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Oct 8, 2020
This week’s theme
Words coined after mythical creatures

This week’s words
unicorn
bunyip
gremlin
snark
Bigfoot

snark
Cover of The Hunting of the Snark
Illustration: Henry Holiday, 1876

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

snark

PRONUNCIATION:
(snahrk)

MEANING:
noun:1. A mysterious, imaginary animal.
 2. Something or someone hard to track down.
 3. A snide remark.
verb intr.:To make a snide remark.

ETYMOLOGY:
For noun 1, 2: Coined by Lewis Carroll in the poem The Hunting of the Snark in 1876. Earliest documented use (outside the poem): 1879.
For noun 3, verb: Of imitative origin, formerly used in the sense to snore or snort. Earliest documented use: 1866.

USAGE:
“But [John Cage’s] snark hunt proved rather dull. Takis’s own search ends more happily.”
Simon Ings; Exhibitions: Takis; The Spectator (London, UK); Jul 13, 2019.

“That is why the quest for evidence that infallibly indicates guilt (or innocence) is a snark hunt.”
Larry Laudan; Eyewitness Identifications: One More Lesson on the Costs of Excluding Relevant Evidence; Perspectives on Psychological Science; May 16, 2012.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
When Alexander the Great visited Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for the famed teacher, Diogenes replied: "Only stand out of my light." Perhaps some day we shall know how to heighten creativity. Until then, one of the best things we can do for creative men and women is to stand out of their light. -John W. Gardner, author and educator (8 Oct 1912-2002)

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