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Oct 1, 2018
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
plunderbund
orexigenic
palilogy
quincentenary
arachnophobia

plunderbund
Image: Sean Davis

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

A long time ago, when people lived in caves and watched I Love Lucy on bulky black & white televisions, they used paper dictionaries.

Dictionaries were limited by how much papyrus you had. You could squeeze only so many words into it. New words in meant old words out.

Today you can fit all the world’s words, in all the world’s languages, into a phone in your pocket and still have room to carry a club and a flint or two.

That gives us an opportunity to bring out words that had to be kept hidden deep in caverns because they couldn’t fit into a small collegiate dictionary. This week’s we’ll see five words that might make you say: I didn’t know there was a word for it.

plunderbund

PRONUNCIATION:
(PLUN-duhr-buhnd)

MEANING:
noun: A group of political, business, and financial interests engaged in exploiting the public.

ETYMOLOGY:
From plunder (pillage), from German plündern (to loot) + bund, from German Bund (association). Earliest documented use: 1902.

USAGE:
“A surveying suit from a Wal-Mart-type plunderbund visits the hardware store and takes a bullet in the foot for his trouble.”
Jessica Winter; You Can’t Spell Slapshot without S-A-P; The Village Voice (New York); Oct 5, 1999.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It is a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity. -Jimmy Carter, 39th US President, Nobel laureate (b. 1 Oct 1924)

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