Those who know me must think I see only negative in the world... which is often true :(
So I thought I'd be a positivist for a moment, and thank Think|Atheist for offering an intense debating forum where reality and rationality usually prevail :)
I was a anglo-Newfie plunked down in French-Québec at age 4. I had to become bilingual real fast and negotiate some pretty brutal cultural paradigm shifts, as a hated anglo, growing up through the October '70 crisis when Canada imposed martial law onto Québec, jailed thousands of innocents, causing thousands more to go into hiding and burn all personal mementos/correspondence that might be deemed treasonous, including some of my family members. My region was separatist (with which I fundamentally have always agreed, and the separatist government was responsible for removing education from the hands of the clergy, but only after I was done high school), but schooling included daily religion/catechism, which I despised. In the end, knowledge, reason, and sheer pig-headedness inculcated by my atheist parents, are the traits that eventually got me through those hard times. Some days I wished it was my incredible sense of humour and charisma that were my best traits, but they weren't... LoL!
Being multilingual brings many pleasures to life, but I also missed out on certain speciality areas of vocabulary, and my literary/philosophical vocabulary in English still needs much improvement. Learning is a perpetual life endeavour, and were it not for my heavy school loans, I'd spend all my life in school. But, T|A provides some degree of compensation :)
My favourite new word I've learned here is (hoping it's not more common than I perceive):
Disingenuous. Such an interesting word for debates, subtly distinguishing itself from the act of lying.
What are your favourite new words?
"Frenemy" is a new coinage, which I don't think has yet been accepted into the lexicon.
"Refudiate" is not a word--only evidence of Palin's density.
I actually didn't learn any new words because if I don't know a word I don't notice it, so I made my self find a word I newer heard of so in no more adueau:
elucidation - I do know what lucid means, but I newer used it in this way
There is a good site to see how many words you know but I can't find it anymore, it told me I knew about 27000 words, and this was considered average.
hehe, I didn't think that sort of test existed... but it does! :)
I tried this one on the dating site OkCupid51282 words
Same site, quite a good result for someone who isn't a native speaker:
You scored as knowing approximately 41958 words and word meanings. This officially qualifies you as a "real wisenheimer."
You scored 126% on words known, higher than 51% of your peers.
I can't seem to be able to post the graph. The URL renders a blank image, like that:
This works better.
Some of those don't have proper or appropriate answers. I quit the quiz at epigene. There wasn't a correct answer at all. Unless I misread, the options were:
someone irritating (I forgot the last one)
It is probably the first since it could refer to something just beneath the surface, but really, 'underground' matches with hypogene.
Well, I could be wrong, but I don't think that I am.
maybe it was the last option?
|Position||Synonyms (sorted by strength)|
|foreign, unnatural, unusual.
Consider also: anomalous, backward, barbarous, cruel, different, eccentric, exotic, extraordinary, extravagant, fantastic, far-fetched, ferocious, inexperienced, inhuman, inorganic, new, peculiar, unaccustomed, uncommon, wild.
Being a francophone first and an anglophone second (by education) always used to frustrate me when playing scrabble, because I knew the origins of words, but various dictionaries list (even if they don't prescribe) various words from different languages. But, once I'd advanced in far enough in my biology studies I had to quit playing scrabble completely, because not knowing which common dictionary would bother listing various biological terms was just too frustrating.
Dictionaries are of very limited use when needing to go beyond the surface of most topics.
I would think that anyone seriously pursuing English would also have to learn at lest one of the following as well: French, German, Latin, Greek.
"Dictionaries are of very limited use when needing to go beyond the surface of most topics."
It depends on the common dictionary. Most versions people have access to are abridged. The entire OED is something like twenty-seven volumes A-Z. It includes obscure definitions, technical definitions, and full etymology. It's not marketable to mass audiences.
Your statement definitely stands, though. Generally, dictionaries try to provide a concise definition. It bothers me a bit when someone tries to argue against something like evolution based off of a dictionary definition. There are volumes upon volumes of research and writings on the subject of evolution, and even more information is being added to the pool all the time. It confounds me that anyone would think a Webter's abridged Dictionary definition printed in 1976 is a solid foundation for their argument.