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton by Camille Paglia.
albatross = ① Any of several large web-footed birds …. ② A constant, worrisome burden; An obstacle to success.
old-guard = A conservative, reactionary faction that is unwilling to accept new ideas.


Trimarans are popular with many sailors for their stability; however, if capsized (for example by a rogue wave), they are virtually impossible to right, in contrast to monohulls, and this would typically be a fatal disaster for the boat's crew.
Donald Crowhurst (a British businessman who suicided in a competition for global sailing in 1969)
Trimaran is a ship with 3 hulls; compare to catamaran, which has 2 hulls.


In 1997, she ended her estrangement with the entire Jackson family and returned home to Hayvenhurst. That year, she divorced Gordon. Jackson has no children and currently resides in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
LaToya Jackson is Michael Jackson's sister, also a singer; infamous for posing nude for Playboy.


Those who think she will withdraw gracefully in a few weeks are living in cloud cuckoo land. The Clintons are ruthless scrappers who will lock their bulldog teeth in any bloody towel.
Hillary Clinton's candidacy has done feminism no favours By Camille Paglia. @ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3558713/Hillary-Clintons-candidacy-has-done-feminism-no-favours.html
scrap = To fight, often with the fists.


Hillary has tried to have it both ways: to batten on her husband's nostalgic popularity while simultaneously claiming to be a victim of sexism.
Hillary Clinton's candidacy has done feminism no favours By Camille Paglia. @ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3558713/Hillary-Clintons-candidacy-has-done-feminism-no-favours.html
batten = ① To grow fat. ② Thrive or prosper at the expense of someone.


Charges of sexism have become Hillary's rote strategy for evading scrutiny. But by entangling the noble movement of modern feminism with her own knotty psychodrama, Hillary is reinforcing hoary stereotypes about women. Will every losing woman candidate now turn on the waterworks and claim to be maimed by male pride and prejudice?
Hillary Clinton's candidacy has done feminism no favours By Camille Paglia. @ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3558713/Hillary-Clintons-candidacy-has-done-feminism-no-favours.html
hoary = showing characteristics of age, especially having gray or white hair


The woolly community process by which mathematical proofs become accepted seems all the worse when one considers the fact that mathematics is applied in the real world.
Formal Proof by Thomas Hales. American Mathematical Society Source
woolly = Consisting of wool, as, a woolly covering; confused and vague, used especially of thinking.


He ignored chants of “no more Bush” and “bye bye Bush” from the masses in the Mall, grinning gamely as he glad-handed the VIPs sitting alongside him.
Obama inauguration: George Bush - the man who was no longer president Andrew Clark, guardian.co.uk. @ Source
glad-handed = To extend a glad hand to. (AHD)
gamely = in a plucky manner. (plucky = showing courage)


While auto-industry critics have long called for new types of vehicles, such as gas-electric hybrids, Knittel's research underscores the many ways that conventional internal-combustion engines have improved.
The case of the missing gas mileage By Peter Dizikes. @ http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/cars-on-steroids-0104.html


… Variety's Todd McCarthy describes the film as “visually arresting” although “bombastic”. Kirk Honeycutt, writing in The Hollywood Reporter, praises the “beauty of its topography, colors and forms.” Empire gave the film 3/5 having a verdict of “Visually stunning, thoroughly belligerent and as shallow as a pygmy's paddling pool, this is a whole heap of style tinged with just a smidgen of substance.” 300 was warmly received by websites focusing on comics and video games. …


“Watch Out” is a single by Alex Gaudino featuring Shèna, released on January 28, 2008. It is the third single released from his debut album My Destination. The second release topically coincided with 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, as the music video features a “video-game” football match played by raunchy women in spandex shorts/tops


