Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ll: Lacuna

Lacuna a Fictionl Marve Comics
Superhero and member of

Generally, a lacuna is a gap. The term may refer to:
  • Lacuna (manuscripts), a missing section of text
  • Lacuna (music), an extended silence in a piece of music
  • Lacuna (linguistics), a lexical gap in a language
  • Lacuna (law), the lack of a law or legal source addressing a situation
  • Lacuna model, a tool for unlocking culture differences or missing "gaps" in text
  • Lacunar amnesia, in psychology, amnesia about a specific event

This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia® - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the Wikipedia® encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free 

2. Cocktail Party Banter: :"Now, that is a lacuna worth looking into!"
3. Literary Context: :  The young Pelletir didn't realize at the time that the novel was part of a trilogy, but his ignorance or lapse or bibliographical lacuna, attributable only to this extreme youth,  did nothing to diminish the wonder and admiration that the novel stirred in him." page 3 of 2666 by Robert Bolano.
4.  The Hunt for Words: found the word Lacuna in the book 2666 by Robert Bolano  and found it simply delightful.  It was such a short word but such a powerful one at that.
5.  Audio/Visual:

Friday, December 17, 2010


A 4 becomes a weird A.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bb: Bayesian analysis

Word Defined:  A computer analysis where the computer creates a profile of an average record in a database and then asks it find which records in the database are furthest away from the average.
 Cocktail Party Banter: I was setting the Bayesian Identifiers off by my overt sensuality, at books a million, last Tuesday.
Word Used in LiteratureContemporary Bayesian Econometrics and Statistics.
Bayesian inference
Audio Visual

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Aa: Aphelion

Definition:The point at which an orbiting body, such as a planet or comet, is farthest away from the Sun.
Cocktail Party Banter: His anger kept him at the aphelion to the warmth in our relationship.
Literary ContextHence the immense benefit of party in politics, as it reveals faults of character in a chief, which the intellectual force of the persons, with ordinary opportunity and not hurled into aphelion by hatred, could not have seen.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Aa: Aleatory

Definitionadj.1. Dependent on chance, luck, or an uncertain outcome: an aleatory contract between an oil prospector and a landowner.
2. Of or characterized by gambling: aleatory contests.

Coktail Party Banter: The player was so aleatory in his attempts to woo the girl that he failed half the time.  But the other half, he played the part of cuckold.

Literary Context: A complex play of themes and variations underscores a narrative that on its surface, appears so aleatory, following the rituals and routines of everyday life.
An Autumn Afternoon by Russell, Catherine / Cineaste

The Hunt for Words:  Found the Word while reading John Gardner's On Moral Fiction.  A great read by the way.

Audio Visiual:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dd: Deluge

Definition: n.
a. A great flood.
b. A heavy downpour.
2. Something that overwhelms as if by a great flood: a deluge of fan mail.
3. Deluge In the Bible, the great flood that occurred in the time of Noah.
tr.v. del·ugeddel·ug·ingdel·ug·es
1. To overrun with water; inundate.
2. To overwhelm with a large number or amount; swamp: The press secretary was deluged with requests 
Cocktail Party Banter: "Don't deluge me with your tears."
Literary Context:
What private solicitude could rear itself against the deluge of the Year One of Liberty--the deluge rising from below, not falling from above, and with the windows of Heaven shut, not opened!

Hunt for Words:
found in the book, "Fingerprints of the Gods".  I knew what the word meant but like this word a lot.  And thought it would be cool to look up.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Aa: Adamantine

1. very hard; unbreakable or unyielding
2. having the lustre of a diamond

Literary Context (How does the Word Work):
Here he was, talking like a gentleman at large who was free to come and go and roam about the world at pleasure, when that gallant coachmaker had vowed but the night before that Miss Varden held him bound in adamantine chains; and had positively stated in so many words that she was killing him by inches, and that in a fortnight more or thereabouts he expected to make a decent end and leave the business to his mother.
Hunt for Words: 
Found after looking at the Greek Myth Hephaestus (vulcanus or Mulciber)  son of Hera.  Then I read how he made his mom sandals that were adamantine ones.   I did not know this meaning, now that's heavy stuff.   
Audio/Visual: Adamantine

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Words from Chapter 17 of Senge's "The Fifth Discipline"

The Fifth DisciplineThe Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge

Here are definitions from Chapter 17 in the book:


A computer simulation that allows participants a real world simulation with in the safety of role playing and strategy practice games.

Microworld Purposes:

1. Future Learning

2. Seeing Hidden Strategic Opportunities

3. Discovering Untapped Leverage

Microworld Key issues (currently being studied):

1. Integration of Real World and Microworlds

2. Speeding up and Slowing Down Time

       That way one can see where and when interactions between players break down or works well.

