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May 11, 2004
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
polyhistor
heteroclite
apostate
polyvalent
clodhopper

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heteroclite

(HET-uhr-uh-klyt) Pronunciation

adjective:
1. Deviating from the ordinary rule; eccentric.
2. (In grammar) Irregularly inflected.

noun:
1. A person who is unconventional; a maverick.
2. A word that is irregularly formed.

[From Middle French, from Late Latin heteroclitus, from Greek heteroklitos, from hetero- + klinein (to lean, inflect). Ultimately from the Indo-European root klei (to lean). Other words derived from the same root are decline, incline, recline, lean, client, climax, and ladder.]

"They (candidates) are a heteroclite bunch."
Philip Revzin; Will Italians Vote To Send a Scotsman To EC Parliament?; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Jun 16, 1989.

"I might have imagined. Nor could I have dreamed the heteroclite crew -- men I had met aboard Tzadkiel's ship." Gene Wolfe; The Urth of the New Sun; Tor Books; 1997.

X-Bonus

Promises are like the full moon: if they are not kept at once they diminish day by day. -German proverb

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