Writer's Words

croon

Glenn Gould usually hummed while he played, and his recording engineers varied in how successfully they were able to exclude his voice from recordings… This became “an unbreakable and (notorious) habit”. Some of Gould's recordings were severely criticised because of the background “vocalise”. For example, a reviewer of his 1981 re-recording of the Goldberg Variations opined that many listeners would “find the groans and croons intolerable”.

prone

A human being traveling on a bicycle at low to medium speeds of around 15-25 km/h, using only the energy required to walk, is the most energy-efficient means of transport generally available. Air drag, which is proportional to the square of speed, requires dramatically higher power outputs as speeds increase. A bicycle which places the rider in a seated position, supine position or, more rarely, prone position, and which may be covered in an aerodynamic fairing to achieve very low air drag, is referred to as a recumbent bicycle or human powered vehicle. On an upright bicycle, the rider's body creates about 75% of the total drag of the bicycle/rider combination.

slink

At the man's heels trotted a dog, a big native husky, the proper wolfdog, gray-coated and without any visible or temperamental difference from its brother, the wild wolf. The animal was depressed by the tremendous cold. It knew that it was no time for traveling. Its instinct told it a truer tale than was told to the man by the man's judgment. In reality, it was not merely colder than fifty below zero; it was colder than sixty below, than seventy below. It was seventy-five below zero. Since the freezing point is thirty-two above zero, it meant that one hundred and seven degrees of frost obtained. The dog did not know anything about thermometers. Possibly in its brain there was no sharp consciousness of a condition of very cold such as was in the man's brain. But the brute had its instinct. It experienced a vague but menacing apprehension that subdued it and made it slink along at the man's heels, and that made it question eagerly every unwonted movement of the man as if expecting him to go into camp or to seek shelter somewhere and build a fire. The dog had learned fire, and it wanted fire, or else to burrow under the snow and cuddle its warmth away from the air.
To Build a Fire by Jack London.
unwonted = out of the ordinary.
slink = walk stealthily.

bonhomie

The two presidents made a joint effort to exude bonhomie. Earlier in the day, as they arrived at the White House for morning coffee, the Obamas presented a gift wrapped with a red ribbon to George and Laura Bush. The smiles were warm and Obama made a point of publicly thanking his predecessor for his “generosity and cooperation” during the transition.
Obama inauguration: George Bush - the man who was no longer president Andrew Clark, guardian.co.uk. @ Source
bonhomie = a disposition to be friendly and approachable.

doddery

Arriving for the inauguration, those around Bush looked increasingly old and weary. Dick Cheney turned up in a wheelchair, having injured his back moving boxes into his new home in suburban Virginia. Bush's father, former president George HW Bush, appeared doddery, swaddled against the cold and leaning heavily on a cane.
Obama inauguration: George Bush - the man who was no longer president Andrew Clark, guardian.co.uk. @ Source
doddery = mentally or physically infirm with age.

ambulatory

On November 18 McPherson was involved in a minor car accident. Paramedics initially left her alone because she was ambulatory, but after she began to remove her clothes, the paramedics decided to take her to the hospital. At one point she remarked that she had taken off her clothes in hopes of obtaining counseling. Hospital staff agreed that she was unharmed, but recommended keeping her overnight for observation. Following intervention by fellow Scientologists, McPherson refused psychiatric observation or admission at the hospital and checked herself out after a short evaluation.
ambulatory = able to walk about.

splenetic

There's something about logos that makes them a magnet for protest. Whether it's Starbucks, Gap, or some other company, new or changing logos always provide an opportunity for a bit of splenetic outrage.
The Truth Behind HTML5's New Logo Fiasco By Bobbie Johnson @ http://gigaom.com/2011/01/19/the-truth-behind-html5s-new-logo-fiasco/
splenetic = 1. of or relating to the spleen. 2. very irritable.

extemporize

When he found himself out of work in November 1754, Foote rented the Haymarket theatre and began to stage mock lectures. Satirizing Charles Macklin's newly opened school of oratory, these lectures created a sort of theatrical war, especially when Macklin began to appear at the lectures himself. At one particular lecture, Foote extemporized a piece of nonsense prose to test Macklin's assertion that he could memorise any text at a single reading.
Samuel Foote 2011-02-12
extemporize = To speak extempore; especially, to discourse without special preparation; to make an offhand address.

hovel

When you read the enormous list of sites with Penney links, the landscape of the Internet acquires a whole new topography. It starts to seem like a city with a few familiar, well-kept buildings, surrounded by millions of hovels kept upright for no purpose other than the ads that are painted on their walls.
The Dirty Little Secrets of Search By David Segal. @ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/business/13search.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
hovel = A small, miserable dwelling. (AHD)

opprobrium

Research on romance has consistently shown that men and women who don't notice attractive strangers tend to be more satisfied in their own relationships and are more likely to stay with their partners long term. Of course, that blindness has to come naturally. When a person is forced to divert his attention from that cute bartender — by, say, a jealous partner's opprobrium — it could result in a sort of "backlash" effect, which may end up reducing his level of relationship commitment.
The Case for Letting Your Partner's Eye Wander By Meredith Melnick. @ http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/11/the-case-for-letting-your-partners-eye-wander/
opprobrium = Scornful reproach or contempt. (AHD)

snoop

In 2006, News of the World's royal editor Clive Goodman and his associates, investigator Glenn Mulcaire and Davy Craig (Editor of the Weekly News), were arrested due to allegations of phone hacking made by the British monarchy in 2005. Goodman and Mulcaire were subsequently charged and imprisoned for four and six months, respectively, while then-editor Andy Coulson resigned but was not formally charged at the time.

In 2009 and 2010, further revelations emerged regarding the extent of the phone hacking and the number of News of the World employees who may have been aware of the practices. By March 2010, the paper had spent over £2 million settling court cases with victims of phone hacking. In July 2009, The Guardian made a series of allegations of wider phone hacking activities at the News of the World newspaper, that were aimed at other people like the TV host Chris Tarrant.

This led to several prominent figures who were covertly snooped upon bringing legal action against the News of the World's owner and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. Amongst those who began legal action were football agent Sky Andrew, the actors Sienna Miller and Steve Coogan, the television presenter Chris Tarrant and ex-Sky Sports presenter, Andy Gray.

snooped = To pry into the private affairs of others, especially by prowling about. (AHD)

hobnobbing

Speaking of success, Kimberly Winnington tells me she'll be accompanying the documentary's directors to the Emmy awards, perhaps hobnobbing with TV's best stars. Which shows how far you can go, when you work the virtual coal mine.
Second Life's Emmy-Nominated Virtual Mine Played 5000x by a 1200+ Users, Including RL Appalachians By Wagner James Au. @ http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2011/07/virtual-mine-emmy-project-second-life.html

baying

Lee is, of course, not alone in having this anonymous violent hatred directed toward him. On parts of the internet it has become pretty much common parlance. Do a quick trawl on the blog sites and comment sections about most celebrities and entertainers – not to mention politicians – and you will quickly discover comparable virtual rage and fantasised violence. Comedians seem to come in for more than most, as if taboo-breaking was taken as read, or the mood of the harshest baying club audience had become a kind of universal rhetoric. It's not quite heckling this, though, is it? A heckle requires a bit of courage and risk; the audience can see who is doing the shouting. Lee's detractors were all anonymous. How should we understand it then: harmless banter? Robust criticism? Vicious bullying?
How the internet created an age of rage By Tim Adams. @ http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/24/internet-anonymity-trolling-tim-adams
bay = To bark, as a dog with a deep voice does, at his game. To express by barking or howling.

aflutter

In the original (1966-68) live action TV version of Batman, more than one actress portrayed Catwoman, but without a doubt Julie Newmar created the iconic role, in a costume and with mannerisms that set many a teenage boy's heart aflutter.

In this classic sequence, Catwoman is cornered by Batman, and considers finally reforming — if Batman will do something in return. But this leaves a quandary — “What about Robin?” - Scat! Darn Catwoman Part 3

rappel

Mexican Navy intelligence kept track on him and one week later, on December 16, 2009 he was traced to another luxurious apartment community where a 90-minute shootout ensued. About 200 Mexican Marines, two Navy Mil Mi-17 helicopters, from which marines rappelled, and two small Army tanks surrounded the building complex where he was hiding. Approximately 20 fragmentation hand grenades were used by Beltrán Leyva's gunmen to keep the Navy from advancing into his position.

dawdle

The film has received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes says that out of 148 critics, 20% of them gave it a positive review (22% of 27 top critics gave it a positive review), which qualifies the film as “Rotten”. The consensus is “Anthony Hopkins is as excellent as ever, but he's no match for The Rite's dawdling pace and lack of chills – or Colin O'Donoghue's tentative performance in the leading role.”

vex

However, what has vexed Mr. Obama as well as economists and policy makers is that Apple — and many of its high-technology peers — are not nearly as avid in creating American jobs as other famous companies were in their heydays.
How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work By Charles Duhigg, Keith Bradsher. @ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html

lanky

Anthony Levandowski, business lead on Google's self-driving-car project, sits in the passenger seat, lanky and spectacled, wearing loud athletic shoes and clutching a MacBook Pro with a bumper sticker that reads “My other car drives itself.” Urmson, with the soft-spoken, intense mien of a roboticist who has debugged a Martian rover in the deserts of Chile, occupies the nominal “driver's seat” — just one of the entities open to ontological inquiry this morning.
Let the Robot Drive: The Autonomous Car of the Future Is Here By Tom Vanderbilt. @ http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/01/ff_autonomouscars/all/1
ontology = The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being. (AHD) Ontology

wizened

A hag is a wizened old woman, or a kind of fairy or goddess having the appearance of such a woman, often found in folklore and children's tales such as Hansel and Gretel. Hags are often seen as malevolent, but may also be one of the chosen forms of shapeshifting deities, such as the Morrígan or Badb, who are seen as neither wholly beneficent nor malevolent.

