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Nov 6, 2017
This week’s theme
Unusual verbs

This week’s words
pernoctate
desacralize
nuncupate
reeve
senesce

pernoctate
“Wow, your parents let you stay up all night!”
Cartoon: Hagen/Jantoo

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

With a vocabulary of some half-million words, the English language is said to have a word for almost everything around. While that is nearly true, what is not so well-known is that it has words for many of the unusual actions as well. And for those that it doesn’t, it is only too happy to borrow from other languages (for example, kibitz). This week’s theme presents some unusual words, words for things you most likely don’t do every day.

pernoctate

PRONUNCIATION:
(puhr-NAHK-tayt)

MEANING:
verb intr.:
1. To stay up all night.
2. To pass the night somewhere.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin pernoctare (to spend the night), from per- (through) + nox (night). Earliest documented use: 1623.

USAGE:
“Lady Ampersand had seen to it that a bedroom, bathroom, and sitting-room were in permanent readiness for him should he be minded to pernoctate at Treskinnick.”
Michael Innes; The Ampersand Papers; Mead Dodd; 1979.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I don't think that combat has ever been written about truthfully; it has always been described in terms of bravery and cowardice. I won't even accept these words as terms of human reference any more. And anyway, hell, they don't even apply to what, in actual fact, modern warfare has become. -James Jones, novelist (6 Nov 1921-1977)

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