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Feb 21, 2012
This week's theme
Words that were formed as a plural but are now used as singular

This week's words
truce
graffiti
insignia
viscera
paraphernalia

graffiti by David Choe at Facebook
$200 million graffiti
Art: David Choe
Photo: Kristy Duncan

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

graffiti

PRONUNCIATION:
(gruh-FEE-tee)

MEANING:
noun: Words or drawing made on a wall or other surface in a public place.

ETYMOLOGY:
Plural of Italian graffito (a scratching). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gerbh- (to scratch), which also gave us crab, crayfish, carve, crawl, grammar, anagram, program, graphite, and paraph. Earliest documented use: 1851.

USAGE:
"Over the years, many lovers have carved their names and words of love on trees, and graffiti has become a problem."
Love on the Cheap for Valentine's Day; Shanghai Daily (China); Feb 12, 2012.

"$200 million is what graffiti artist David Choe is expected to earn from the listing. He painted Facebook's walls in 2005 and opted to get paid in stock options."
Larry Claasen; Facebook in Numbers; Financial Mail (South Africa); Feb 10, 2012.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It is more often from pride than from ignorance that we are so obstinately opposed to current opinions; we find the first places taken, and we do not want to be the last. -Francois De La Rochefoucauld, moralist (1613-1680)

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