The term appears in Middle English, and was a shortening of “hægtesse”, an Old English term for witch, similarly the Dutch “heks” and German “hexe” are also shortenings, of the Middle Dutch “haghetisse” and Old High German “hagzusa” respectively. All these words derive from the Proto-Germanic “*hagatusjon-” which is of unknown origin, however the first element may be related to the word “hedge”. As a stock character in fairy or folk tale, the hag shares characteristics with the crone, and the two words are sometimes used as if interchangeable.

Hag,

traipse

So why the Midtown migration? Like cavemen following mammoth across the Bering Strait, early developers were following their prey. “Who's moving north?” Mr. Barr said. “It's the wealthy and the middle class. If you're an insurance salesman, do you really want to be traipsing through the slums of Five Points or the factories of SoHo to get to work? That land was cheap, but the location was worthless.”
Uncanny Valley: The Real Reason There Are No Skyscrapers in the Middle of Manhattan By Matt Chaban. @ http://www.observer.com/2012/01/uncanny-valley-the-real-reason-there-are-no-skyscrapers-in-the-middle-of-manhattan/
• Bering Strait ⇒ «The Bering Strait has been the subject of scientific speculation that humans migrated from Asia to North America across a land bridge at a time when lower ocean levels – perhaps a result of glaciers locking up vast amounts of water – exposed a ridge beneath the ocean. This would have allowed humans to walk from Siberia to Alaska, thus populating North and South America.»
• Five Points ⇒ Five Points, Manhattan, NYC, NY, USA. «Five Points gained international notoriety as a disease-ridden crime-infested slum that existed for well over 70 years.»
• SoHo ⇒ SoHo. «a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City, notable for being the location of many artists' lofts and art galleries, and also, more recently, for the wide variety of stores and shops ranging from trendy boutiques to outlets of upscale national and international chain stores.»

mincing

Earlier in the interview, responding to a question on class warfare in the political system, Christie, who has developed a reputation for not mincing words, said he didn't want to discuss Buffett.
Chris Christie to Warren Buffett: Just 'shut up' By Charles Riley @Cnnmoney. @ http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/21/news/economy/chris_christie_warren_buffett/index.htm

consequentialist

When I was say that I judge RMS [Richard Stallman] is a fanatic, I mean something very specific by that. I cite Santayana's definition: “Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim”. By his own account of his road-to-Damascus experience, RMS started out attempting to solve a problem; there was this broken printer driver that he couldn't fix because he couldn't get the source. RMS correctly identified [computer software] source secrecy as a damaging practice leading to bad outcomes.

Unfortunately, RMS made an early decision to frame his advocacy as a moral crusade rather than a pragmatic argument about engineering practices and outcomes. While he made consequentialist arguments against closed source (and still does) his rhetoric and his thinking became dominated by terms like “evil”, to the point where he repeatedly alienated potential allies both with his absolutism and his demand that anyone cooperating with him share it.

Why I think RMS is a fanatic, and why that matters By Eric S Raymond. @ http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=4386
road-to-Damascus = (idiom) A important point in someone's life where a great change, or reversal, of ideas or beliefs occurs.
consequentialist = (Philosophy) Ethics the doctrine that an action is right or wrong according as its consequences are good or bad. [AHD]

Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia (from the Greek δυσ- dys- and πέψις pepsis “digestion”), also known as upset stomach or indigestion, refers to a condition of impaired digestion. It is a medical condition characterized by chronic or recurrent pain in the upper abdomen, upper abdominal fullness and feeling full earlier than expected when eating. It can be accompanied by bloating, belching, nausea, or heartburn.
Dyspepsia,

wax and wane

Tourette syndrome source
Tourette syndrome is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic. These tics characteristically wax and wane, can be suppressed temporarily, and are preceded by a premonitory urge. Tourette's is defined as part of a spectrum of tic disorders, which includes transient and chronic tics.
Tourette syndrome,
tic = A tic is a sudden, repetitive, nonrhythmic motor movement or vocalization involving discrete muscle groups. Tic
wax and wane = to increase and then decrease, as the phases of the moon.

dunk

Apparently, we — a collective of food-eating-ketchup-using hooligans — have been consuming ketchup all wrong.

If you've ever poured ketchup into those tiny paper cup containers and brought them back to your table for fry dunking and burger smearing, you might be a victim of ketchup ignorance as well.

Did you know that these ketchup containers are built to fan out, and are made to allow for more dunk square-footage?

As it stands, your fries probably fit pretty snugly, but imagine wanting to dip your burger into that tiny cup — not happening.

So Apparently, We've Been Using Ketchup Cups All Wrong By Elie Ayrouth. @ http://foodbeast.com/content/2012/08/01/so-apparently-weve-been-using-ketchup-cups-all-wrong/

scrappy

Raising an army (or, in this case, building an enormous story-driven video game) is an expensive proposition and can take a number of years. In keeping with the scrappy, ragtag band of adventurers model, we are building this larger vision one step at a time. The next step is to build a functional proof of concept in the form of an exciting prototype we can share with you and use to achieve our next level of funding — which will enable us to provide more character models, more environments, and more MASEs. Which is to say, other weapons and styles from other places and eras. We are building a framework that can be expanded as far and as deeply as possible. We have, after all, several thousand years of martial history to draw from.
Author Neal Stephenson planning to revolutionlize sword-fighting games. Source www.kickstarter.com
scrappy = Full of fighting spirit; argumentative.

sobriquet

Rogers infiltrates the fortress belonging to Schmidt's HYDRA organization, freeing Barnes and the other captured soldiers. Rogers confronts Schmidt who reveals his face to be a mask, removing it to display the red, skull-like face that earned him the sobriquet, the Red Skull. Schmidt escapes and Rogers returns to base with the freed soldiers.

sleuth

Suspicion fell quickly on a possible culprit in the Philippines, in part because the virus' eight pages of computer code contained a tantalizing word: Barok. A search of virus registries quickly revealed that it was the name of a so-called Trojan horse, a stealthy software program that filches passwords, written by a Filipino hacker last year. Still, the transparency of this clue suggested that the word might have been inserted as a deliberate smoke screen to fool the computer sleuths.
Attack Of The Love Bug By Lev Grossman. @ http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,44514,00.html On ILOVEYOU (computer virus).

malefic

In A.D. 3034, the universe is ruled by Drej, translucent, electric-blue beings of pure energy and malefic power.
Star-toon Time By Richard Corliss. @ http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,997253,00.html On sci-fi animation Titan A.E. (2000)

vicariously

If there's such a thing as being fired vicariously, it happened to me last Wednesday.
Writing By Numbers James Poniewozik. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,997271,00.html

fume

it is apparent that you not only have a poor diction, but also wanting of erudition. The sea of your will and ignorance, seethes and fumes like a boiling pot of piss.
Xah Lee in comp.lang.lisp, 2000-04-26

forte

What? Eloquent philosophical diatribe is your forte? I hardly see you open your mouth against the wind, but more likely the wind blew it open at times.
Xah Lee
forte = The strong point; that in which one excels.

prolix

… And, when you are accosted by a jaunty man of prolix gripes and dire agendas, not only lisp ain't his Scheme, but the only one.
Xah Lee on comp.lang.lisp, 2000-06-25

scoot

scoot is what scooters do — scooting around; scouting is what boy scout do — scouting around.

svelte

Beattie at 22, svelte and winsome.
description of a photo of a girl
svelte = gracefully slender; moving and bending with ease [syn: lissome, lissom, lithe, lithesome, slender, supple, sylphlike]

hullabaloo

“blame Canada… with all their hockey hullabaloo”
Lyrics from song Blame Canada in animated musical South Park.
hullabaloo = A confused noise; uproar; tumult.

emasculate

The mature American male is an idiot unable to cope with the emasculating competitive careerism of women (itself a laughable charade); he can save himself only by a wilful reversion to adolescence. But in the reversion, he must die. (Hmmm. Why exactly?)
The Subtle Stink That Mars ‘American Beauty’ By Lance Morrow. @ http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,41820,00.html Movie review on American Beauty.
emasculate = To deprive of masculine vigor or spirit; to weaken; to render effeminate; to vitiate by unmanly softness.

auteurs

Auteurs everywhere are trying to break into show biz by doing it themselves—and putting it online. Now they just have to get you to watch.
Everyone's a star.com By Romesh Ratnesar and Joel Stein. time.com. @ http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/2000/0605/cover1.html
auteur = a filmmaker who has a personal style and keeps creative control over his or her works.

ascetic

“So I was wondering why call/cc is not implemented.”. Because the Common Lisp crowd doesn't want you to implement manually all the control flow mechanisms that CALL/CC is used to implement, and that is because there is no desire to pare the language down to “essentials” or Scheme's ascetic/annorexic notions of “elegance”.
continuations and cl by Erik Naggum. Newsgroup posting on comp.lang.lisp.
annorexia = Loss of appetite for food. annorexia.
Scheme is a computer language. Call/cc is short for Call-with-current-continuation. It is a technical feature of programing languages.
ascetic = A person who renounces material comforts and leads a life of austere self-discipline.

nebulous

cloudy, as in nebula

presage

If any feminist cultural critics want to wring their hands over Oxygen's media offerings, they should be doing so not because it's so banal, but because it presages a spectacular failure for a high-profile female's business venture.
Oxygen Tent by Vixel Pixen (aka Lisa Schmeiser)〕 A Suck.com satire, http://www.suck.com/daily/2000/03/13/daily.html On Oxygen (TV channel)
presage = Something which foreshows or portends a future event; a prognostic; an omen; an augury.

