The Desiccation of Wit

Monday, April 10, 2006

Words of the Day

1. Defenestration: The action of throwing out of a window.

Defenestration of Prague, the action of the Bohemian insurgents who, on the 21st of May 1618, broke up a meeting of Imperial commissioners and deputies of the States, held in the castle of the Hradshin, and threw two of the commissioners and their secretary out of the window; this formed the prelude to the Thirty Years' War.

1863 NEALE Ess. Liturgiol. 238 Which commencing at the defenestration of Prague..terminated in the peace of Westphalia.

2. Uxorilocally: Applied to or denoting residence after marriage in the area of the wife's home or community.

1963 Brit. Jrnl. Sociol. XIV. 24 So that now you may read about individual couples ‘marrying avunculocally’ or ‘living uxorilocally’. This seems to me an abuse of terminology.

Dear Wiktionary,

A few weeks back you rejected my submission of the word 'platscham' to your open source dictionary. Apparently my citations were not up to snuff. I direct your attention to the venerable OED, which is beyond reproach, and yet seems to not find it problematic if citations for its entries themselves suggest that the word is nonsensical. (Cf. 'uxorilocally')



Blogger eve said...

Sometimes you have to threaten your students. For example, imagine a class of students in which everybody is staring at the wall, and when you ask a simple question, nobody raises a hand. You might say something like, "If we can't have a cooperative classroom environment, I will have to enforce learning by having you complete worksheets. Of which I have 200. Handwriting worksheets." Now imagine the same situation, but they're all staring at the wall because it's 95 degrees in the room and they just spent 3 days in standardized tests. The only possible threat in that situation is defenestration. Breathes life into the room. Everyone laughs, and we learn something, too.

There's something to be learned from this explanation. Oh yes, there's something to be learned.

2:55 PM, April 10, 2006  
Blogger Mandy said...

Q: inkety pinkety - adjectives to describe a lavish wife lover.

A: luxurious uxorious.

5:47 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger lex said...

The Defenestration of Prague is perhaps my favorite event in all of European history. I have, in fact, been to the site of the Defenstration. We attempted to defenstrate one of our number while there but were unsuccessful. Apparently security has improved.

11:03 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger super des said...

Defenstration is the best word ever. I'm going to start defenestrating it all the time.

3:18 PM, April 13, 2006  

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