If, as I insisted, you'd read Tove Jansson's elliptical, elegant Fair Play or her marvelous The Summer Book, you could perfectly envision the Norwegian island chain where married lesbians Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen [adidas] were eating at their campsite when they heard shots and screams across the water. Did they run and hide? No, they're lesbians, so they jumped in their boat and sped toward the slaughter. The women pulled terrified teens from the water and the rocky coast as the insane far-right gunman shot through their vessel. Unfortunately, there were too many youth to fit in the boat. Hege and Toril ferried the group to safety, then hurried back to the massacre, rescuing another boatload. Then they did it yet again. And still again. Altogether in their four trips they saved forty people from the scene where seventy-six died.
Married Lesbian Couple Rescued 40 Teens from Norway Massacre By Stephen 〔sbottum@gmail.com〕. @ Source bandofthebes.typepad.com
elliptical = Of or relating to extreme economy of oral or written expression; Marked by deliberate obscurity of style or expression. (AHD) This word is related to “ellipsis”, which means he omission of a word or phrase necessary for a complete syntactical construction but not necessary for understanding (AHD). It is also how the math curve Ellipse is named. See: conicsEtynomogy.txt


She is saucy and heedless at first, headstrong when she shouldn't be, but smart, and able to learn.
Elizabeth By Roger Ebert. @ Source Movie review on Elizabeth (film).


Mr. Miller's job, as he made clear in an article last week in The Faster Times, an online newspaper, was to cram together words that someone's research had suggested might be in demand on Google, position these strings as titles and headlines, embellish them with other inoffensive words and make the whole confection vaguely resemble an article. AOL would put “Rick Fox mustache” in a headline, betting that some number of people would put “Rick Fox mustache” into Google, and retrieve Mr. Miller's article. Readers coming to AOL, expecting information, might discover a subliterate wasteland. But before bouncing out, they might watch a video clip with ads on it. Their visits would also register as page views, which AOL could then sell to advertisers.
Google's War on Nonsense By Virginia Heffernan. @ http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/googles-war-on-nonsense/
confection = A composition of different materials. [Obs.]; A sweet preparation, such as candy.; A piece displaying splendid craft, skill, and work.


What will that mean? If history is any guide, Page's idealistic impulses could result in a vaster, more sprawling company. In 2008, Google participated in an FCC auction for radio spectrum to be used for mobile broadband. By the terms of the auction, if the spectrum was sold above a certain price, the winner would have to allow other companies to run devices on their networks—something Google strongly favored but that telecom companies dearly hoped to avoid. Google executives worried that the telecoms would conspire to keep bidding below that baseline price. So the company got involved in a high-stakes game of chicken. Google would bid on the spectrum, high enough to get it over the threshold, and then bow out. It left Google potentially vulnerable; if nobody else topped its bid, the company would be stuck with a multibillion-dollar piece of spectrum that it was unequipped to exploit. “Google definitely wanted to lose,” the company's chief economist, Hal Varian, says. To Google's great relief, Verizon did top its bid, and the company was off the hook.
Larry Page Wants to Return Google to Its Startup Roots By Steven Levy. @ http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/mf_larrypage/all/1
vaster = Very great in area or extent; immense. (AHD)


When writer Christopher Buckley gave the keynote address at the annual evening banquet of the Yale Daily News last month, he was so outraged by the boorish behavior of audience members, many of whom had been drinking since the afternoon, that he castigated them in a New York Times Op Ed piece.
Higher Education: Crocked on Campus (A backlash against college drinking) By Christine Gorman, Time Mag.