ululate

In H G Well's The War of the Worlds, the martians ululate for their impinging death.

orgiastic

Recently i learned what is pajama party. Certainly, it can be a orgiastic feast.

muddle

don't muddle my song

ruse

“what a ruse!”

instate

install

simper

simpering kid

oblate

oblong, spheroid

nonplus

I'm nonplussed by your nominal exhibition

swaddle

mummies are swaddled.

locus

like focus, a concentration

astringent

Turn now to Frances Kiernan's Mary McCarthy biography, called “Seeing Mary Plain” (Norton, $35, 939 pages), an overlong but riveting portrait of a brilliant literary celebrity and minor writer two or three generations back. McCarthy was a beautiful woman of tart tongue and astringent mind who made her ambitious way amid a splendid cast of literary characters during decades when reading and writing still meant something.
Jennifer Lopez Is Delicious; Today's Gossip Isn't by Lance Morrow in Time Mag. @ http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,40688,00.html

obstreperous

As a practical matter, it occurs to me that Ms. Lopez's strategy in wearing such a costume, exposing almost her entire front, was to redirect attention from her rear, which had been the subject of so much obstreperous commentary.
Jennifer Lopez Is Delicious; Today's Gossip Isn't by Lance Morrow in Time Mag. @ http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,40688,00.html
obstreperous = Attended by, or making, a loud and tumultuous noise; clamorous; noisy; vociferous.

requiem

when i think of requiem, i think of Mozart's requiem.
There's a movie titled “Requiem for a Dream” (2000), starring Jennifer Connelly. For screenshots, see: 〈Requiem for a Dream〉 Screenshots.
requiem = Any grand musical composition, performed in honor of a deceased person.

privy

Accusing someone of having a “dysfunctional brain” isn't belittling them? Unless the person has a clinical mental deficiency (a fact that I don't think any of us are privy to about most other posters), this is clearly intended as an insult
Online posting. Barry Magolin on comp.lang.lisp, 2000-08

vanquished

“Titus Andronicus” was no doubt Lecter's favorite Shakespeare play, opening as it does with Titus returning to Rome with the corpses of 21 of his sons and their four surviving brothers, and pausing in his victory speech only long enough to condemn the eldest son of Tamora, vanquished queen of the Goths, to be hacked limb from limb, and the pieces thrown on a fire.
Movie review of Julie Taymor's film Titus (1999). Titus By Roger Ebert. @ http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20000121/REVIEWS/1210304/1023. See: Julie Taymor's Titus. Annotated full text: The Tragedy Of Titus Andronicus.
vanquish = To conquer, overcome, or subdue in battle, as a enemy.

milquetoast

A quick note to our readers: As you've undoubtedly noticed, here at TIME.com we've taken the liberty of using the word “asshole” in its entirety (except in headlines). First, we figure that reporting the news means telling the whole story, and, second, it strikes us as a bit prissy to ignore the actual wording of a quote in favor of a milquetoast replica.
2000-09-06 time.com, about George W. Bush made the blunder of calling someone asshole unawaring it went through microphone.
milquetoast = a timid, unassertive man or boy fearful of confrontation and easily manipulated and dominated. From Caspar Milquetoast, a character in a cartoon strip by H T Webster, The Timid Soul (1935)

innuendo

American media are filled with sick sex and violence innuendos, while the righteous cry out of web censorship for the protection of children.
Xah Lee

prattle

The men up there don't like a lot of blabber
They think a girl who gossips is a bore
Yes, on land it's much preferred
For ladies not to say a word
And after all, dear, what is idle prattle for?
Come on, they're not all that impressed with conversation
True gentlemen avoid it when they can
But they dote and swoon and fawn
On a lady who's withdrawn
It's she who holds her tongue who gets her man
Lyrics from song Poor Unfortunate Souls in cartoon animation Little Mermaids.

stuporous

adjective of stupor. Like torpor, one of the gifts of drugs

paramount

all impotent, like Paramount Pictures

juggernaut

Microsoft is a juggernaut, so is unix. (Unix morons, get that!)

quizzical

when i winked, she looked quizzical, and when i raised my eyebrow, she winked. The whole incident is quite quizzical to those blind.

rubicund

reddish, of checks

paraphernalia

personal baggage

galvanize

modern love in S&M circles are galvanized, literally.

pronouncement

sexual acts are most natural without pronouncements

protractile

cats are equipped with protractile claws

iota

i have not an iota of schooling, nevertheless i have a lot to say, and my babbling irradiates nescience

promissory

a note of promise

presbyter

church stuff. ecclesiastical…

apprise

Yet when apprised of Whitestone's remark about ASL being limiting, Doshi says (via computer E-mail), “I truly disagree with that.” MJ Bienvenu, head of the Bicultural Center in Riverdale, Maryland, goes further. Speaking through an interpreter, she says, “That's a very damaging statement; there are many successful Deaf people.” Bienvenu, a leading ideologue of cultural deafness, isn't happy Whitestone won. “It misportrays what Deaf is,” she says. “She may be (medically) deaf, but she does not have the social identity of a Deaf person.”
Beyond the Sound Barrier By David Van Biema. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981525,00.html. On deaf community centered around deaf Heather Whitestone (born 1973) winning Miss America 1995.
apprise = give information or notice to; make aware of.

fluster

America's losing fight against fat — one sure to fluster consumers as they frantically scan the nutritional labels on supermarket shelves — comes from the Boston University Medical Center.
Is a Low-Fat Diet Risky? By J Madeleine Nash. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981373,00.html
fluster = a disposition that is confused or nervous and upset.

wallop

The Pugilist at Rest by Thom Jones. This collection of short stories about damaged men poses important questions: Is courage a virtue, or is it simply testosterone poisoning? Is God just a neurochemical event, part of the tantalizing aura that precedes an epileptic fit? Jones is an ex-Marine and former amateur prizefighter who puts a wallop in his prose.
THE BEST BOOKS OF 1993 Time Mag. @ http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1125839,00.html
pugilist = someone who fights with his fists for sport; boxer.
wallop = a forceful consequence; a strong effect; hit hard.

continence

To justice, continence, and nobility;
Titus Andronicus: Act 1 (1594) by William Shakespeare.
continence = Self-restraint; self-control.

ponderous

Having thus, in obedience to your majesty's commands, diligently searched all his pockets, we observed a girdle about his waist made of the hide of some prodigious animal, from which, on the left side, hung a sword of the length of five men; and on the right, a bag or pouch divided into two cells, each cell capable of holding three of your majesty's subjects. In one of these cells were several globes, or balls, of a most ponderous metal, about the bigness of our heads, and requiring a strong hand to lift them: the other cell contained a heap of certain black grains, but of no great bulk or weight, for we could hold above fifty of them in the palms of our hands.
Gulliver's Travels. The little people describing items on Gulliver.
ponderous = very heavy; weighty.

intransigence

Programmers can be very stubborn — Stallman, to be sure, is legendary for his intransigence.
Free software! Free night life! By Andrew Leonard. @ Source Commentary on a programer celebrity Jamie Zawinski.

chutzpah

indeed, it requires a special degree of chutzpah to write an entirely new version of one of the most famous programs in the free software arsenal.
Free software! Free night life! By Andrew Leonard. @ Source Commentary on a programer celebrity Jamie Zawinski.
chutzpah = aggressive boldness or unmitigated effrontery; gall.

promulgate

Pinyin was Promulgated in 1958 by People's Republic of China. (Pinyin is a Chinese romanization system. To romanizatize a language means to make a transliteration system using latin alphabets. That is, using English letters to represent Chinese pronunciation.)
promulgate = To make known by open declaration, as laws, decrees, or tidings.

litany

People keep asking me, “Why a camel?” And I have a standard litany of answers. (I'm allowed to give more than one answer, of course, because of the Perl Slogan: “There's More Than One Way To Do It!”)
Uncultured Perl (A brief history of baby Perl's development) By Larry Wall. Linux Mag. @ Source www.linux-mag.com
litany = A solemn form of supplication in the public worship of various churches, in which the clergy and congregation join, the former leading and the latter responding in alternate sentences. It is usually of a penitential character. Litany

garble

Don't garble what you don't understand.

feral

the cubs are still having a bit of trouble adjusting to their new non-feral life.
feral = Wild; untamed; not domesticated.

atone

It was dropped after the 1997 model year. But while Toyota makes mistakes, it seems to make them only once, not only learning from its errors, but also atoning for them by correcting shortcomings.
2000 Toyota Echo By Jim Mateja. Chicago Tribune. @ http://www.cars.com/toyota/echo/2000/reviews/?revid=32784
atone = To make amends, as for a sin or fault. (AHD)

vigil

I'm on y2k vigil.
Xah Lee. See: Year 2000 problem.

mordant

Well, not quite everybody. For a viewer sympathetic to Schwarzenegger's and Cameron's best selves — the ironist with muscles and the mordant fabulist — True Lies is a loud misfire. It rarely brings its potent themes to life. And it seems not to realize that Harry is less a hero than a wife-abusing goon.
CINEMA: Lies, True Lies and Ballistics By RICHARD CORLISS …. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981108-2,00.html
mordant = Bitingly sarcastic.

periphery

boundary, perimeter.

duplicity

deceit.

platitude

cliché, bromide, commonplace, truism

adjunct

appendage, appurtenance, accessory, attachment.

corral

Are you into metaphysics? Do you believe in astrology? Astral projection? ESP? Tarot cards? What's that you say? You think it's all a bunch of crap? Well, so do I. But guess what? Women eat this stuff up like candy, so I PRETEND to be interested in all of it!!! Of course, my favourite gimmick of gimmicks is analysing a chick's handwriting.

