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A.Word.A.Day--generic

Pronunciation: WAV or RealAudio

generic (juh-NEHR-ik) adjective

1. Of or pertaining to a genus.

2. Sold without a brand name.

3. Relating to a whole group or class.

[From French generique, from Latin gener-, genus kind, class.]

"The Brennans made a commitment to drastically reduce spending and to begin investing more of their six-figure income for the future. `I even started buying generic toilet paper that felt like sandpaper to save money,' admits Kathleen." Mari McQueen, Making Money Against the Odds, Money (New York) Nov 1998.

Erics may take over the world. We're everywhere... World-famous musician Eric Clapton, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki (he's a living Gen eric!), South Park's Eric Cartman ... the list goes on and on.

"There is an Eric Conspiracy," declares Eric S. Raymond, an Internet developer and writer, who describes himself as an observer-participant anthropologist in the Internet hacker culture. His research has helped explain the decentralized open-source model of software development. The latest Eric/Erik to hit the headlines is Erik Weihenmayer, the blind mountain climber who scaled Mt. Everest a few weeks ago.

As a guest wordsmith this week, I'll feature five words that end with eric. You can read my free e-book at http://www.bdb.co.za/shackle/ebook.htm. This month's edition features a story about AWAD's near a million wordlovers. -Eric Shackle

(This week's Guest Wordsmith, Eric Shackle, is a retired journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Straits Times, among others. He is also the copy editor for AWAD, and lives near Sydney, Australia. -Anu)

X-Bonus

Shall I tell you the secret of the true scholar? It is this: every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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