My eyeballs twitched, and all I could think of was electricity and words associated with rain. Nebulous. Pluvial. Precipitation.
Definition: A vitamin found in citrus fruits and green vegetables. Ascorbic acid is essential for healthy connective tissue. A severe deficiency results in scurvy. Scurvy causes lethargy, bruising, bleeding gums, swollen legs and (if untreated) death. People would get it on long sea voyages. An old word from mediaeval Latin—scorbutic—means ‘affected by scurvy’ or ‘of [...]
Definition: A period of paid leave granted to a university teacher for study or travel, traditionally 1 year for every 7 years worked. Of or pertaining to the Sabbath (archaic). So we’ve been pretty quiet lately. It’s because we were on sabbatical. Yep, I’ve used more sick leave this month than I have used in 7 years. (Sabbaticals [...]
Definition: Act obstructively in a legislative assembly (Parliament), especially by speaking at inordinate length. Stuff I find interesting (even if no one else does): Australian parliamentary rules mean that a filibuster is difficult to pull off here filibusters don’t breach any technical rules—they’re just very inconvenient. Use in a sentence: He is a filibustering windbag.
Dave called in sick. 'I have a raging case of dysania', he said.'
Definition: Composure or coolness shown in danger or under trying circumstances. Sometimes spelled ‘sang-froid’. In French, it literally means ‘cold blood’—English borrowed the word in the 18th century. I think I first read this word in The Three Musketeers—about a 4th musketeer who enjoyed fighting duels (no doubt with a lot of sangfroid) and falling [...]
Definition: Petty and underhanded legal wrangling. Pettifoggery.
Barry, the antithalian Australian, after a day spent scowling at cooing babies...
Definition: a hatred of reason. A distrust of logical debate. Going far beyond plain old cognitive dissonance—the holding of conflicting viewpoints—misology seems to be quite popular.
Definition: A road vehicle, typically with four wheels powered by an internal-combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people. Using Little Squeak logic, everything from a Lamborghini to Lego on wheels is a ‘car’. And they are all awesome. (Vroom, vroom!) The word ‘car’ is thought to be based on the Gaulish word [...]