Webster’s Favorites

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  1. Mellifluous
    If something sounds as sweet as honey, it is mellifluous. The voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, and even that of Bill Clinton are mellifluous (listen to the way our former President was able to, through turns of locution and his southern drawl, to imbue the mundane with a sense of pleading urgency). Of course, what sounds mellifluous is a matter of opinion. As long as it’s not Justin Bieber.
  2. Palimpsest
    • A long time ago, even before the days when email was popular, people wrote on scrolls. Apparently papyrus wasn’t affordable so scribes reused the same scroll over again, writing on top of what had gone before. By extension, any writing material that has been written on numerous times, so that the vague traces of previous writing can be seen, is a palimpsest. A poorly erased chalkboard, the manically edited essays of my high school days.
    • More broadly speaking, a palimpsest can refer to anything that has been changed numerous times but which traces of former instantiations can still be seen.
  3. Serendipity
    This morning I wasn’t looking for this article, but there it was – a pleasant find. That’s an example of serendipity. Finding something pleasant that you weren’t even looking for. The Internet is full of serendipity – something you were never looking for you end up buying. Though if this becomes a habit, it may cease to be serendipitous.
  4. Defenestrate
    It is a comical way of saying to throw someone out of a window, which in a sense is comical, as there is nothing comical about getting thrown out of a window.
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Webster’s Favorites
2013-03-29 19:41:52

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