Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Words of the Day

I am coming to the end of my List of Words to Look Up. After these five, I still have three to go. But never fear . . . this is the sort of list that will never truly end. At least until I learn all the words.

1. Deliquescing. Charlie St. Cloud. "Soon, when they were ready to go on to the next level, they would fade away, deliquescing like mist in the sun." It must mean melting or burning off. Seems tediously obvious, just like the rest of that book. Webster says: Becoming liquid by absorbing moisture from the air, as certain salts; melting away. Mmmmhmmm! One point.

2. Coruscated (not corrugated). I didn't write down where I found this word, but I did write down "sounds like scolding." I don't know if this was a guess according to context, or if that guess was really just based on the sound of the word. But it does sound kind of harsh and abrasive. And since I really have no clue what the word might mean, especially with no context, I'll go with harsh, abrasive scolding. Webster says: Gave off or reflected light in bright beams or flashes; sparkled. I don't think I could have been more wrong! No points for this one.

3. Adumbrates. I actually marked down where I found this word! It was in Lolita, on page 36 . . . but I didn't keep the book. OK, I'm going out on a limb here, but I think the prefix ad- means drawing towards, and an "umbra" is kind of like a shadow . . . and I still have no idea what this word might mean. A shadow going towards something? Webster says: Foreshadows vaguely; suggests, discloses, or outlines partially; overshadows, obscures. One tenth of  a point for saying "shadow," which is kind of like "foreshadow" . . .

4. Obdurate. The Age of Innocence. (Can you believe I still have two more Words to Look Up from that book? Go Edith!) "It was the note the family had taken to sounding on the mention of the Countess Olenska's name, since she had surprised and inconvenienced them by remaining obdurate to her husband's advances." Stubborn? I think I am mixing it up with obstinate. Resistant or opposed to? Webster says: stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing; hardened in feelings; resistant to persuasion or softening influences. I say I get a whole point for that one.

5. Probity. The Age of Innocence. "So far there had been no exception to its tacit rule that those who broke the law of probity must pay." Solvency? Webster says: Adherence to the highest principles and ideals. I'm taking a half a point, because someone who adheres to the highest principles and ideals would be solvent, right? Yeah, maybe it's a stretch, but hey--stretching is good for you.

Looks like I got 2.6 out of five. How did you do?


Amanda said...

Hmm, I'm reading Age of Innocence now, and since I have your copy, thank you by the way, these words were already defined in the columns!! You naughty girl, writing in a book!
But I love reading your write ups and seeing how many points you can squeeze out, or stretch as the case be. I actually have a few more that I will need to look up on my own, thanks Edith!!

Kathy said...

Oh, my. You just gave me a flashback to the time my mom found me hiding in my closet and autographing one of my Dr. Seuss books. Since then it has been deeply ingrained in me to never, ever write in books. Seriously, though, I don't think I wrote in that book. It was a used copy I bought at my mom's library, so we have an anonymous donor to thank. ;)

Amanda said...

Okay sure, but it SEEMS to match with your words of the day. But frankly it makes more sense that it wasn't you, being the book lover that you are! I am a big stickler for not writing in books or folding pages. I have ingrained it in Ean as well. When I see kids writing on books and ripping pages make me furious!
Anyway, it is not the first book I have read with writing, but the first in pen!

Kathy said...

I used to dog-ear my pages as a bookmark all the time when I was little. Not sure why my mom didn't jump all over me about that, too--in fact, I think she taught me to do it. Not sure when I left the dark side, but now I'm a big bookmark user and would never ever fold a page!