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Sep 30, 2019
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
thinko
besaiel
apophenia
anacoluthon
delphinestrian

chair socks
Previous week’s theme
Random words
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Here in Seattle, in a Japanese store called Daiso, I came across chair socks.* That’s when I realized how neglectful I had been of the furniture that serves me so faithfully year after year. A chair sock is one of those things that you don’t know you need until you see it. And then you think: Why not? Winter is coming (at least in the northern hemisphere), so keep your chairs’ feet warm and your conscience clear.

In this week’s A.Word.A.Day we’ll feature words that you don’t realize you need until you see them. These are words that might make you say: I didn’t know there was a word for it.

*Apparently Amazon has them too.

thinko

PRONUNCIATION:
(THING-koh)

MEANING:
noun: A careless error in thinking.

ETYMOLOGY:
From think, formed on the pattern of typo (typographical error). Earliest documented use: 1990s.

NOTES:
When someone makes a typo and spells “teh” instead of “the”, it’s not that they don’t know the spelling of the word “the”. A thinko works the same way: it’s a glitch in one’s thinking, perhaps due to a distraction, tiredness, etc.

USAGE:
“Jordan Edwards, a black 15-year-old, was in the passenger seat of a car at a house party in Balch Springs, near Dallas, when he was shot and killed by a policeman with a rifle. The policeman’s boss later told reporters that the car had been driving ‘aggressively’ backwards towards the officer. But after reviewing body-camera footage, it came to light that the car had been heading away from, not towards the officer. The police chief’s retraction? ‘I misspoke.’ ... But the Balch Springs police chief ... went beyond thinkos.”
Hit and Misspeak; The Economist (London, UK); May 13, 2017.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (30 Sep 1928-2016)

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