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Nov 17, 2003
This week's theme
Miscellaneous words

This week's words

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with Anu Garg

I'm back in Seattle. Back from a three-country, five-city, seven-week, 10-speech tour of Asia. I spoke at a variety of settings, from a club of foreign correspondents to a bunch of fifth-grade kids bubbling with enthusiasm.

I truly loved speaking, sharing stories, mingling, listening, and connecting with the people. I enjoyed and learned much during this trip (including the fact that turbulence at 30,000 feet is God's way of encouraging us to pray).

I'm glad to be back to high-speed Internet though not to the tons of backlogged email. While I catch up with it, this week we'll look at some miscellaneous words.


(ahr-muh-men-TAR-ee-uhm) Pronunciation RealAudio

noun: The collection of equipment and techniques available to one in a particular field, especially in medicine. plural armamentaria

From Latin armamentarium (arsenal), eventually from Latin armare (to arm). Ironically, the word to describe the apparatus of war (armament) and the word for healing paraphernalia (armamentarium) derive from the same root.

"All developed countries share the components: growing populations of elderly people, health-care systems in varying degrees of financial crisis and an armamentarium of sophisticated medical technology - respirators and life-support systems - whose use in end-of-life care is increasingly being viewed with distrust."
Sue Woodman; Death's Doormen; The Guardian (London, UK): Jul 2, 1997.

"The heavens are just full of stuff (asteroids, meteors, comets and a miscellany of rubble) that has a good chance of whacking the Earth sooner or later. The inventory of that celestial armamentarium -- and the likelihood of an ultimately ruinous Big Splat -- are the subjects of this morbidly mesmerizing book (Fire on Earth: Doomsday, Dinosaurs, and Humankind) by two prolific science authors."
Curt Suplee; Science; The Washington Post; Oct 20, 1996.


I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

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