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Jun 9, 2003
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Pronunciation RealAudio

extemporize (ik-STEM-puh-ryz) verb tr., intr.

1. To perform (speak, sing, play, etc.) without preparation or practice; to improvise.

2. To do something in a makeshift manner.

[From extempore, from Latin ex tempore (out of the time), from tempus (time). Other words that are formed from the same Latin root: temporary, tempo, temper, contemporary, tempest and tense.]

"Since the clavier player is obliged to improvise on the spot, he must also always keep in mind that such extemporizing should serve not the demonstration of his skills but rather the ultimate purpose of the music. `We must play from the soul, not like trained birds,' C.P.E. professed."
Richard Perry; Little Known, But Delightfully Noteworthy; Ottawa Citizen (Canada); Mar 31, 2002.

"Third, rather than confronting the basic root or source of the controversies, Soeharto was more familiar with his own style of extemporizing in the expectation that the incident would be forgotten as time went by."
Adrianus Meliala; What Has Made Us Reluctant to Investigate?; Jakarta Post (Indonesia); Nov 6, 1998.

It might appear that this week's words have been selected at random, but we aren't extemporizing. Each word has been carefully picked, vetted, and reviewed as suitable to be featured in the next five days. But what is that selection criterion? That's your challenge! Can you see a pattern in this week's words? Write to us at words-at-wordsmith.org. See if you can be the first one to solve the puzzle. One answer per person, please. We'll announce the results next week.


A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world. -Leo Buscaglia, author, speaker and professor (1924-1998)

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