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Oct 8, 2021
This week’s theme
Words related to writing

This week’s words
chosisme
pilcrow
paremiography
dithyramb
obelus

obelus
Graphic: Monotype

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Next week’s theme
Bird words
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

obelus

PRONUNCIATION:
(OB-uh-luhs)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A sign (- or ÷) used in ancient manuscripts to indicate a spurious or doubtful word or passage.
2. A sign (†) used to indicate reference marks. Also known as obelisk or dagger.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin obelus, from Greek obelos (spit). Earliest documented use: c. 450.

NOTES:
In typography, an asterisk is used to indicate a footnote as is an obelus aka obelisk. In Asterix comics, the character Obelix is the best friend of the hero Asterix.

USAGE:
“The young scribe returned to the works of Trismegistus and, at the old man’s command, added an obelus after each asterisk.”
Joanne Reay; Romeo Spikes; Gallery Books; 2011.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We must learn to honor excellence in every socially accepted human activity, however humble the activity, and to scorn shoddiness, however exalted the activity. An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society that scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. -John W. Gardner, author and leader (8 Oct 1912-2002)

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