Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



Jul 29, 2013
This week's theme
Words seen in their plural forms

This week's words
auspices
paparazzi
cognoscenti
mores
antipodes

Words, language & more
Join us in our discussion forum:
Wordsmith Talk
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

When you are accustomed to seeing people in a particular way -- perhaps dressed in a pinstriped suit, with heavy makeup on, or in a soccer uniform -- and then meet them in their everyday clothes, they appear unfamiliar. You have become so used to looking at them in a particular way that when you see them in their natural state, they may be unrecognizable.

This week's words are like that. We see them so often in their plural form that their singular form appears odd, perhaps misspelled. Who does something under auspice of something? Who writes a graffito?

This week we'll see five words that are more prevalent in their plural form.

auspices

PRONUNCIATION:
(AW-spi-seez)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Patronage, support, or sponsorship.
2. A favorable sign.

ETYMOLOGY:
Plural of auspice, from Latin auspicium (divination from flight of birds), from auspex (bird watcher), from avis (bird) + specere (to look at). Ultimately from the Indo-European root awi- (bird), which is also the source of avian, ostrich, osprey, oval, ovum, ovary, egg, and caviar. Earliest documented use: 1611.

USAGE:
"In March, Serbian and Kosovo officials met under EU auspices for their first high-level face-to-face talks."
Kosovo Parliament Rejects Move to Cancel Talks; Agence France Presse (Paris); May 5, 2011.

See more usage examples of auspices in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once. -Cyril Connolly, critic and editor (1903-1974)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith