Synonyms: correct, right, true

Correct defined:  something true, right or proper.  An example of correct used as an adjective is the phrase “correct procedure,” such as baking a cheese cake in a springform pan is the correct procedure.  ADJECTIVE–Your Dictionary.com

It wasn’t until the televised O.J. Simpson trial that I heard the word correct used as affirmative.  If someone asks you a question, how do you answer them in the affirmative?  Do you say “yes?”

Question: “And it was after the second thump that you heard the door close?”  

Answer: “Yes.”

Or do you answer right?  Or true? How about correct?  That’s right, that’s true, or that’s correct are all proper answers in the affirmative.  They each have in them an adjective that describes that which is a reference to the question–providing the question is asked in such a way that a yes answer will do–or to a statement.  (Lawyers are skilled at asking rhetorical questions.) But consider the following:

Do you want mashed potatoes with pork chops tonight?

Did you take the car to the car wash today?

Did you hear that?

Would that is correct answer any of them?  I don’t think so. The best answer would be a simple yes or no.  But if asked, “You knew there was only one potato left before you asked for mashed potatoes for dinner didn’t you,” could you answer correct?  The question implies the answer is affirmative (rhetorical), so I think correct would work.  However, if you re-read the definition of correct above, you will see that to correct (VERB) and correct (as in correct procedure) (ADJECTIVE) in no way translate to one word answers.  I think correct used as an affirmative should be left in the courtroom, if it must be used in that capacity at all.  That in mind, read the following definitions of right and true.

Right defined:  something is the correct, proper or moral choice or something that is true or correct.  NOUN

  1. An example of right is honesty.
  2. An example of right is an answer that is correct.  (ADJECTIVE) —Your Dictionary.com

True defined:  being loyal, something that is real, factually correct, accurate or provable.  ADJECTIVE

  1. An example of true is a friend who is loyal and honest.
  2. An example of true is a fact that has been proven to be correct. —Your Dictionary.com
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Annals of lexicography

Arnold Zwicky's Blog

From Cabinet magazine, issue 49 (Spring 2013), in “Leftovers / Cephalophoric Reason” by Eigil zu Tage-Ravn, about French folklorist Émile Nourry’s

exhaustive “Les saints céphalophores,” seventy-three closely researched pages documenting, in old French and Latin sources, more than 120 instances of saints engaging in “cephalophory” – i.e., carrying their own severed heads.

Cephalaphory. Transparent, I guess, if you know enough Greek (though even then you’d only get ‘head-carrying, head-bearing’, not specifically ‘carrying one’s own severed head’). Not a word most of us would have a use for, but arresting and entertaining.

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Synonyms: assuage, relieve, quiet

Assuage defined:  to make better or lessen; fulfill the needs of; to pacify  VERB —Your Dictionary.com

Some definitions equate assuage with the ministering of a nurse.   Assuage would best describe a caring act.  The kindness accompanied by the relieving or the quieting of a problem.  So to relieve someone or to quiet their ills is to assuage them.

Relieve and quiet used this way bring to mind the tender attentions of a parent, perhaps.  As synonyms of assuage, they seem to convey the kindness and caring of that word as opposed to a word that means simply to stop; stopping the pain is not to assuage the pain.

Relieve defined:  to reduce or remove (something, such as pain or an unpleasant feeling) : to make (a problem) less serious  VERB–Merriam-Webster.com

Quiet defined:

14. to make quiet.
15. to make tranquil or peaceful; pacify.
16. to calm mentally, as a person.
17. to allay (tumult, doubt, fear, etc.).
18. to silence.

World Wide Words

World Wide Words.

The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or change their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least some part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, the background to words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

This site is the archive of pieces that have appeared in the free newsletter. Weekly issues include much more than appears here, including discussion by readers, serendipitous encounters with unfamiliar language, and tongue-in-cheek tut-tuttings at errors perpetrated by sloppy writers.

