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Author Topic: ~ Word of the Day ~  (Read 98622 times)

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Offline Marek

Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1400 on: September 01, 2018, 08:23:26 PM »
“I need to write”, he thought desperately, eyeing the calendar. “Today it begins anew, the need to create… to string together words and offer them up for the consideration of my friends. It is especially important today, as this fine Saturday begins a new month – one which brings an entirely new challenge as well. It must happen today, and then daily, for there is no reprieve; write something daily, or the bitter taste of failure… of defeat.”

If the calendar told of the arrival of a new month, it also told of old obligations. His time was not his own this day, or at least not in sufficient quantity to allow him to sit and write. Under duress, he had commitments elsewhere which could not be avoided. Throughout the day it had weighed upon him, his mind never far from the impending sense of frustration which midnight would bring when he’d managed to write nothing.

“And yet”, he thought, a sly smile creeping across his face, “there may yet be a way…”

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1401 on: September 01, 2018, 08:40:32 PM »
Today's word of the day is....

symposium
noun sim-POH-zee-um

Definition
1 a : a convivial party (as after a banquet in ancient Greece) with music and conversation

b : a social gathering at which there is free interchange of ideas

2 a : a formal meeting at which several specialists deliver short addresses on a topic or on related topics — compare colloquium

b : a collection of opinions on a subject; especially : one published by a periodical

c : discussion

Offline Liam Dale

Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1402 on: September 02, 2018, 01:44:03 PM »
When I'm lonely and sad
I refuge myself in dark fantasy lands
Playing with words
I write dithyrambs

Offline Lilias

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1403 on: September 02, 2018, 06:53:14 PM »
‘If I hadn’t seen it in writing with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it,’ chortled Suzanne. ‘Gotta hand it to Oliver - he’s keeping up his King of Extra reputation.’

Stefan rolled his eyes. Suzanne was right, of course - it took someone like Oliver to turn his stag party into an ancient Greek symposium, complete with costumes. Not Roman, he had insisted; Romans brought their wives along to banquets, and there were to be no women in this gathering. Apart from any entertainers, of course.

‘If he finds any strippers willing to dress up like Caryatids and able to play the double flute, make sure to get pictures!’ Suzanne was guffawing by now, and she was right again - it did sound ridiculous enough to take away any unease she might have harboured about his presence there.

It didn’t help that Oliver’s bride, Jane, was every bit as extra as her fella but had chosen to add her hen ‘do to her obsession with mermaids. Since a production of The Little Mermaid was not an option, the girls would be off to watch a troupe of professional mermaids perform at the aquarium, and then dine on fresh seafood and, in Suzanne’s words, drown in an ocean of rosé. All the costuming concession she had to make was a mermaid wig. Thank goodness, Jane had picked the pink one for herself, so Suzanne could safely wear her lavender favourite.

‘The place had better be well heated,’ grumbled Stefan. ‘Going about in a toga in January sounds like a reliable way to catch your death up here.’

‘Actually, it’s a himation. It’s draped differently, but I believe you can still replicate it with a sheet,’ Suzanne added helpfully, trying very hard not to burst into giggles at Stefan’s glare.

‘You won’t be laughing when Patrick and Sally’s turn comes, next year,’ he warned.

‘Now that’s one scary thought, isn’t it?’

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1404 on: September 02, 2018, 07:23:46 PM »
Today's word of the day is....

coeval
adjective koh-EE-vul

Definition
: of the same or equal age, antiquity, or duration

Offline Flower

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1405 on: September 03, 2018, 08:46:48 AM »
Today's word of the day is....

mentor
noun MEN-tor

Definition
1 : a trusted counselor or guide

2 : tutor, coach

Offline Flower

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1406 on: September 03, 2018, 09:56:14 AM »
Eleven happy mentors traveled down the yellow brick lane.
They were on their way home from yet another campaign.
Some carried heavy satchels, stuffed with gold and jewels.
Others ensured their newest recruits had not succeeded in escape.
Where were those brave few headed?
Everyone knew.
A city to rumoured to be filled with dragons, princesses, tentacles, and goo!

Offline Remec

Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1407 on: September 03, 2018, 01:46:11 PM »


(catching up again)


 


Harris thought an esteemed lodestar mentor would be the first to agree to sign on to speak at the symposium he was pulling together. But Dr. Moore looked over the rubric, and the duress was evident as he peered over his otherwise jaunty spectacles. "I suppose you have me buttonholed, after alI  would imagine you're planning a coeval time to present at the podium?"

"Yes, sir, and a short back-and-forth as each speaker finishes their presentations,"

Dr. Moore pushed his glasses up. His eyes had become puissant. "I'm in, but I speak last with no back-and-forth afterwards. Yes?"

Harris sighed.

