November 21, 2006

Words that are interesting for various and sundry reasons


I'm still waiting to learn what this means; a technical philosophical term. "..there is no satisfactory justification for supposing that the factual is, by definition, attitudinatively and motivationally neutral." John McDowell, "Values and Secondary Qualities," 1985.


Driving dangerously fast. "The boys who go barrel-assing down my dirt road have a big white decal they blazon on their windshields that says NO FEAR." Garrett Keizer, Harper's, 2003.


One who focuses on neutral colors and Safari themes in interior design. Reported to me by Mrs. Pritchett.


The dampness or smell of a cellar. Coined by James Joyce in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916.


To organize ideas and make information clear. Merriam-Webster OnLine notes its first use in 1884.


A state of having been frozen; cold. Mrs. Pritchett spontaneously coined this and Google can find several occurrences on the Web.


The region of a state in the U.S. outside of the state's largest metroplitan area. The implication is that the residents of the largest metro area see themselves as the center of the state and need a term to describe the rest, such as “outstate Minnesota.” Perhaps this is more accurate than confusing terms such as “upstate New York,” where it sounds like it may refer to northern regions but often refers to the whole area outside of New York City, and “south Georgia,” that sounds like it may refer to the southern half of the state but is often used to describe any place south of Atlanta, including Macon, which is north of the geographic center.

paper street

A publicly owned right-of-way that has not been improved for access. Paper is often enclosed in quotation marks.


Not able to realize; fictional.

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