All you need to do is walk into any bar or party with it, and corral the first girl you see…
Player Guide: Use a gimmick to get going Source www.fastseduction.com (on picking up girls)
corral = To surround and inclose; to coop up; to put into an inclosed space; — primarily used with reference to securing horses and cattle in an inclosure of wagons while traversing the plains

progeny

Certain properties in popular culture fasten their fangs on our pants leg and never let go, no matter how we kick and yell. The story of Anna Leonowens, British tutor to the numerous progeny of testy King Mongkut, ruler of 19th century Siam, is perhaps the most persistent of these terriers.
It began life as a (possibly fictionalized) diary by its heroine and has since been a novel, a movie, a Broadway musical, a movie version of that musical and an animated feature. It is now back to being a straight movie—without songs, without the Small House of Uncle Thomas ballet (thank God), but with a lot of exotic spectacle and a rather murky colonial confrontation that gives Jodie Foster, playing Anna, a chance to behave like a slightly prissy but good-hearted 20th century liberal.
The basic titillation of the tale is intact in Anna and the King: the grieving widow is, as usual, brought back to life by the affection (which dares not speak its name) that develops between her and the sexy King. Of course, since they started telling and retelling this story, miscegenation has become a nonstarter as a cause for sundering true love. Hence the thought that Anna and the monarch might logically repair to a quiet room in the palace to relieve their headaches keeps nagging as this movie unfolds.
The End of a Long Reign By Richard Schickel. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,992837,00.html. Movie review of Anna and the King (1999)

miscegenation

One would never have known that his staff had to forcibly drag him to this new position of genial toleration of computer miscegenation.
miscegenation = A mixing of races; amalgamation, as by intermarriage of black and white. (Until the late twentieth century, misceganation was a crime in some states of the Southern United States.)

polemics

Despite a myriad problems, ours [the year 2000] is a better, more hopeful world than it was in 1942, when humanity wallowed in violence, justified by frantic polemics.
A Quiet Adult: My Candidate for Man of the Century by David Brin. @ Source Essay on how George Marshall should be man of the century in Time Mag.
polemics = The art or practice of argumentation or controversy. (AHD)

dour

A large number of rather dour folks seem to have concluded (reluctantly, I hope) that Adolf Hitler was the most significant figure of this century, because he caused the biggest ruckus and slaughtered lots of people.
A Quiet Adult: My Candidate for Man of the Century by David Brin. Source www.brin-l.com. Essay on how George Marshall should be man of the century in Time Mag.
dour = stubbornly unyielding; showing a brooding ill humor.

dotard

“… you dotard, all do is to squabble with me.”
dotard = A person who is in his or her dotage. (AHD); One whose mind is impaired by age.

dialectical

As the Decade of the Penis finishes up, one is left wondering only what might come next. As the literary critic and prominent Kinsey Report reviewer Lionel Trilling suggested back in the 1940s, American culture is nothing if not dialectical. If the Year of the Woman helped beget the Decade of the Penis, then it's an even-money bet that the Decade of the Penis may well usher in a Century of Vagina.
Suck.com satire, . @ http://www.suck.com/daily/98/10/09/
dialectical = Pertaining to dialectics; argumental.

indolent

To roll the body about indolently or clumsily in or as if in water, snow, or mud.
Definition of “wallow”, American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed. (1992)
indolent = Disinclined to exert oneself; habitually lazy.

prolix

… (sarcastically) Well, that should be a blistering, prolix rant to look forward to.
prolix = Extending to a great length; unnecessarily long; minute in narration or argument; excessively particular in detail.

droll

I couldn't begin to imagine how the arid world of over-lit computer labs and humming server rooms could have produced someone so much droller and more insightful than my fellow humanities graduates.
Code critic by Rachel Chalmers. @ Source Commentary on John Lions (a programer known for his book on unix).
droll = Amusingly odd or whimsically comical. (AHD)

pygmy

Unix could be read and understood with far less effort than IBM's bloated OS/360 and TSS/360 (which, funnily enough, are pygmies by modern standards), but it had the industrial-strength functionality to which homemade toys could never aspire. One student, Greg Rose, remembers, “John expressed this by saying, ‘The only other big programs they see were written by them; at least this one is written well.’”
Code critic (1999-11-30 ) By Rachel Chalmers. @ Source
pygmy = One of a fabulous race of dwarfs who waged war with the cranes, and were destroyed; a short, insignificant person; a dwarf.

destitute

135. In paragraph 125 we used an analogy of a weak neighbor who is left destitute by a strong neighbor who takes all his land by forcing on him a series of compromises. But suppose now that the strong neighbor gets sick, so that he is unable to defend himself. The weak neighbor can force the strong one to give him his land back, or he can kill him. If he lets the strong man survive and only forces him to give his land back, he is a fool, because when the strong man gets well he will again take all the land for himself. The only sensible alternative for the weaker man is to kill the strong one while he has the chance. In the same way, while the industrial system is sick we must destroy it. If we compromise with it and let it recover from its sickness, it will eventually wipe out all of our freedom.
Industrial Society and its Future (1995) by Theodore Kaczynski.

prevision

I am speaking of fear as an irrational passion, not of the rational prevision of possible misfortune.

sow

Java lets you create methods that have the same name as the class, but that are not constructors. Exploit this to sow confusion.
How To Write Unmaintainable Code by Roedy Green. @ Source Computing, on writing obfuscated code.

lurch

In any event, this is an instance of why and how open-source projects fork benignly, for good reason: Development at NCSA had stalled after the package's original creator, Rob McCool, left the Center. If that happened to a proprietary product, it would just die, leaving all its users in the lurch. However, because the product was so useful, the Apache Group forked the source code and kept driving it forward. It now dominates all Web servers, regardless of their marketing and development budgets.
Fear of Forking essay by Rick Moen. @ Source On computing; Open Source propaganda.
leave in the lurch = To leave one behind; to abandon.

peon

Mr. President, if I may speak freely, the Russkie talks big, but frankly, we think he's short of know-how. I mean, you just can't expect a bunch of ignorant peons to understand a machine like some of our boys.
Dialogue from film Dr. Strangelove (1964)
peon = A menial worker; A day laborer; a servant; especially, in some of the Spanish American countries, debtor held by his creditor in a form of qualified servitude, to work out a debt.

genteel

Humbert begins stalking Quilty up the stairs while finishing loading his gun. Quilty, dazed and gasping, drags himself away with his wounded leg to find cover behind a Victorian, Gainsborough-type watercolor painting of an 18th century genteel young woman.
Review on Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film Lolita by Tim Dirks. @ http://www.filmsite.org/loli.html

tuft

After a fade-in on satiny drapes, a young girl's bare left foot is offered up. In a timely identification, the word ‘Lolita’ appears superimposed along the top of the foot. The cushioning left hand (wearing a wedding ring) of a subservient male cradles her foot and his right hand lovingly and devotedly paints her toenails - at intervals, he puts cotton tufts between her toes.
? Describing the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962 film)
tuft = A collection of small, flexible, or soft things in a knot or bunch.

rigmarole

I felt that the education system has become a bureaucratic rigmarole and people forget the goal of education. American school system is now a pestering fashionable business full-fledged with political trendies.
Wallpaper groups: Introduction (1997) by Xah Lee. Preface of a math exposition on wallpaper groups.

concupiscence

It attempts to render concupiscence innocuous by confining it within the bounds of matrimony.
innocuous = harmless.
concupiscence = Sexual lust.

apologist

Under the influence of this reaction against natural law, some Christian apologists have seized upon the latest doctrines of the atom, which tend to show that the physical laws in which we have hitherto believed have only an approximate and average truth as applied to large numbers of atoms, while the individual electron behaves pretty much as it likes.

profundity

I can, however, imagine the modern liberal theologian maintaining with an air of profundity that all creation is miraculous, so that he no longer needs to fasten upon certain occurrences as special evidence of Diven intervention.
Russell on Religion: Selections from the Writings of Bertrand Russell Bertrand Russell.

emasculation

It is no credit to the orthodox that they do not now believe all the absurdities that were believed 150 years ago. The gradual emasculation of the Christian doctrine has been effected in spite of the most vigorous resistance, and solely as the result of the onslaughts of freethinkers.
Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization? by Bertrand Russell Source

obscurantist

…But the Buddhist priesthood — as it exists, for example, in Tibet — has been obscurantist, tyrannous, and cruel in the highest degree.
Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization? by Bertrand Russell Source

knell

the death knell of Microsoft.
knell = the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death or a funeral or the end of something

usurious

I began selling things for friends, taking a nearly usurious 60 percent cut of the action for auctioning off their old stereo equipment, beaded purses, Ted Williams autographed pix, neon signs, vintage Boy Scout hats, and whatnot.
This Is Your Brain On eBay By Erik Hedegaard. @ Source

knave

“Sire Gibson, forgive me, but why does lord Steward wish to march on a geek stronghold?”. “Knave! You insult the lady with your ignorance!”.
After Y2K comics by Nitrozac ≈1999

meretricious

Definition for poetaster: writer of insignificant, meretricious, or shoddy poetry.
?
meretricious = Of or pertaining to prostitutes; Resembling the arts of a harlot; alluring by tawdriness.
poetaster = An inferior rhymer, or writer of verses; a dabbler in poetic art.

