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Oct 4, 2011
This week's theme
There is a word for it

This week's words
hebephrenia
retrodiction
onomasticon
anosognosia
keening

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

retrodiction

PRONUNCIATION:
(ret-roh-DIK-shuhn)

MEANING:
noun: Using present information to make an assertion about the past; an instance of such an assertion.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin retro- (back) + dicere (to say). Ultimately from the Indo-European root deik- (to show, to pronounce solemnly), which is also the source of judge, verdict, vendetta, revenge, indicate, dictate, and paradigm. Earliest documented use: 1895.

USAGE:
"Dan Gardner, for all his concern about prediction, has no qualms about retrodiction, even of the distant, unknowable past."
Kathryn Schulz; What Lies Ahead?; The New York Times; Mar 27, 2011.

"Turning to comets, F. Richard Stephenson matches modern retrodiction against Babylonian and Chinese records to conclude that we have been sighting Halley's comet on each of its returns since 240 BCE."
Michael S. Mahoney; Standing on the Shoulders of Giants; Science (Washington, DC); May 17, 1991.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt. -George Sewell, physician and writer (1690-1736)

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