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May 31, 2002
This week's theme
Words borrowed from Arabic

This week's words
alembic
nadir
jihad
houri
talisman

Next week’s theme
Words formed erroneously
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

talisman

(TAL-is-man, -iz-) Pronunciation

noun:
1. An object, such as a stone, believed to have occult powers to keep evil away and bring good fortune to its wearer.
2. Anything that has magical powers and brings miraculous effects.

[From French or Spanish, from Arabic tilasm, from Greek telesma (consecration) from telein (to consecrate or complete) from telos, result.]

"Drivers clutching this (AAA) card as a talisman against automotive calamity should know that, in doing so, they lend support to an agenda in favor of road building, against pollution control and even auto-safety measures - that helps deepen the automotive calamity afflicting the nation as a whole."
Ken Silverstein; Smitten With a Club; Harper's (New York); May 2002.

X-Bonus

I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood. -Clarence Darrow, lawyer and author (1857-1938)

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