saturnalia

In all these encounters eros and thanatos are exquisitely mixed. The dead body of the first woman's father is clearly visible as she confesses her confused passion; the prostitute turns out to be under the threat of AIDS; the orgiasts, resenting William's intrusion on their saturnalia, threaten him with humiliation and death, and he is “redeemed” only by the intervention of a mysterious woman, who pays for his life with her own.
All Eyes On Them By Richard Schickel. @ http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,991414,00.html On movie Eyes Wide Shut.
Thanatos = (Greek mythology) the Greek personification of death
orgiast = participants of a orgy.
saturnalia = an orgiastic festival in ancient Rome in honor of Saturn.

disport

… and, finally, in the movie's central sequence, he succeeds in invading a secret orgy, where masked couples disport themselves sexually in a display that is more grim than wanton.
All Eyes On Them By Richard Schickel. @ http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,991414,00.html On movie Eyes Wide Shut Screenshots.
disport = To divert or amuse; to make merry.

ingenue

With the film's sensational response at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the actress changed her look from frumpy slacker to sleek ingenue and has been on a whirlwind of studio meetings.
Out Of Nowhere And Into Blair By Jeffrey Ressner. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,991490,00.html On movie The Blair Witch Project.
frump = A girl or woman regarded as dull, plain, or unfashionable. frumpy = unfashionble.
ingenue = An ingenuous or naive girl or young woman, or an actress representing such a person.

invective

He [Marque de Sade] defied them [morality], chronicling his defiance in volume after volume of denunciation and invective, liberally interwoven with sexual outrages of one kind or another.
?

woozy

in an ecstasy, girls swoon, men get woozy
wozzy = having or causing a whirling sensation; liable to falling.

portmanteau

portmanteau words, worth a chortle.
sneering by Xah Lee
Chortle is a portmanteau word, made up of chuckle and snort, coined by Lewis Carrol (of Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass fame, in Through The Looking Glass, chapter 1: “He chortled in his joy.”.)

slog

In summary, almost every concern that you might think of has already been (at least) thought about. In a perfect world, every concern could be addressed perfectly. But in this world we just have to slog through.
Perl FAQ 1.6 by Larry Wall. @ Source
slog = to plod; to walk through resisting terrain, as in mud.

angst

Totally '90s in its preoccupation with angst and property values,…

chink

The grass-roots campaign to slip prayer back into school is aimed at a chink in the Supreme Court's rulings: the court has never expressly stated whether voluntary student prayers are permissible.
Is There a Place For God in School? By Richard N Ostling. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980492,00.html
chink = crack; fissure.

rickety

[Steve] Jobs had to run through the demonstration without giving any hint of the rickety state of the software. With the auditorium full, the lights were dimmed, and at 9:39, while in the wings his crew had gathered and chanted a good-luck mantra, “Please don't f�ck up, please don't f�ck up,”,…
Steve Jobs & the Next Big Thing by Randall E Stross. A book on Steve Jobs's NeXT Computer Inc.
rickety = inclined to shake as from weakness or defect.

snippet

… but I instantly disliked them as being superficial, unedifying and self-indulgent. Subsequently I read snippets of interviews and came to the conclusion that he was insincere as well.
?

haze

Marine Pfc. William T. Santiago, stationed at Guantanamo, Cuba, just did not measure up to the high standards set by the U.S. Marine Corps. He is killed in a hazing incident perpetrated by Pfc. Lawson Downey and Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson.
Probably Time Mag review of movie A Few Good Men.
See also: hazing

politicos

And while the politicos blame the hoi polloi for the nation's difficulties, they are protecting the real perpetrators — the powerful rich old white men who have actually caused all the problems.
?
hoi polloi = he common people; the masses.
politicos = a person active in party politics.

padre

Your problem, the Padre said, is…
padre = A Christian priest or monk; used as a term of address for priests in some churches.

bimestrial

I'm writing bimestrial review on it.
bimestrial = occurring every two months.

altercation

He [J J Sylvester] was a professor at the U. of Virginia for three months until an altercation with a student led to his resignation.
J. J. Sylvester is a great mathematician.

barrister

One of his [J J Sylvester] books is The Laws of Verse, and for many years in England he was a barrister.
J. J. Sylvester is a great mathematician.
barrister = a British lawyer who speaks in the higher courts of law.

albatross

Clinton's albatross — now that Gennifer Flower's accusations of adultery have receded into the half-life of media memory — is his convoluted account of dealings with his Arkansas draft board back in 1969…and his responses amount to a tortuous thicket of incomplete and not entirely compatible explanations.
Lies, Lies, Lies By Paul Gray. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,976641,00.html

flummox

The audience, thoroughly flummoxed,…

hokum

“(computer art is) technological hokum that's neither art nor science.”
hokum = a message that seems to convey no meaning [syn: nonsense, bunk, nonsensicality, meaninglessness]

horripilation

…a horripilation of the sexual reflex that is perfectly captured by the word creep.
Men Are They Really That Bad? By Lance Morrow. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980115-2,00.html
horripilation = reflex erection of hairs of the skin in response to cold or emotional stress. See horripilation.

jamboree

like a jamboree of the Indian nations in Montana long ago — a pandemonium of patriarchy,…
Men Are They Really That Bad? By Lance Morrow. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980115-2,00.html
jamboree = A noisy or unrestrained carousal or frolic; a spree.

maelstrom

culture's maelstrom of images.
See also: maelstrom.

manumit

manumit = free from slavery or servitude. [syn: emancipate]

quiddities

Ira Holloway is a man who loves women, adores their quiddities, luxuriates ceaselessly in their bodies: toes, earlobes, the whole array of earthly delights. When he is paying what would appear to be monomaniacal attention to one sweetheart, he is, naughty fellow, roistering in memory or anticipation with a flotilla of others. This isn't calculated, callous satyrism; Ira isn't Don Juan. He's helpless, a captive.
Possessed By the Flesh By John Skow. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980183,00.html Book review.
Satyrism, see: Satyr.
quiddity = The essence, nature, or distinctive peculiarity, of a thing.

shimmy

he'll be the one shimmying up to me with an opening line (of picking up girls).
?
shimmy = A dance popular in the 1920s, characterized by rapid shaking of the body. shimmy.

smidgen

a smidgen of genius, a sliver of cutting truth.
smidgen = a tiny or scarcely detectable amount.

gawky

“I tell you what, George, you've got to wake up,” he said sharply. “Will Henderson has spoken to me three times concerning the matter. He says you go along for hours not hearing when you are spoken to and acting like a gawky girl. What ails you?”
Winesburg, Ohio (novel), “Mother” (1919) by Sherwood Anderson.
gawky = Foolish and awkward; clumsy.

melee

The gunman also died in the melee (shootout).
See also: melee.

lucubration

I have no wish to think that the world results from the lucubrations of Hegel or even of his Celestial Prototype.
The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell: 1903–1959 Bertrand Russell
See also, Russell's Why I'm not a Christian.
lucubration = Writing produced by laborious effort or study, especially pedantic or pretentious writing.

dossier

…scientists who seek some sign of it must search the dossier of human activity for conduct that cycles with the seasons and might be linked with sexuality.
?
dossier = A collection of papers giving detailed information about a particular person or subject.

hobnob

Near the end of that movie classic “The Wizard of Oz”, the wizard stands in the gondola of a hot-air balloon and bids farewell to the people of the Emerald City. He is embarking on a journey, he explains, “to confer, converse, and otherwise hobnob with my brother wizards.”
What's in an Economic Forum? Visitors, Police and Protests By Dan Barry. The New York Times. Source
hobnob = To drink familiarly; To associate familiarly.

traipse

Dave Wahl, an art director for Ogilvy & Mather advertising in Los Angeles, seems equally resigned to traipsing outside his office building whenever he wants a few puffs. “You can't deny it's a dirty habit,” he says. “If someone wants to smoke, they should be forced outside.”
The Butt Stops Here By Christopher John Farley. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980572-4,00.html On smoking ban in California.

unprepossessing

…which was located in an unprepossessing brownstone at that address.
unprepossessing = creating an unfavorable or neutral first impression

runty

If Sun was a sumo wrestler, then NeXT was a runty kid barely tall enough to kick it in the shins.
Probably: “Steve Jobs & the Next Big Thing” (1993) by Randall E Stross. A book on NeXT Computer Inc.
runt = Any animal which is unusually small, as compared with others of its kind. Runty = well below average height.

vertiginous

…the company [Sun Microsystems] was perfectly positioned to sustain its vertiginous rate of growth.
Possibly: “Steve Jobs & the Next Big Thing” (1993) by Randall E Stross. A book on NeXT Computer Inc.
Turning round; whirling; rotary; revolving. Affected with vertigo; giddy; dizzy.

bombastic

In an era in which so much political art borders on the bombastic, Maya Lin's sculptures speak quietly but always evocatively, reminding Americans of their common bonds.
?

fogey

I am an old ASCII fogey, and don't use CIM.
CompuServer poster m.j.vasko
ASCII is a computer encoding, here means plain text. CIM stands for CompuServe Info Manager (≈1994), which CompuServe's then new software using Graphical User Interface (somewhat like today's web browser). CompuServe is a online service predating internet's popularity.
fogey = fogy = A dull old fellow; a person behind the times, over-conservative, or slow.

swill

…amply supported by the public's craving for the latest swill.
End of the Winter's Tale By Martha Duffy. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980264,00.html A essay on Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding incident.
swill = wet feed for pigs.

scruffy

Handsomely scruffy, beguilingly elliptical Jordan Catalano is familiar to legions of smart teenage girls. Playing Jordan, the obsession of Angela Chase on ABC's acclaimed drama, My So-Called Life, Jared Leto has become a heartthrob.
The Boy Girls Hate to Love By Ginia Bellafante. Time Mag.
Jared Leto is a actor, playing Jordan Catalano in the TV teen drama My So-Called Life (1994).
scruffy = shabby and untidy.
elliptical = leaving out information essential to comprehension; obscure or ambiguous.

risibility

There's the rub: The sexual encounter between Douglas and Moore teeters on the brink of risibility.
Probably Time Mag review on Disclosure (film).
risibility = laughable.

umbrage

As a COBOL programer in good standing, I take umbrage with your remarks about languages other than C.
umbrage = The feeling of being overshadowed; hence, suspicion of injury or wrong; offense; resentment.

haberdashery

SAM ROTHSTEIN (ROBERT DE NIRO) favors sports jackets in blinding solids — sometimes in the primary hues, sometimes in less-than-subtle pastels. These he color-coordinates with silky haberdashery and alligator loafers dyed to match. But underneath his sight-gag plumage lives a gray, watchful, calculating spirit. He's a professional gambler, always looking for an edge. Or, once the Mob makes him manager of a Las Vegas casino in the 1970s, the preternaturally alert defender of its edge over the assembled suckers.
High Stakes By Richard Schickel. Time Mag. Review of the movie Casino (1995).
Haberdasher = A dealer in items of men's clothing, such as hats, gloves, neckties, etc.

toady

I am furious at Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania's career-senator. He's played the game so long he's forgotten the goal. He thinks his job is to stay in his job. He's a toady and he'll do anything for the GOP. Need a Republican to repeal the laws of physics? Get Arlen.
Time Mag?

infernal

They [vampires] are enslaved by bloodlust: every night a little death. They lean into the victim's necks and give them the hickey from hell, the infernal overbite — the kiss that bleeds.
Toothless By Richard Corliss. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981862,00.html Review on movie “Interview with the Vampire”.

sinecure

A generous retirement package helped persuade Lee to leave his comfortable sinecure in Berkeley [as a professor] and take on the challenge of leading Academia Sinica [in Taiwan].
Tigers in the Lab By J Madeleine Nash/Taipei. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981858-2,00.html On Yuan T. Lee, a Nobel Prize chemist.
sinecure = Any office or position which requires or involves little or no responsibility, labor, or active service.

hammy

Jack Barry, host of Twenty-One, rehearses to himself before the show like some hammy dinner-theater thespian.
Why Quiz Show Is a Scandal By Richard Zoglin. Time mag. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981600,00.html Review of the movie Quiz Show.
thespian = a theatrical performer. Pertaining to Thespis — said to be the first actor.
hammy = affectedly dramatic; overacted.

huckster

BoingBoing reports that digerati loser R.U. Sirius is now writing interview material for one of those nutritional supplement marketers.

It's perfect when you think about it. The self-promoting, fuzzy-minded bullshit that the Wired Magazine generation laps up, all in one package: bad science, cheap new age philosophy, hucksterism, logrolling, and greed. Now in a familiar form known as “vitamin fraud”.

I await their announcement that spamming is a new form of blogging, to be called “splogging” no doubt.
logrolling = act of exchanging favors for mutual gain; especially in politics. Originally the word is used among loggers of rolling logs to stream which floats to sawmill or market. See also: Logrolling.
huckster = A dealer in small articles, or in petty bargains; a seller of shoddy goods; peddler, monger.

captivate

…the two were instantly captivated with each other when they met at a party in 1986 and subsequently engaged in sleep-overs at the princess's [palace]…
Time Mag? 1990s? About princess Diana.
captivate = To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. (AHD)

gubernatorial

“He will say and do anything to get elected.” — Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Tom Scott on his opponent John Rowland.
(More) Secrets of Highly Paid Campaign Consultants Revealed! It's Not Hard to Figure Out What Candidates Are Being Told to Say Time mag. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981731,00.html

decrepitude

Doglegs of decrepitude: John Updike's fine new book of stories looks at boys grown old.
Time mag caption , on John Updike's book.
dogleg = angle that resembles the hind leg of a dog.
decrepitude = The broken state produced by decay and the infirmities of age; infirm old age.

barrio

Now high school graduation is virtually automatic for adolescent outside the ghettos and barrios, a college education is these days a mere rite of passage, a capstone to adolescent party time.
ghetto = A quarter of a city where Jews live in greatest numbers. By extension: Any section of a town inhabited predominantly by members of a specific ethnic, national or racial group, such segregation usually arising from social or economic pressure. The term is commonly applied to areas in cities having a high concentration of low-income African-Americans.
capstone = 1: a final touch; a crowning achievement; a culmination. 2: a stone that forms the top of wall or building.
barrio = In Spain and countries colonized by Spain, a village, ward, or district outside a town or city to whose jurisdiction it belongs. In US, barrios refer to lower-class neighborhoods with largely Spanish-speaking residents, basically the Latino equivalent of a “ghetto”.

splurge

As long as we're on the subject, I want to put in a plug for buying a book: “The Insider's Guide to the Colleges.” It is more interesting and candid, and isn't one of those facts-and-figures books like Barron's, Petersons, etc. Go out and spend the $18 for a new copy - splurge! You will only go to college once!
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libertine

From Mozart's Don Giovanni to Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, the figure of the libertine, that politically incorrect swine, has swaggered provocatively through 200 years of operatic history. Cads, bounders and rakehells abound onstage: one thinks not only of the lecherous Don and Tom Rakewell but of Nerone, Pinkerton and Eugene Onegin as well-moral reprobates who give hardly a second thought to the consequences of their actions.
The Mating Game By Michael Walsh. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981509,00.html
bounder = One who behaves dishonorably or objectionably; a cad.
reprobate = Abandoned to punishment; hence, morally abandoned and lost; given up to vice; depraved.
libertine = a dissolute person; usually a man who is morally unrestrained. The word orginally means: A manumitted slave; a freedman; also, the son of a freedman.; A defamatory name for a freethinker.

addle

A distressing number of my readers, however, evidently addled by the siren song of “the third word,” were unable to read my plea for surcease, and so the deluge of “gry” continued.
surcease = to end; stop. (obsolete)
Gry, Gry, Everywhere, and Not a Clue in Sight. by Evan Morris. @ Source
addle = mix up or confuse; become rotten.

swank

In Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962 film), when professor Humbert Humbert lead Lolita into a hotel, she exclaimed: “wow… this looks swank”. There's also a porn mag named Swank.

swank

While staying at Manhattan's swank Mark Hotel, …
swank = imposingly fashionable and elegant.

epigone

Surely there are other philosophies — Hitler and his epigones in Bosnia represent one…
The Bright Side of Overpopulation By Barbara Ehrenreich. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981506,00.html
epigone = an inferior imitator of some distinguished writer or artist of musician

cagey

It's a good bet that this Carrey — the ventriloquist who wonders poignantly if he has lost his own voice — is a bit of a gag too. The Canadian comic, 32, has been having too good a time lately to search for the Inner Jim. And so has anyone who has seen Carrey inhabit dozens of roles on Fox's prime-time skitcom In Living Color or commandeer the big screen in last winter's smash Ace Ventura Pet Detective. That rowdy farce, cagily directed by Tom Shadyac, earned $72 million at the domestic box office.
World's Only Living Toon By Richard Corliss. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981238,00.html
cagey = showing self-interest and shrewdness in dealing with others;

tyro

don't act like an expert when you're a tyro.
tyro = A beginner in learning; one who is in the rudiments of any branch of study.

rowdy

Even Thomas Jefferson had to contend with a group of drunken rowdies who caused a near riot at the school that he founded, the University of Virginia. Ever since then, periodic efforts to crack down on excessive alcohol consumption among young scholars have been largely futile.
Higher Education: Crocked on Campus By Christine Gorman. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,982010,00.html

reprisal

In the days when execution was mainly a reprisal, inflicting maximum suffering was a legitimate objective.
?
reprisal = act of retaliation.

garrotte

Hanging developed tangentially from garroting and strangulation
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febrile

Ever since the roaring critical and commercial success of The World According to Garp (1978), the arrival of a new John Irving novel has been an occasion for intense interest and sometimes febrile arguments. Irving fans applaud his jam-packed plots, his innocent heroes (the line from Garp to Gump is not hard to draw) and his overt, Dickensian sympathy for damaged or endangered children. Critics retort that Irving's heart may be in the right place, but his head is not — that he actually exploits for shock value the very characters whose welfare he pretends to champion.
Circus Maximalist By Paul Gray. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981408,00.html
febrile = Pertaining to fever.

miscue

For a few tense days last week, the prestige of the Russian space program — and the well-being of three cosmonauts — was in jeopardy as a planned rendezvous in orbit went suddenly awry. A Progress rocket laden with food and other vital supplies glided up to — and right past — the Mir space station. Ground controllers then made a second effort to dock the two craft, but failed. By late Friday afternoon, the Progress could make only one last pass; this time cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko would try to maneuver Mir into a favorable position. Finally, with no more room for error, Malenchenko hit his target and the ships linked up. Ordinarily, a few miscues with a resupply ship would not create such suspense. But a series of foul-ups had left the space station in a precarious state.
Close Call, Comrades By Michael D Lemonick. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981410,00.html
miscue = a minor inadvertent mistake usually observed in speech or writing or in small accidents or memory lapses etc.

subsume

“Higher algebraic curves” would nowadays be subsumed under algebraic geometry
math text book

chanteuse

the slimy Dorian Tyrel (Peter Greene), who runs the Coco Bongo Club, where of course Tina is the slinky chanteuse.
The Mask By Roger Ebert. @ Source Review on the movie The Mask (film).
slinky = thin; lank.
chanteuse = A woman singer, especially a nightclub singer.

