Saturday, January 19, 2008

Yes, but what does it mean?

I thought I had a pretty good grip on the English language.

I've come to realise, however, how completely dependent I've become on Google's define: function.

Just in the past couple of months:
  • Soliloquy
  • Iconoclast
  • Picaresque
  • Ennui
  • Asinine
  • Soporific
  • Quixotic
  • Shambolic
  • Quietening (moment of doubt - is it quieting or quietening?)
  • Polak (trying to figure out if I could make a homophone out of poleaxe and Polaks, before having an unsettling suspicion that the work Polak might be a derogatory term. Had a similar moment of PC quandary when I went to write the heading “Live like a Sheikh” on a press release, and then wondered uneasily what a Sheikh was, exactly.)

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