NOUN (1)

1. the policy of pushing a dangerous situation to the brink of disaster (to the limits of safety); (

John Foster Dulles, 52nd Secretary of State
John Foster Dulles, 52nd Secretary of State

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
brinkmanship \brink”man*ship\, brinksmanship \brinks”man*ship\n. [brink + -manship. (1956).] the policy or practise of pushing a dangerous situation to the brink of disaster (to the limits of safety), in order to achieve the most advantageous outcome; used especially of diplomatic maneuvers in crisis situations, and originally applied to the policies of John Foster Dulles under President Eisenhower. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC]

Aside to the post Brinkmanship
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Did 47 Republican senators break the law in plain sight?

Senator Tom Cotton, Arizona (Rep)
Senator Tom Cotton, Arizona (Rep)

Washington (CNN)   “Forty-seven Senate Republicans may have broken the law this week. But no one’s losing any sleep over it. Pundits and legal scholars are raising questions over whether  Sen. Tom Cotton and the 46 Senate Republicans violated the Logan Act when they penned a letter to Iran’s leaders on Monday, undercutting President Barack Obama‘s efforts to negotiate a nuclear agreement with those same leaders. The law, passed in 1799, forbids any U.S. citizen — acting without official U.S. authority — from influencing “disputes or controversies” involving the U.S. and a foreign government.” …read more as CNN

© 2015 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, 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.


Conflation defined: a combining, as of two variant readings of a text into a composite reading.

Origin: ME conflacioun < LL conflatio < L conflare, to blow together < com-, together + flare, to blow
NOUNYour’s New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

blend, fusion; especially :  a composite reading or text.
Examples of CONFLATION: the word “robustious” is probably a conflation of “robust” and “boisterous”–Merriam

See also on 3freewordsaday: amalgam.

Click on the link at the bottom of this post to revisit "amalgam."
Click on the link at the bottom of this
post to revisit “amalgam.”

Ex Post Facto

Ex post facto means “after the fact.” A good example is someone trying to change the rules of a game after it’s already begun.

Challenge: Use "ex post facto" in a sentence tomorrow. Share it here!
Challenge: Use “ex post facto” in a sentence tomorrow. Share it here!

Ex post facto defined: “something that affects things that happened in the past. When a law changes the zoning rules and applies even to zoning decisions that were made in the past, it is an

example of an ex post facto change to the zoning laws.” ADJECTIVE–Your Such a change is considered retroactive.

Origin of ex post facto
Late Latin, literally, from a thing done afterward.
First Known Use: 1621–Merriam


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 (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.)