Monday, October 5, 2009

Words I Don't Know, Part II.

It's busy homework season out here in DC/NOVA, I am SUPREMELY cranky today. Not just for homework's sake and the related disappearance of my free time; after an hour-and-a-half wait at this morning, I finally saw an insidious doctor who enjoyed poking my greenish-purplish ankle and asking me whether or not it hurt (could you REALLY not tell from the way I was writhing around?? QUIT POKING ME!), who then gave me the extremely irritating, completely useless, and entirely patronizing advice: "You should have come in when this first happened." Well, duh. Now get on with it, lady. I am currently waiting to hear back whether or not the retarded stumble I performed a couple of weeks ago is actually a fracture (please no please no please no...). Thus, I find myself a little on edge, and a lot out of things to write about. (*Update: NOT broken, THANK HEAVENS! Got a new doctor later in the afternoon, a nice doctor, who looked at it, said, "You've been walking on THAT for TWO weeks? And you're an art history major?? What, do you play rubgy on the side?" She set me up with a nice bulky brace to sport around for the next two weeks, just in time for Bre's wedding!)

So, I have been squirreling away a very special vocabulary for just such a wordless day. Back in February I published a list of words I ran across in my Hirshhorn readings that irritated the crap out of me, because they were so obviously included in their various essay-homes solely for the purpose of communicating to readers juuuuuust how brilliant their writers were. After that particular post, the words didn't stop coming, and I didn't stop noting them down, with vexation and occasional wonder at their odd spellings and contorted, completely unimaginable definitions.

Today I present Part II of my Abject Through Zeitgeist Journey to the Center of Multisyllabic Semantics. There's only 36 this time, and 11 of them are highlighted as spelling errors in wordcheck... but I left the definitions of all of them in this round, because no one should ever have to encounter these fastidious words unaided. Summer Lewis, you word-lover you (is there a "-phile" name for that?), go to town. :) Please note the upswing in percentage of Latin and philosophy words (Theodicy.... yeesh. I like that one, though. Cool meaning). I just can't get away from these maniacal writers, be it at the Smithsonian or in the middle of a graduate reading sesh. Apperception it is.

Adduce: Bring forward; cite as conclusive or pertinent
Alterity: A state of being other
Apodictic: Incontestable because it has been proved demonstrable
Apogee: highest or furthest point, or climax
Apperception: Conscious perception, the process of understanding by which newly observed qualities of an object are related to past experience.
Cathexis: the investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea (cezanne’s wife may have been his erotic cathexis, but he didn’t show it on canvas)
Demur: Make an objection
Demure: characterized by shyness or modesty; reticent; coyly decorous
Dialectic: of the nature of logical discussion
Embolism: the insertion of days, months, or years, in an account of time, to produce regularity; The occlusion of a blood vessel by an embolus. Embolism in the brain often produces sudden unconsciousness and paralysis.
Ersatz: serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial
Exergue: A space on the reverse of a coin or medal, usually below the central design and often giving the date and place of engraving.
Fecundity- quality of being very fertile
Hermeneutic: pertaining to hermeneutics; interpretative; explanatory.
Idiom: an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements (kick the bucket); the peculiar character or genius of a language (Derrida's version); a distinct style or character in music or art (the idiom of Klee)
Incommensurable: having no common basis, measure, or standard of comparison.
Inimitable: matchless, incapable of being copied
Invagination: a taking within (eeeww... dirty old D. N. Rodowick writing about aesthetics and speech)
Jingoism: Bellicose chauvinism
Oedipal: of or characterized by the Oedipal complex, e.g. a love for one’s opposite-sex parent
Ontological: Studying the nature of existence. Ex: having the existence of the concept of God entail His veritable existence
Parergon: An accessory work performed in addition to one's principle work (e.g. painting frames, sculptural drapery)
Pellucid: allowing the maximum amount of light or clarity; clear in meaning, expression, or style
Picaresque: pertaining to, characteristic of, or characterized by a form of prose fiction, originally developed in Spain, in which the adventures of an engagingly roguish hero are described in a series of usually humorous or satiric episodes that often depict, in realistic detail, the everyday life of the common people
Populism: any of various, often anti-establishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.
Refractory: hard or impossible to manage; stubbornly disobedient
Reification: to convert into or regard as a concrete thing.
Repugnant: distasteful, offensive, contrary or opposed in nature
Scion: a descendant; a shoot, twig, or cutting
Subsume: to consider something as part of a more comprehensive whole
Tautological: needless repetition of an idea ("widow woman")
Teleological: pertaining to the doctrine that forces move towards self-realization; the evidence of design.
Telos: the end term of a goal-directed process; esp., the Aristotelian final cause.
Tendentious: having or showing a definite tendency, bias, or purpose
Theodicy: A vindication of God's goodness in the face of the existence of evil
Topos: a convention or motif, esp. in a literary work; a rhetorical convention.



Raunee said...

I'm sorry you hurt yourself. I hope everything turns out good.

Erin said...

I LOVE how much you dislike pompous academics.

Words off that list I knew: demure, dialectic, idiom, Oedipcal, populism

Words off that list I had heard but had no idea what they menat: apogee, embolism, fecunity, hermeneutic, ontological, jingoism, refractory, telos, theodicy, topos.

The rest I had never even heard. Bless you for enlightening us.



Summer Lewis said...

That's an awesome list. I only really knew 14, and would have had a pretty good guess at about half a dozen more. Here's two more for you. Logophile-lover of words.
Prolix-marked by or using an excess of words (it's an adjective, as a noun it's prolixity. It is one of my favorite Scrabble, because of the x). I hope your ankle gets better fast. I've found that bulky, cumbersome braces sometimes elicit sympathy and help, if that is any consolation.

ynny said...

"Cheers." You would, Erin. You. Would. :)

Judy Anne said...

I am impressed with what you are learning. I am so very proud of your accomplishments.

Jayci said...

HURRAY! There were a few I knew and use regularly! ha ha. Only a few, though.. :) Refractory is going to find its way into my vocabulary with that particular meaning; I only knew it as refractory light rays or something scientific like that. boo. AND. Another recent word of mine: impious. I like that word word. B/c people who are this way are "imps" - HA.