Star Trek has evolved over the years from the brash, sometimes campy original series, with its Day-Glo colors and dimestore special effects.
Trekking Onward By Richard Zoglin. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,163350,00.html


Pauline (Melanie Lynskey) and Juliet (Kate Winslet) are children of two different cultures. Juliet's father is an English canon, and the girl is blond, worldly, brash; she was hospitalized for lung disease, and has been brought to New Zealand for the climate. Pauline, whose father manages a fish store, is dark and broody; she has leg scars from the ravages of osteomyelitis. Juliet sees their wounds as badges of spiritual aristocracy: “All the best people have bad chests and bone diseases. It's all frightfully romantic.”
A Heavenly Trip Toward Hell By Richard Corliss. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,163261,00.html


Logo is lisp, and Object Logo is, by and large, a pruned and manicured version of Apple Lisp
CompuServe post by Mark Warrian, ≈1991


sprucing up your code …


The Chamber has the pace and characters of a thriller, but little else to suggest that it was written by the glib and cheeky author of Grisham's legal entertainments. His tough first novel, the courtroom rouser A Time to Kill, is a closer match, but there Grisham played by the rules of melodrama: the hero won. Here the winner is something called process, the orderly, unemotional, bureaucratic march through the necessary steps before a convict may be poisoned by cyanide in Mississippi's gas chamber.
BOOKS: A Time to Kill? By John Skow. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980914,00.html
cheeky = Impertinently bold; impudent and saucy.


I'm sorry I was glib without being clear …
CompuServe user, Mark Warrian, ≈1991


i have a lesson for smart asses,
that poesy is not found in thesaurus,
but thesaurus is the foundry of poem,
only if you are not an ass.
Xah Lee, 2000-04


The church no longer contends that knowledge is in itself sinful, though it did so in its palmy days.


lots has lots of meanings like a meaning lot, the pedantic lot, almost chosen by lot. When we are in the lot where lots meanings are allotted in lots of ways like lottery, it's a lot of trouble to decipher, and is not fun, despite lots of right in front.

• sprawl → …So the issue is not urban sprawl.

• outing → outings at the ballet.

• picket → protesters who picket the event.

• fetchingly → [she] displays a fetching array of frilly panties, garter belts, stocking tops and high heels …

• sharper → a 19th century sharper.

• scale → He can scale an ordinary playing card across the stage with such force that it pierces a watermelon. [Time mag, Tricky Ricky, 1994-02-14]

• swamp → financial swamp.

• racy → Risqué; ribald

• summary → summarily destroyed at birth.

• beavering → …the Clinton Administration is beavering away at putting people to work…

• hub → …its New York hub.

• fence → …and thus could make stolen goods harder to fence.

• cricket → It's not cricket to cheat at cards.

• pacemaker → the fashion house that is the pacemaker.

• marshaled → marshal all the relevant facts for the presentation.

• gummed → gummed up the works.

• seedy → a seedy hotel in a run-down neighborhood.

• lobby → lobbied the bill through Congress.

• bearing → the poise and bearing of a champion.

• while → while the hours away.

• pitch → sales pitch.

• angle → Angle for promotion.

• quench → slake, extinguish

• wake → vigil

• underscore

• feeler

• instrumental → Scientific American [a magazine] is intrumental in developing my interest of science.

• rail → O, that I knew thy heart, and knew the beast, That I might rail at him to ease my mind! [Titus Andronicus, Act 2 Scene 4, Shakespeare]

• career → to move with speed

• hail → to fall like hailstone: hailing insults

• steward

• pelt

• brief

• condemn

• refrain

• hem

• bristle

• domino

• rout

• appreciate

• drove

• waffle → My dad has a joke about journalists being paid by the word… hence all the waffle they come out with.

• scrub

• boss

• conservatory

• slight

• hedge

• gouge

• dinky

• patrimony

• bustle

• breach → …in the breach…

• buffet

• infirm

• clip

• sheriff

• equipage

• ether

• pulp

• extravaganza

• vigilante → It [hanging] became so much a part of American culture that it was a preferred method of vigilantes… [Time Mag, early 1990s?]

• scour → The detective scoured the scene of the crime for clues.

• pitfall

• fray → MIT Profs Get Into Patent Fray with AskJeeves. (article title.)

• turnip

• bunting

• disgorge

• gorge, ravine

• cloy, surfeit, glut, satiate, sate

• zealot

• tackle

• scuttle

• rent

• implicate

• hideous

• scrub

• matrix

• seamy