3. Compressing Space

       Sometimes the dinosaur is too big to see the whole -  Microworlds help one see how each part interacts with each other part.

4. Isolation of Variables

        Can practice the what if scenarios.

5. Experimental Orientation

        Fear can be eased from the equation when the experiment is from a simulation not real world consequences.

6. Pauses for Reflection

         Pause and reflect: Why or why not is this a good idea?

7. Theory Based Strategy

Can the Micro-Worlds Simulations help break the move to mediocre.

8.  Insituational Memory

Simulations can be held within the organization, even when people move in and out of the organization.

Please read the book The Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge  to learn far more than these mere definitions.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Words from Chapter 14 of Senge's "The Fifth Discipline"

Tragedy of the Commons: The logic of local decision making leads inexorably to collective disaster.

Commons: a resource shared  among a group of people.  (Eg: the Church).

Trends and forces: Items that affect the commons.

Forgiveness: Real Forgiveness is the mending of the relationships that may have been hurt by the mistake. "Making a mistake is punishment enough." CEO John Rollwagen

Senge, Peter M.  The Fifth Discipline (New York; DoubleDay Currency, 1990) 287-301.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Words from Chapter 13 of Senge's The Fifth Discipline

Openess Two Types: Reflective- the freedom to analyze and be honest about your own failings or lack of knowledge.
Participatory-the freedom to speak one's mind
Officer in a Barrell: When a manager feels isolated and attacked, spending more and more time explaining and justifying each individual action.
The Wall: a condition when others assume others are more intelligent than themselves and do not share insight.  This plagues the entire organization.
Compartmentalization of Knowledge: the way knowledge is structured in contemporary society, specialists in each field hold their own lens which they see as the only lens to the solution to a given divergent problem.
Convergent Problems: a problem that will lead to an answer.
Divergent Problems: a problem that will eventually will lead to no answer at all. It will break into many possible answers to a given question. 

Senge, Peter M.  The Fifth Discipline (New York; DoubleDay Currency, 1990) 273-286.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Words from Chapter 12 of Senge's "The Fifth Discipline"

An Anarchist Archetype Hero
Knife's Edge: 
"The mind keeps wanting to move away form suspending assumptions to adaption non-negotiable and rigid opinions which we then feel compelled to defend."244

Symptomatic Solution:
Defensive routines that eliminate the learning gap by reducing the perceived need for learning. pg 253

the tendency of thought to break things apart.  pg 266

Language for Complexity:  
collective language that is designed to make it easier to discuss complex issues objectively and dispassionately. pg 268

Tomorrow-Vocabulary from  Chapter 13  Openness- answering the question: How can the politics and game playing that dominate traditional organizations be transcended? 

Senge, Peter M.  The Fifth Discipline (New York; DoubleDay Currency, 1990) 234-269.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dd: Djins

Jinn (Arabic: جن jinn, singular جني jinnī; variant spelling djinn) or genies are supernatural creatures in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings which occupy a parallel world to that of mankind. Together, jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. According to the Qur’ān, there are two creations that have free will: humans and jinn. Religious sources say little about them; however, the Qur’an mentions that jinn are made of smokeless flame or "the fire of a scorching wind"[1]. They have the ability to change their shape. Like human beings, the jinn can also be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent.[2]
The jinn are mentioned frequently in the Qur’an, and there is a surah entitled Sūrat al-Jinn in the Quran. Islamic scholars have ruled that it is apostasy to disbelieve in one of Allah's creations. Some research by the American Jewish Committee has shown that the belief in jinn has fallen compared to the belief in angels in other Abrahamic traditions.[3]

In Context:
Delhi to me was a city of stories, and so if I tell the story of the djinn's wife in the manner of a Sufi legend or a tale from the Mahabharata, or even a ti vi soap opera, that is how it seems to me: City of Djinns.  McDonald Ian Cyberbad Days "Djinn's Wife" pg 158

Monday, October 18, 2010

Godwin's law (singular only)

Godwin's law (singular only)
  1. (usually humorous) The adage that any Usenet discussion will eventually mention the Nazis or Adolf Hitler.

[edit] Usage notes

Mentioning Godwin's law as having been fulfilled in a particular discussion is often deemed sufficient grounds for ending that discussion

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


An abnormal condition variously characterized by stupor, stereotypy, mania, and either rigidity or extreme flexibility of the limbs. It is most often associated with schizophrenia.

[New Latin, from German Katatonie, from Greek katatonosstretching tight, fromkatateineinto stretch tight : kata-intensive pref.; see cata- + teineinto stretch; seeten- in Indo-European roots.]

cata·tonic (-tnk) adj. & n.
cata·toni·cal·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ff: Fault Lines

Ff: Fault Lines:
Boundaries of any sort that can flare up into conflict, they can exist within a clan, a village, a region, a country, or between continents of civilization.
Fuller, Graham  A World Without Islam Little (New York: Brown and Company,  2010),  141.

