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Jul 23, 2008
This week's theme
Words about words and language

This week's words
grammatolatry
catachresis
parapraxis
lingua franca
orthoepy

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

parapraxis

PRONUNCIATION:
(par-uh-PRAK-sis)

MEANING:
noun: A slip of the tongue (or pen) that reveals the unconscious mind.

ETYMOLOGY:
Parapraxis is a fancy word for the Freudian slip. It's derived from Greek para- (beside, beyond) + praxis (act).

USAGE:
"Only one parapraxis suggested a little lingering Scottish resentment*. [Andrew Marr] pronounced Gough Square, where [Samuel] Johnson lived and wrote his dictionary, 'guff'. A good joke but not, I think, a deliberate one."
Andrew Billen; Ruling the Radio Waves; New Statesman (London, UK); Oct 1, 2007.
[*And not entirely without reason. In his famous dictionary, Johnson defined oats as:
"A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people."]

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It's not the genius who is 100 years ahead of his time but average man who is 100 years behind it. -Robert Musil, novelist (1880-1942)

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