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Today's Word

Yesterday's Word




Pronunciation RealAudio

napiform (NAY-puh-form) adjective

Turnip-shaped: round at the top and tapering down sharply at the bottom.

[From Latin napus (turnip) + -form.]

"'Is he upstairs, is that it?' she demanded of the blunted eyes and napiform head of the elder Thompson."
T. Coraghessan Boyle; Riven Rock; Penguin; 1999.

"He took a napiform bun from the bread basket and, nibbling its nobble, said ..."
Reginald Hill; Recalled to Life; Dell Publishing; 1993.

When I was a graduate student at CWRU in Cleveland, Ohio, the International Student Office held drawings for free tickets to various events every week. Sports tickets were eagerly sought by most of the students while those for the classical music concerts were last to go. That made it easier for me to win them.

My computer science department building was located cater-corner from Severance Hall, home of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra. Often I'd work late in the lab and then walk straight down to attend a concert. Among the audience I was perhaps the only one with a T-shirt, tennis shoes and backpack. But I think I enjoyed Beethoven, Haydn, and Dvorak as much as anyone dressed up.

Though looking at the program booklets filled with the ads for plastic surgery, lifts and tucks, I was beginning to get a nagging feeling I might have enjoyed all those great composers even more had I undergone a few of the procedures. I mean, why else would the printed programs have such a preponderance of those ads?

Maybe that's because before we discover the music in someone's soul, we notice their hair color or various bodily proportions.

This week we'll present words to describe physical characteristics of people. It's good to have words for what we see on the outside, but let's not forget to discover what lies deep within.

-Anu Garg


It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. -Upton Sinclair, novelist and reformer (1878-1968)

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