In Context the Idea is Well Expressed by the Following Quote: 
Me against my cousin, me, my brother, and my cousin against the other clan."  (Fuller 141)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rr: Righteous

 (Working Definition in the Book The Gospel According to Jesus by Chris Seay)
V. Restorative Justice

Monday, September 27, 2010

F: Filial Service

Filial: *Of relating to, or befitting a son or daughter: filial respect. Having or assuming the relationship of child or offpring to parent. **Genetics Of or relating to a generation or the sequence of generations from following the parental generation.   
    1. Work done for others 
    Filial Service: Work done for your family, especially your parents.

    Literary Context (How does the Word Work):
    He holds His position of sonship, and it has confirmed to Him as the reward of filial service.  (Edwards 9)

    My Attempt: 
    The filial ties in a family show the beauty of unconditional love. 

    Hunt for Words: 
    Found word in the commentary to the Epistle to the Hebrews by Thomas Charles Edwards.  The Community Bible Reading is currently reading Hebrews, starting today with Chapter One.   The use of old books, this book came out first in 1887-1888 is a great way to sharpen up one's vocabulary.   

    Audio/Visual: Filial

    Edwards, Thomas Charles D.D. The Epistle to the Hebrews   New York: A.C. Armstrong and Son, 1887-1888.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Rr: Roil

    1. To displease or disturb; vex.

    Use at Work:
    The customer totally roiled me with his use of high dudgeon.

    Literary Context: 
    These questions and many others roiled the church and later the Roman Empire, incited rebellion, created new sects, sparked civil and military conflict, and divided earthly power.   They remain without consensus and still roil the ranks of Christianity. pg 47

    Hunt for Words: Found the word in A World Without Islam by Graham E. Fuller,  I have been fascinated with the middle east for a long time now.   This book is excellent so far but I am only 13% of the way done so need to read more before I can evaluate the whole thing.


    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    hd: High Dudgeon

    N. A feeling of intense indignation.Feeling great resentment.  Taking great offense at something.

    Use at your next Family Reunion:
    Uncle Tim debated us in such high dudgeon fashion, because he felt we were judgmental Christians; he feared we hated him for his atheistic philosophy.

    Literary Context:
    She heard an Italian tossing off English slang to a German butcher, and a Russian in high dudgeon hurling French curses at a German taxi driver.  pg 96

    Hunt for Words: Found the word reading Nancy Horan's Novel Loving Frank.  Had never seen the word before this.


    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Pp: Pages (Hotel Style)


    1. A boy who acted as a knight's attendent as the first stage of training for chivalric knighthood.
    2. One who is employed to run errands, carry messages, or act as a guide in a hotel, theatre, club or the U.S. Congress or another legislature.  
    Simple Sentence to Use at the Next Hotel You Stay In:
    Calling the front desk, "Can you send a page right away, with the complementary towell, toothpaste, and bar of soap to room 212, thanks!"

    Literary Context:
    Pages swished quietly past the skirts and luggage of new arrivals.  pg 91

    Word Hunt: 
    Found the word in the book Loving Frank.   I knew the meaning but I thought what if people only have the one meaning of the word page to mean parts of a book.  Or a sheet of paper.   The whole paragraph would be lost and look completely different, you would have floating sheets of paper quietly passing the skirts and luggage of new arrivals.  I would want to know what was written on the sheets of paper.  But this actually means that people with messages were running this way and that.   

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Cc: Coward as Defined by Ambrose Bierce

    Coward, n.: One who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.
    Ambrose Bierce

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Bb: Bodacious

    1. Remarkable; prodigious.
    2. Audacious; gutsy.
    1. Completely; extremely.
    2. Audaciously; boldly.

    [Probably from dialectal boldacious, blend of bold and audacious.]
    Regional Note: Popularized in the comic strip Snuffy Smith, bodacious is probably a blend of the wordsbold and audacious, whose combined senses are evident in the following description of Sevier County, Tennessee, as "the most bodacious display of tourism this side of Anaheim" (Los Angeles Times). A more traditional meaning is "remarkable, prodigious": "a bodacious amount of smoke" (Springfield MA Morning Union); "the most bodacious tale of hidden treasure" (Lawrence E. Will). Bodacious can also be an adverbial intensifier: "She's so bowdacious unreasonable when she's raised [irritated]" (William T. Thompson). African-American speech in New York City retains this Southernism as bardacious. Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary cites the form boldacious, which is the likely source for bodacious.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    Simple Sentence to Use at Your Next Ice-Cream Social:
    "That Golfer Redbeard, is surely a Bodacious-Man, he got an eagle, a birdie, and a birdie on the first three holes."  said Red Orem.
    Words in Context:
    As we allow someone to give us a stupendous gift without phony resistance, so we should celebrate this most Bodacious Gift of all and enjoy the celebration with the Giver.  August 18th in the Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra. 