dignitary

Mercurial and erratic, Kim Jong Il rarely meets foreign dignitaries.
Kim Jong Il: Now It's His Turn By Howard G Chua-Eoan. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981107,00.html

scion

he surrounds himself with the scions of his father's wartime comrades
Kim Jong Il: Now It's His Turn By Howard G Chua-Eoan. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981107,00.html
scion = a descendent or heir;

jostling

For when Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore) charges Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas) with harassment after he rejects her advances and then risks his future at DigiCom, the software company where they're jostling for position, by leveling the same charge at her, their case starts to become more singular than paradigmatic.
SEX! CONTROVERSY! BOX OFFICE! By Richard Schickel. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,982467,00.html Movie review on Disclosure (film)
paradigmatic = exemplary; typical example.
jostle = the act of jostling (forcing your way by pushing)

expletive

RTFM is a acronym for Read the F�cking Manual! The “f�cking” there would be a expletive.
comp tech jargon
expletive = older meaning: Filling up; hence, added merely for the purpose of filling up; superfluous. Modern meaning: profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger.

coeval

Surely with mankind the appreciation of flowers must have been coeval with the poetry of love.
?
coeval = Of the same age; existing during the same period of time, especially time long and remote.

bolster

The scientific skepticism is bolstered by some unusual firsthand evidence. One of Mack's “experiencers” has revealed to TIME that she was actually an undercover debunker who worked her way into Mack's confidence and rose high in the ranks of his subjects. She found that Mack's work was riddled with scientific irregularities; it lacked a formal research protocol as well as legally required consent forms that advise research subjects of potential risks. She also discovered that Mack billed the insurance companies of at least some patient-subjects for what he described as therapy sessions.
The Man From Outer Space By James Willwerth/Boston. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980607,00.html
bolster = A long pillow or cushion, used to support the head of a person lying on a bed.

tenement

The unfashionable fact is that Ellison's writing was too refined, elaborate, to be spray painted on a tenement wall. He was a celebrator as much as a denouncer of the nation that bred him. In his multicolored vision, America was not just a violent jungle but a vibrant jumble of many cultures and temperaments; it mingled melody, harmony, dissonance and ad-lib genius, like the jazz that Ellison played, wrote about and loved.
Invincible Man Ralph Ellison 1914–1994 By Richard Corliss. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980594-2,00.html
Ralph Ellison is a African-American writer, best known for his novel Invisible Man
ad-lib = said or done without having been planned or written in advance; extemporize.
tenement = a rundown apartment house barely meeting minimal standards.

purview

A lab test for suicide — the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. — sounds incredible. Yet it is only one of the promising developments being pursued in the hot new field of biological psychiatry. What was once the purview of priests and analysts, who try to probe the mind by listening and observing, is now a frontier for neuroscientists, who use blood tests, brain scans and spinal taps.
Suicide Check By Christine Gorman. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981896,00.html
purview = the range of interest or activity that can be anticipated. Originally: (Law) The body of a statute, or that part which begins with “ Be it enacted, “ as distinguished from the preamble. Hence: The limit or scope of a statute; the whole extent of its intention or provisions. Limit or sphere of authority; scope; extent.

habiliments

The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave.
The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe.

vesture

His vesture was dabbled in blood — and his broad brow with all the features of the face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror.
The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe.

retrenchment

Partly as a result, airlines have diluted the value of frequent-flyer programs by fully 25%. But few passengers have complained much since United Airlines kicked off the retrenchments late last year. For one thing, business travelers typically fly more than enough miles to qualify for free trips under the new requirements.
The Fee of Free Flying By John Greenwald. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980692,00.html
retrenchments = Downsizing. Retrench means: to lessen; diminish; curtail; abridge.

chattel

Lee: I don't want to go into polemics, but any society in which two innocent Japanese students in Los Angeles can be shot dead because someone wanted their car has gone fundamentally wrong. Too many guns, and such a distortion of values that two human lives can be disposed of for chattel. We take a fundamentally different approach. We believe we had to take strong measures to make sure that people understand that other people's lives, their persons and properties have to be respected.
A Rigorous Case for Morality By Lee Kuan Yew, James R Gaines, Joelle Attinger, William Dowell And Sandra Burton. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980658,00.html
chattel = personal as opposed to real property; any tangible movable property (furniture or domestic animals or a car etc)

slue

the car slued to the side.
slue = To turn about; to turn from the course; to slip or slide and turn from an expected or desired course.

piddling

In the vast arena of international commerce, the action will seem piddling, perhaps involving no more than $25 million in trade. But environmentalists will see it as a watershed event in the history of conservation. The White House is expected to announce this week that the U.S. will impose sanctions on Taiwan for failing to control its trade in tiger bones and rhinoceros horns. It will be the first time the U.S. has imposed trade sanctions to protect endangered species since Congress passed legislation in 1978 authorizing such penalties.
piddle = To deal in trifles; to concern one's self with trivial matters rather than with those that are important.

quibbles

Although puns at their worst can be mere piddling quibbles, at best they can sharply point to surprising but genuine resemblance.
?
quibble = an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections.

dapper

a dapper man was …
dapper = marked by smartness in dress and manners.

founder

how their first marriages had foundered in seas of conjugal miscommunication.
founder = To become filled with water, and sink, as a ship.

cartel

This interdependence [of Oligopoly economic model] among firms leads to actions not found in the other market structures, such as advertising campaigns directed toward a specific rival, cartels and collusion, cost-plus pricing, most-favored-customer pricing, and other behaviors.
possibly from Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics book.
cost-plus = determining payment based on the actual cost of production plus an agreed-upon fee or rate of profit; as, a cost-plus government contract.

winnow

I've downloaded the vocabulary portion of your site, and am in the process of winnowing it for unfamiliar words: I have to exercise vigilance against plateau-ing out in my accretion of vocabulary, which complacency is a hazard when rarely encountering a truly unknown word.
fan email, from later friend Paul Kiesow, 2000-08

roil

The new chip itself has provoked bitter conflict within IBM. Among other things, IBM hoped the PowerPC would break the stranglehold that Intel has on the production of chips for IBM-compatible personal computers. The partners also sought to end the dominance of Microsoft as far and away the largest provider of the operating system, or master software, that runs the IBM compatibles. But Corrigan had loudly doubted the wisdom of the PowerPC strategy before he stepped down as head of the personal-computer business last week, arguing that Intel and Microsoft were too entrenched to be dislodged by the new chip. The controversy provides a vivid example of the crosscurrents that roil IBM.
A Blue Chip Case of Blues By John Greenwald. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980707-3,00.html
roil = be agitated; make turbid by stirring up the sediments of.

quip

No person of feeling, quipped Oscar Wilde, could read Dickens' account of the death of Little Nell without laughing. The same is true of the fall of contemporary art auctions. Last week, once again, Sotheby's and Christie's began their big spring sales of newish art. In the palmy days of the market boom, before the great flopperoola of 1990, these used to be attended with bated breath as a spectacle of utterly crazed consumption. Watch the chap from the Mountain Turtle Gallery in Japan bid half a million dollars for a Brice Marden drawing! Don't miss the sight of S.I. Newhouse and a Scandinavian squillionaire driving a Jasper Johns to an unimaginable $17 million! See the De Kooning go for $20.7 million, and listen to the whole room applaud the bid as though they had just heard Pavarotti sing Vesti la Giubba!
Auctions in the Pits By Robert Hughes. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980713,00.html
palmy = Bearing palms; abounding in palms; very lively and profitable.

confetti

In 1964 a researcher at the Rand Corp. named Paul Baran came up with a bizarre solution to this Strangelovian puzzle. He designed a computer-communications network that had no hub, no central switching station, no governing authority, and that assumed that the links connecting any city to any other were totally unreliable. Baran's system was the antithesis of the orderly, efflcient phone network; it was more like an electronic post offlce designed by a madman. In Baran's scheme, each message was cut into tiny strips and stuffed into electronic envelopes, called packets, each marked with the address of the sender and the intended receiver. The packets were then released like so much confetti into the web of interconnected computers, where they were tossed back and forth over high-speed wires in the general direction of their destination and reassembled when they finally got there. If any packets were missing or mangled (and it was assumed that some would be), it was no big deal; they were simply re-sent.
First Nation in Cyberspace By Philip Elmer-Dewitt. Time Mag. @ Source
confetti = small pieces or streamers of colored paper that are thrown around on festive occasions (as at a wedding).

argot

What kind of cockamamie lingo is slang anyway? Samuel Johnson railed against it, complaining about the corrupting influence on the English language of what in his day was called cant. Daniel Defoe hated it. Noah Webster, in his 1828 American Dictionary, defined slang as “low, vulgar, unmeaning.” And in all the years since, legions of teachers have tried to eradicate it. … It was with the onset of the English Restoration in 1660, when public literacy began to flower, that notions about the language started to change. The criminal classes and otherwise illiterate people evolved their own argot to serve as both a private code and a subversive nose-thumbing at the Establishment, and it was to guard against this verbal pollution that writers and critics like Johnson tried to formulate proscriptions aimed at purifying “the King's English.”
Substandard-Bearer By Jesse Birnbaum. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981040,00.html On slang.
Samuel Johnson (1670 – 1784). Noah Webster (1758 – 1843). Daniel Defoe (≈1661 – 1731). See also: argot.

