Words, page 11


these boys… it's not their own idea, … that drives them to go out and hurt Lavinia… it comes from the machination of Aaron the Moor.
commentary from Julie Taymor's Titus
machination = A crafty scheme or cunning design for the accomplishment of a sinister end. (AHD)


this character has never been in love before, and now he's smitten.
commentary from Julie Taymor's Titus
Lotte, i'm smitten with you.
dialogue from movie Being John Malkovich, 1999
smitten = To inflict a heavy blow on, with or as if with the hand, a tool, or a weapon; To affect sharply with great feeling.


violence is something that's so quicksilver… it can come and go… it's just a snap of emotion here and there, it's so easy to manipulate, to be pushed into one direction or another.
commentary from Julie Taymor's Titus
quicksilver = liable to sudden unpredictable change. Mercury was commonly called quicksilver. From which we also have the word mercurial, and Roman God Mercury..


What set the book apart from its predecessors in the vampire genre was its confessional tone offering the point-of-view of the vampire himself and touching on existential despair and the sheer ennui of lifeless immortality. Anne Rice's previous experience writing bodice-rippers and lush pornography came into play
bodice-ripper = a popular modern variety of romance that emphasizes the sexual excitement of seduction and “ravishment”, usually in colorful settings based on the conventions of the historical novel and peopled by pirates, highwaymen, wenches etc. (excerpt from Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms) See also some Wikipedia highlight of Romance Novels.
ennui = Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest. (AHD)


Lilli was a gold-digging character from a “racy” comic strip drawn by Reinhard Beuthin for die Bild Zeitung, and the Lilli doll began to be sold in Germany in 1955. It was marketed to adults, not children: M. G. Lord, in her Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll, characterized the original doll as a “gag gift for men, a pornographic character.”
2004-01 Barbie
gold-digger = A woman who seeks money and expensive gifts from men. See also: Barbie Anthropology.
racy = Risqué; ribald. Though, originally the word means something like “Having a strong flavor indicating origin; of distinct characteristic taste; tasting of the soil; hence, fresh; rich”; “Hence: Exciting to the mental taste by a strong or distinctive character of thought or language; peculiar and piquant; fresh and lively.”


As she passed along, the people sang her praises, and strewed her way with chaplets and flowers.
chaplet = A wreath or garland for the head. (AHD)


Yes, the “Story” as an information vehicle. That was how people held and disseminated ideas. Raconteurship was a skillful entertainment that served far more of a purpose then than now. Movies are one of the vestiges of raconteurship.
philosopher friend Paul Kiesow in chat referring to The Arabian Nights.
raconteur = a person skilled in telling anecdotes.


Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976) was the chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945 until his death.
politburo = the chief executive and political committee of the Communist Party.


The Anna Nicole Show focused on her personal and private life in the manner of other “reality” shows such as the recent hit The Osbournes. Critics blasted it, saying it was so bad it deserved to be pitied. The show's debut was a bomb, and ratings dropped with each successive week. However, it achieved a kind of camp or cult status as many fans found humor in Smith's absurd and arguably stupid antics.
antic = a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement.


The magazine fell into a niche between Playboy's upper-class pretensions and Larry Flynt's no-holds-barred approach (Hustler mag), and began to lose the impact it once had.
Bob Guccione (2004-07) (article on Penthouse mag founder.)
no-holds-barred = unrestrained.


Penthouse was eventually outgunned by Larry Flynt's Hustler, which went even farther with both pictorials and editorial content than Guccione was willing to go.
2004-07, Bob Guccione


The movie opens with “The Customer is Always Right,” (though this segment uses the red dress from another short story in “The Babe Wore Red” collection) after which it segues into the opening credit sequence.
segue = proceed without interruption; in music or talk.


he is often fencing stolen property or arranging early furloughs for incarcerated former criminal associates — for a hefty fee, of course — on the side.
The Penguin (fictional char from Batman)
furlough = A leave of absence from prison granted to a prisoner. (AHD)
fencing = (slang) To sell (stolen goods) thru a fence.


ok bye let me know how it all turns out. Send email i want one LOVE-SICK email per day
2004. Adale in online chat.
lovesick = Languishing with love or amorous desire.


When I met you in the restaurant
You could tell I was no débutante
You asked me what's my pleasure
A movie or a measure?
I'll have a cup of tea and tell you of my dreaming
Dreaming is free
Lyrics from Blondie's Dreaming.
debutante = a young woman making her debut into society.


Deep sea fish is a term for fish that live below the photic zone of the ocean. Examples include the lanternfish, flashlight fish, cookie-cutter shark and anglerfish.

Because these fish live in regions where there is no natural illumination, they cannot rely solely on their eyesight for locating prey, mates, avoiding predators and whatnot; deep sea fish have developed alternative methods to what us land lubbers call everyday survival. Many deep sea fish are bio-luminescent, with extremely large dark-adapted eyes. Some deep sea fish have long feelers to help them locate prey in the eternal dark of the deep ocean.
lubber = an awkward stupid person.


A later variorum edition provided many alternate wordings from which Johnson, in a more limited editorial intervention, had been forced to choose for the sake of readability.
variorum = a edition containing various versions of a text or notes by various scholars or editors.


A professional floozy of the first order, Bild Zeitung's Lilli traded sex for money, delivered sassy comebacks to police officers, and sought the company of “balding, jowly fatcats,” says Lord.
The Littlest Harlot by Tracy Quan. At http://www.salon.com/1997/11/26/26harlot/ (on origin of Barbie).
comeback = a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one).
jowly = having sagging folds of flesh beneath the chin or lower jaw.
floozy = a prostitute who attracts customers by walking the streets.


The album also included “She Bop”, a paean to female masturbation, and the romantic ballad “Time After Time”, an instant “standard” which has since been covered by over 70 artists (most notably Miles Davis).
See also: She Bop (lyrics commentary)


There are three kinds of nomads, hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, and peripatetic nomads.

Nomadic hunter-gatherers have by far the longest-lived subsistence method in human history, following seasonally available wild plants and game. Pastoralists raise herds and move with them so as not to deplete pasture beyond recovery in any one area. Peripatetic nomads are more common in industrialized nations, traveling from one territory to another and offering a trade wherever they go.
peripatetic = traveling especially on foot.