    Hunting Words in the Wild: 
    Found the word when I was researching the book of Encouragement by Harold Myra, which I am planning to review on September 25th.  
    Audio Visual:

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Ss: Steampunk

    I may dress as a Steampunk for Halloween

    (Wikipedia Article) is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternative history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980's and early 1990's.   The term denotes fictional works set in an are where steam power is still widely used, usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain. and it often features anachronistic technology,  or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have seen them. The technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of Jules Verne or real technological developments like the personal computer.  

    Satirical Definition from Urban Dictionary: 

    A group of 40 something virgins that seriously need to get over themselves - They ponce around with cogs, plastic guns and "rocket powered" roller skates, desperately craving the tiniest morsel of attention from anybody who will even catch them in the corner of their (non-mechanical) eye. It would be SLIGHTLY impressive (but still ridiculously pointless) ....If they are going to continue to manufacture corrigated cardboard machine outfits, at least, MAKE SURE THEY FUNCTION!!! Wearing monacles, top-hats, badly tailored suits, penny whistles sprayed silver, pocket watches and faux rocket-packs - They have established themselves as the latest brigade of complete and utter self-indulgent tools....:

    Simple Sentence to Use at your Club's Next Cocktail Party:
    Person 1: "Oh my God!  Look at all of those Steam Punk wannabees at this Halloween party; They think they're out of that...that one movie with Will Smith...(clicks fingers)... what utter Schmucks!!!"
    Person 2: They look.. what's the word, like a bunch of Ferdinands prancing in the pansies...
    Person 1: "Yup!"
    Person 2: "What a bunch of -
    Person 1: "I know! When do you think they last saw a fanny?"
    Person 2: "When their mothers released them onto the dirty floor of the old watch shop... about 40 years ago!"
    Person 1: "Prigs! I hate Steampunks!"
    Person 2 (shouting at Steampunks): "Yeah Man!!!! Let's blow this...!!!!
    They rush out into the cold, crisp, October Night.
    Words in Context:
    The game is a steampunk, fantasy MMO with large battlefields where hundreds of players do battle, features a deep crafting system, and has vehicle carriers that can ferry anywhere between 3 and 10 players into battle at a time. 

    The Hunt for Words:  
    I found the word used on twitter: Minervity 

    Steampunk Costume - http://bit.ly/30V0O8


    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Bb: Braggadocio

    n. pl. brag·ga·do·ci·os
    1. A braggart.
    a. Empty or pretentious bragging.
    b. A swaggering, cocky manner.

    [Alteration of Braggadocchio, the personification of vainglory in The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, from brag.]

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    Simple Sentence to Use at Your Club's Next Cocktail Party:
    We all knew that Mr. Machio was a braggadocio.. We didn't believe that he went to Harvard;  nor that he had worked for NASA and planted a flag on the moon; nor that he had amassed millions before he had lost it all in Vegas.   

    Words in Context:
    On the following morning, Captain Bonneville purchased a supply of buffalo meat from his braggadocio friends; who, with all their vaporing, were in fact a very forlorn horde, destitute of firearms, and of almost everything that constitutes riches in savage life.The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, U.S.A., in the Rocky Mountains and the far West by Irving, Washington View in context

    The Hunt for Words: Inspired to look up word because of Joseph Campbell's belief in Metaphor being more than a simile; so then I looked at the references in J.A. Cuddon's book A Dictionary of Literary Terms,  for metaphor, which then brought me to archetype.  Under character archetypes I found the word braggadocio, which I did not know so I looked it up.    


    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Pp: Phrenology

    Following the materialist notions of mental functions originating in the brain, phrenologists believed that human conduct could best be understood in neurological rather than abstract terms.  Wikipedia Article on Phrenology. 
    Word in Context:
    "People talk a lot of guff about American magic, but I assure you are quit up to the international standard.  In Zurich, they still teach Phrenology, if you can believe it." Lev Gross Magician page 39.

    Use at Your Next Cocktail Party
    According to Phrenology, the size of Greg's head made him capable of much intellectual pursuits.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Ww: Weasel Words

    Weasel words is an informal term[1] for words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that something specific and meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated. Read more from Wikipedia on Weasel Words

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Pp: Ptomaine

    A basic nitrogenous organic compound produced by bacterial putrefaction of protein.

    [Italian ptomaina, from Greek ptmacorpse, from piptein, pt-to fall; see pet- in Indo-European roots.]

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
    IN Context:
    Why, Windrips just something nasty that's been vomited up.   Plenty others still left fermenting in the stomach-quack economists with every sort of ptomaine
    pg 109 Sinclair lewis It Can't Happen Here