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Opine

Defined:  To opine is to share your thoughts or opinion. When you share your thoughts on an issue, this is an example of a time when you opine. VERB

Your Dictionary.com

to hold or express (an opinion); think; suppose: now usually said, with satirical or judgmental force, of a speaker regarded as pedantic, pompous, etc.  TRANSITIVE/INTRANSITIVE VERB

Your Dictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.  Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

Iconoclast

Defined:  1. One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions.  2. One who destroys sacred religious images.  NOUN

“Word History: An iconoclast can be unpleasant company, but at least the modern iconoclast only attacks such things as ideas and institutions. The original iconoclasts destroyed countless works of art. Eikonoklasts, the ancestor of our word, was first formed in Medieval Greek from the elements eikn, ‘image, likeness,’ and -klasts, ‘breaker,’ from kln, ‘to break.’ The images referred to by the word are religious images, which were the subject of controversy among Christians of the Byzantine Empire in the 8th and 9th centuries, when iconoclasm was at its height. In addition to destroying many sculptures and paintings, those opposed to images attempted to have them barred from display and veneration. During the Protestant Reformation images in churches were again felt to be idolatrous and were once more banned and destroyed. It is around this time that iconoclast, the descendant of the Greek word, is first recorded in English (1641), with reference to the Byzantine iconoclasts. In the 19th century iconoclast took on the secular sense that it has today, as in ‘Kant was the great iconoclast’ (James Martineau).”

–The Free Dictionary.com (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.)

 

Iatrogenic

Defined:  1. (Medicine) Med (of an illness or symptoms) induced in a patient as the result of a physician’s words or actions, esp as a consequence of taking a drug prescribed by the physician  2. (Social Welfare) Social welfare (of a problem) induced by the means of treating a problem but ascribed to the continuing natural development of the problem being treated  ADJECTIVE

The Free Dictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003)

Sublimate

Defined:  1. to divert the energy of (a sexual or other biological impulse) from its immediate goal to one of a more acceptable social, moral, or aesthetic nature or use.  2. a. to sublime (a solid substance); extract by this process.  b. to refine or purify (a substance).  3. to make nobler or purer.  TRANSITIVE VERB

The Free Dictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.)

New words – 23 September 2013

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

chipletnouna very tiny electronic circuit

The technology breaks silicon wafers into tens of thousands of chiplets, bottles them as “ink” and then “prints” them, much as a Xerox laser printer puts toner on paper.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 09 April 2013]

genome editingnounthe rewriting of DNA in living organisms, often for the purposes of curing illnesses

This uses a new technique called genome editing.

[BBC Radio 4 17 April 2013]

ladybronounslanga female friend (usually of another woman)

Where was Vicky Pryce’s ladybro when she needed one?

[www.guardian.co.uk 08 April 2013]

About new words

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Yesterday’s 3wordsaday: Mellifluous, Superfluous, Dichotomy

Mellifluous Defined:  1 : having a smooth rich flow <a mellifluous voice> 2 : filled with something (as honey) that sweetens  ADJECTIVE

Merriam-Webster.com

Superfluous Defined:  The definition of superfluous is something that is more than needed or unnecessary. An example of superfluous is a buying a stuffed animal for a child who already has too many stuffed animals.  ADJECTIVE

Your Dictionary.com

Dichotomy Defined:  1. Division into two usually contradictory parts or opinions: “the dichotomy of the one and the many” (Louis Auchincloss). 2. Astronomy The phase of the moon, Mercury, or Venus when half of the disk is illuminated. 3. Botany Branching characterized by successive forking into two approximately equal divisions. NOUN

The Free Dictionary.com (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.)

I’m going to use my sweet (mellifluous) voice (errr, words) and apologize over and over and over again (superfluous) for not posting yesterday’s three words on my 3freewordsaday (dichotomy) blog.  And postscript, you can never have too many stuffed animals.