simulacrum

Despite these arguments, cynics, pundits and alternative-music ideologues were predicting Woodstock '94 would be a corporatized simulacrum of the original festival. A '60s myth would be used to sucker the 16- to 30-year-old demographic. Woodstock '94 was seen as the ultimate musical sellout, the sort of thing that made Kurt Cobain leave this world riding on a shotgun blast. MTV, which televised some of the festival and launched a home-shopping show during it, ran an ad for its coverage with the slogan, “All you have to do to change the world is change the channel.”
Woodstock Suburb By Christopher John Farley. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981316-1,00.html
simulacrum = A likeness; a semblance; a mock appearance; a sham.

slog

but this starts looking like plain hard slog.

crux

now we are getting into the crux of the matter.

jingle

a jingle he was taught in school.

ditty

Here's a little ditty that you really ought to know: horses sweat and men perspire, but ladies only glow.

miasma

One suspects that in Benny's case, patient and doctors failed to understand one another's priorities. Perhaps the boy felt his pain was not being taken seriously enough. Perhaps the medical team misread the young man's growing determination to choose his own fate. “Often when problems like this arise, there's a miasma of suspicion about families and how trustworthy they are,” says James Nelson, a medical ethicist at the Hastings Center in New York.
A Sick Boy Says "Enough!" By Christine Gorman. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980954-2,00.html
miasma = an unwholesome atmosphere; unhealthy vapors rising from the ground or other sources;

travelogue

At heart, though, Aladdin and its kin were the merest, dearest emotional travelogues. They alighted on a dream here, a resentment there; they poked at a feeling until it sang a perky or rhapsodic Alan Menken tune. Nothing was lacking in these terrific movies, but something was missing: primal anguish, the kind that made children wet the seats of movie palaces more than a half-century ago as they watched Snow White succumb to the poison apple or Bambi's mother die from a hunter's shotgun blast. Disney cartoons were often the first films kids saw and the first that forced them to confront the loss of home, parent, life. These were horror movies with songs, Greek tragedies with a cute chorus. They offered shock therapy to four-year-olds, and that elemental jolt could last forever.
The Mouse Roars By Richard Corliss. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980941,00.html

oleaginous

The hero is Simba (voiced as a child by Home Improvement's Jonathan Taylor Thomas and as an adult by Matthew Broderick). This cub is the headstrong son of lion king Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and nephew of the green-eyed Scar (Jeremy Irons), who with oleaginous irony hides his intentions to kill Mufasa and Simba and become a low-down, schemin', lyin' king. After Scar engineers Mufasa's downfall in a wildebeest stampede, Simba slinks into exile and away from duty, until at the urging of his father's spirit and of his friend Nala (Moira Kelly), the young lion returns home to challenge Scar and renew the circle of dynastic life.
The Mouse Roars By Richard Corliss. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980941,00.html
oleaginous = belonging to the olive; Having the nature or qualities of oil; oily; unctuous; unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech.

unctuous

Recently, in a laboratory outside Seattle, I ate a piece of buttered toast that I will remember for the rest of my life. The bread itself was not extraordinary, but it was spread thickly with the brightest-green butter I've ever seen. It was not true butter, but rather an extract of pure green peas. Fresh peas are blended to a puree, then spun in a centrifuge at 13 times the force of gravity. The force separates the puree into three discrete layers: on the bottom, a bland puck of starch; on the top, vibrant-colored, seductively sweet pea juice; and separating the two, a thin layer of the pea's natural fat, pea-green and unctuous.
Breakfast at Myhrvold's: Pea Butter, Drinkable Bagels, and Other Modernist Miracles By Paul Adams. @ http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-01/fifty-pound-cookbook-emerges-laboratory
unctuous = Of the nature or quality of an unguent or ointment; fatty; oily; greasy

gaff

Companies have also apologized for recent gaffes that Marge Schott might have appreciated, such as Radio Shack's putting out a video game with a swastika in it, or an American Airlines ground crew's ordering a change of pillows after a gay-rights group exited the aircraft. Once in a while, companies apologize to avoid a libel suit, as nbc did after it rigged a crash test so a General Motors pickup truck would be sure to explode.
On the Money How to Say You're Sorry By John Rothchild. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980929-1,00.html
gaffe = A socially awkward or tactless act.

alchemize

In The Mask he plays Stanley Ipkiss, who puts an ancient mask on his face and is transformed from bank-clerk dweeb to zoot-suited superdude, genially terrorizing Edge City and winning the plushly encased heart of a gun moll (Cameron Diaz). The computer wizards at Industrial Light & Magic help alchemize this ragged film into a megamorphic extravaganza. But Carrey doesn't need any cybernetics or silicon to rubberize his limbs. He is his own best special effect, the first star who is a live-action toon.
World's Only Living Toon By Richard Corliss. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981238-1,00.html
zoot-suit = A man's suit popular during the early 1940s, characterized by full-legged, tight-cuffed trousers and a long coat with wide lapels and heavily padded, wide shoulders. Zoot-suit.
genially = Gayly; cheerfully.
alchemize = alter by alchemy. Alchemy is a pseudoscientific forerunner of chemistry in medieval times. alchemy

nix

he nixed it.
nix = To forbid, refuse, or veto: Congress nixed the tax hike.

dross

with so many … on the market, how do you separate the gold from the dross.
dross = The scum or refuse matter which is thrown off, or falls from, metals in smelting the ore, or in the process of melting; Waste matter; any worthless matter separated from the better part.

sham

For the past few weeks gossipists have been gumming that the seemingly cheery union between Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford is a sham.
gum = To smear with gum.
sham = False; counterfeit; pretended; feigned.

lilt

And when you gaze upon a Monet or call to mind a lilting line of verse, they bring you warmth.
?
lilt = having a light rhythmical cadence; a lilting melody.

plebeian

Yes, membership had its privileges. For as little as $55 a year, consumers could twinkle in fellowship with such glitterati as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Ella Fitzgerald and Meryl Streep. All one had to do was wave one's little piece of green, gold or platinum plastic, and waiters and clerks would fawn prettily. Such potent snob appeal once seemed irresistible — until American Express “cardmembers” began weighing the costs of privilege against the benefits of more plebeian credit cards. While the AmEx elite shelled out annual fees, Discover clients were issued free cards. Amex users had to pay their bills in full each month; savvy bank-card customers enjoyed revolving credit at modest interest rates. AmEx clients could brandish their cards in 3.7 million upscale establishments worldwide; Visa cards opened 11 million doors, MasterCard 12.3 million. Feeling decidedly underprivileged, 2 million AmEx users cut up their cards between 1991 and 1993 and went in search of better bargains.
Do You Still Know Me? By Jill Smolowe. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981413,00.html
glitterati = Highly fashionable celebrities.

succor

Frankly, with my heart palpitating, i'm seeing myself ready as the next offer to the Netiquette gods. What is it you say? Some people are just doomed? (all ye dark Gothic chicks, come out and succor me.)
Xah Lee, 2003-01, online forum

ragamuffin

In the author's comparison of her book to an illegitimate ragamuffin, we may be struck by the details …
ragamuffin = a dirty shabbily clothed urchin. Older meaning: A paltry or disreputable fellow; a mean wretch.

emetic

I'm a lot more productive on my Indy than on my NT box with four times the horsepower. The NT interface is great for its emetic properties, though.
from a unix computer fanatic on the web. The “NT” refers to Windows NT (a version of Microsoft Windows in the 1990s). The Indy refers to SGI Indy (a unix computer made by SGI). See also: The Unix Pestilence.
emetic = Inducing to vomit.

logorrhea

I thought I said that: I concluded that Dylan was a waste of time. What kept me interested in it for a while was the Lisp-like syntax. I didn't find the semantics and the “feature set” sufficiently attractive on their own, and knowing how fixed-grammer languages evolve (rampant keyworditis and logorrhea), didn't appear to be something worth investing in at the time.
Erik Naggum on comp.lang.lisp; 2000-07-01
See also: logorrhea

notarize

as in notarized document, used in legal settings.
See also: Notary public.

treacly

At one point, Patsy leans over in tears onto John's shoulder, and he mumbles something treacly—and acted?—about JonBenet being “with us” in spirit. But Walters says the Ramseys believed the cameras had stopped.
“Find the Killer” By John Cloud/New York. @ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,40719,00.html. About the famous death of JonBenét Ramsey.
treacle = overly sweet. Treacle is a type of sugar syrup, aka molasses.

travesty

dada n. 1. A European artistic and literary movement (1916 – 1923) that flouted conventional aesthetic and cultural values by producing works marked by nonsense, travesty, and incongruity.
AHD
See dada.

vagary

“… posting prodigious off-topic vagaries on this newsgroup.”
Xah Lee

usher

in theater, the seaters are ushers. These ushers ushers you to your seat.

refractory

“Some half dozen persons have written technically on combinatory logic, and most of these, including ourselves, have published something erroneous. Since some of our fellow sinners are among the most careful and competent logicians on the contemporary scene, we regard this as evidence that the subject is refractory. Thus fullness of exposition is necessary for accuracy; and excessive condensation would be false economy here, even more than it is ordinarily.”
Haskell B Curry and Robert Feys in the Preface to Combinatory Logic, 1956-05-31

putrescence

For Edgar Allan Poe, dying did not necessarily leave a person speechless. Take “The Case of M. Valdemar.” The title character, his body decomposing into “a nearly liquid mass of loathsome — of detestable putrescence,” still manages enough tongue to beg the narrator, a mesmerist, to stop messing with him. “‘For God's sake! — quick! — quick! — put me to sleep — or, quick! — waken me! — quick! — I say to you that I am dead!’”
The tell-tale cipher: Could a mysterious cryptograph be a final message from Edgar Allan Poe? By Jeffery Kurz. @ Source
mesmerist = a person who induces hypnosis. Hypnotizer.
putrescence = the state of offensive decay.