Showing posts with label Merriam-Webster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Merriam-Webster. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adventures in Logophilia - Ab Inito (Jillian)

It has been two months since I've put words into this blog.  It has been four years since Michelle and I launched this project, and life continues to meander, ebb and flow in different directions, in different moods.  We've been busy bees, going to school and writing novels.  I completed my grand endeavor, a novel, on 1 September, and as I go through the process of writing query letters and sending them out and waiting for responses, I'll be here resting from the long slog of the last fifteen months.  Depending on the weather (both figuratively and literally), I might document some of my experiences in the black hole that is publishing. 

But what will hopefully bring me to the blog on a regular basis is my lexicon.  I have been collecting fun, interesting, complicated, brilliant words for the last several years, and now have a whopping 2100 at my disposal.  I've gathered this definitions from Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries, but they are paraphrased and illustrated here in my own words.  Where better to explore them than Daedalus?  I won't blog on them all, of course, because that would take me six years.  I'll blog on the words that are most useful, most special to me.  Hopefully, you will find yourself becoming a logophiliac as well.

I'll begin at the beginning with...

Ab inito is an adverb from the Latin, meaning "from the beginning." 

Contrary to popular belief, in my opinion, Latin is most certainly not dead.  Though no one goes about this day in age striking up conversations in Latin, it is everywhere.  We still read it, pour over it, become captivated by the sound of its language, the way it's sung and spoken in some Christian circles.  Latin provides the foundation for so much of our language, and sometimes asserts an authoritative voice into an other wise dull statement, a grain of wisdom into what could be a shabby string of words.  Maybe it is like the physical vestiges of the Roman empire left standing all over Britain (Hadrian's Wall).  Or maybe it just sounds cool.  We could all do with a little more Latin in our daily lives!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lodestar (Jillian)

It is a new year, and, as you can see, a fresh new blog. I hope to keep it fresh throughout 2011 and beyond. Thanks for reading!


I came by a word-a-day calendar for the new year. I’ve a passion for words; the more obscure the more deeply intrigued I am. One of my new little projects is to maintain a lexicon I created several years ago, and at the very least discovering or rediscovering words keeps me thinking. Thus, without further ado…

This week’s word rediscovery is lodestar (noun). According to Merriam-Webster a lodestar is “one that serves as an inspiration, model or guide… a star that leads or guides, in particular the North Star.” M-W also indicates that the word has its roots in Middle English (lode means course), and that Geoffrey Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales, Parliament of Fowles, etc) was one of the first to use the word when he wrote in the 14th century.

Appropriate, no? As yesterday, the 6th of January was Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas, and the day we celebrate the Magi finding the Christ child in Bethlehem. The lodestar could be construed as the brilliant star that guided them on their journey.

What strikes me about the idea of a lodestar is the image of light in the darkness… more particularly light in the midst of a bleak midwinter. I hope for that spark of creativity and hope in 2011. Happy writing!


to a blog by three people who write, for anyone else who wants to write. It's a cruel world for creators, and here we promise support, whimsy, and curiosity that will hopefully keep your pen moving and keyboard tapping!

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