When someone has a strong liking for something they have a penchant for it. This doesn’t just mean a strong liking of favorite foods or of a particular sport. It can mean a strong leaning toward a political party or a way of life (He has a penchant for slovenliness.).  Penchant for an activity can also mean a talent for it.


A definite liking; a strong inclination. See Synonyms at predilection.
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.
a strong inclination or liking; bent or taste
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

a strong inclination, taste, or liking for something.
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



The father of detective fiction, Edgar Allan Poe, coined a word. Like his works, it is large and sometimes unfathomable. Ratiocination means “reasoning abilitypoe (‘ratiocination’ traces to ‘ratio,’ Latin for ‘reason’ or ‘computation’,” and describes the process by which reason and exact thinking bring about solution.

A few Poe facts
Poe was not in fact a maudlin person. He had quite the sense of humor. He did not die of a drug overdose. Some think he succumbed to rabies, as he had a fondness for cats and kept several as pets. What exists as Poe lore was published after his death in a biography written by a rival.


Ancillary defined: (ADJECTIVE) subordinate or helping. An extra workbook and live recordings of chapter are examples of ancillary items to a textbook.The definition of ancillary means something that is helping or subordinate, but not as necessary. (NOUN) An example of ancillary is an overflow valve that is designed to take the pressure off of a main pumping system. —Your


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


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

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

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


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 (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.


Defined:  Torpor is the state of being inactive or having apathy.  An example of torpor is a teenage couch potato.  NOUN


a : a state of mental and motor inactivity with partial or total insensibility  b : a state of lowered physiological activity typically characterized by reduced metabolism, heart rate, respiration, and body temperature that occurs in varying degrees especially in hibernating and estivating animals

Aside to the Post Torpor
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Definition of estivating:

1 : to spend the summer usually at one place
2 : to pass the summer in a state of torpor


Defined:  The definition of brightwork is metal trim that is kept polished, especially on a boat or ship.  An example of brightwork is the shiny metal rail of a sailboat.  NOUN


1: polished or plated metalwork  2: varnished woodwork on a boat

Dare I say the the comparable polish-able trim and adornments on a certain gender’s “ride”?  (Smiley face.)


Defined:  to make individual or distinct; specif., to differentiate from others of the same species or kind to form into an individual; develop as a separate organic unit  TRANSITIVE VERB


By now you know I’m a mystery reader.  Love them!  Especially if they are a series.  And Jeffery Deaver writes some knockout plots.  In The Stone Monkey (which has in my opinion the best secondary character in all his books), Lincoln Rhyme of The Bone Collector fame (Denzel Washington) once again schools his minions on evidence collection and analysis with his (in)famous bare bones and boiled down term, individuate.  It’s a great read and vocabulary building makes a nice excuse for picking it up and immersing yourself in it.

If you want some legal definitions of individuate, follow this link.


Defined:  granted autonomy with regard to internal affairs only, by a controlling nation, organization, etc.  ADJECTIVE


Partially self-governing.  Having the powers of self-government within a larger organization or structure.

–The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

“Semiautonomous cars and vehicle-to-vehicle communication could profoundly change how traffic flows and even highway design.”

–Del-Colle Andrew, “When Can I Let Go of the Wheel?” Popular Mechanics. October 2013 Pages 75-79.