Offline Lilias

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1408 on: September 03, 2018, 06:08:23 PM »
We met again in a reception room in Locarno, during the afterparty of one of those award ceremonies that gravitate to Switzerland as if they need to be in neutral territory to avoid imploding. She was the last person I expected to find among the sponsoring crew, who view art solely in terms of money and prestige, but there she was, settled in an armchair while strangers milled about, ‘networking’, her hands serenely clasped on the carved silver handle of her ebony cane. Vera Olegina Kolesnikova, my teacher at the Conservatory and mentor in art and so many other things.

I had not seen her in over twenty years, and she must have been pushing eighty at least, but she was still instantly recognisable--the lines of her face a bit deeper, her hair more liberally streaked with grey, but her blue eyes were as piercing as ever. She spotted me while I still debated to approach, and beckoned me to her with the same imperious gesture she used in class to demand more wellie in my voice. Up close, I verified that her spectacles were still just ordinary glass, not corrective at all.

‘It’s good to see you again, Maxim Dimitrich,’ she said, her accent a bit more pronounced than I remembered. ‘Time has treated you well.’

‘Not half as well as you, Madame Vera,’ I couldn’t help smiling. She chuckled.

‘The Grand Chancellor tells me about you from time to time. You have found your place; I am happy for you, even if it is not in what I got to teach you.’

‘About that,’ I said, sitting up a bit straighter. This meeting suddenly didn’t seem one of random chance at all. ‘There is someone I would like you to meet and assess. I don’t think her talent is something that would thrive under the Grand Chancellor.’

Madame Vera raised an eyebrow and the corner of her mouth twitched into something as close to a smirk as she would allow herself to go. ‘I see. Someone who might come to hit that A over high C. A cutting off the old tree would be a lovely thing to nurture in my old age.’

No one involved with this gathering knew a thing about my daughter, but I gave up trying to figure out how Madame Vera knew things ages ago.

Offline Flower

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1409 on: September 04, 2018, 04:54:31 AM »
Today's word of the day is....

ingratiate
verb in-GRAY-shee-ayt

Definition
1 : to gain favor or favorable acceptance for by deliberate effort — usually used with with

Offline Lilias

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1410 on: September 04, 2018, 06:06:12 PM »
‘Don’t look immediately, but Seth is coming our way.’

Emily smothered a sigh and emptied her mug in a last big gulp, then rolled her shoulders back, as if to stop herself from curling in on herself. I couldn’t blame her. If I had to deal with Seth as regularly, I’d probably want to hide away every time he was near too.

At least it wasn’t the creepy kind of attention, though that also meant there was nothing that notifying HR would fix. No, Seth didn’t seem interested in dating Emily, just bent on ingratiating himself with the newest department manager. Pushing limits, bending rules and making his own workload lighter at everyone else’s expense was his game, and he thought that, if his immediate superior liked him, she would not smack him down when he--inevitably--stepped out of line on her watch.

His chosen method involved finding any halfway plausible excuse to approach Emily with a question, a request for her opinion, or a suggestion concerning some detail--little things aiming to get her attention and show him as the star colleague he most definitely was not, but without requiring any actual effort on his part. Apparently, he had no idea how transparent his tactic was; Emily started to cringe around lunchtime on her second day on the job.

If Seth had stopped to think why she had been promoted over him--or, hell, why he had been passed over for promotion before--he would have probably realised his game wasn’t working on Emily (and that it was not Emily he needed to worry about, but that’s another story)... but yeah. Not the sharpest pencil in the pot, was our Seth.

By now he had come close enough to be in Emily’s field of vision without having to turn around. ‘Sorry to interrupt your lunch, boss,’ he started, ‘but there’s this…’

‘You interrupted nothing, we were done,’ Emily cut in, sharply clicking her lunchbox lid shut (and maybe imagining it was his head instead). ‘And now I have a meeting. Whatever it is, Seth, jot it down for later. Or email me, though I can’t promise I’ll see it before tomorrow. Ready, Lauren?’

‘Of course, lead on.’ I hurried after her, making sure my back was fully turned before I broke into a broad grin. Seth’s crestfallen expression would definitely be the highlight of the workday.

Offline Mirrah

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1411 on: September 04, 2018, 09:09:21 PM »

On the fifth day of the seventh month, the sixth year of Cergrund the Third’s reign, during which he subjugated Aungustan.

It didn't make sense to me that she, who had been living a full and happy life would suffer it cut short, yet I who had nothing but failure and pain would be given year after year, insensible and undesired gifts that I did not wish to unwrap.

Why? I was haunted by that question. Plagued by it. It kept me awake long into the night, and made me jittery during the day. Depression and anxiety.

Why? The question could neither be denied nor ignored. Still, life continued. Without her. And I, the mockery of a stand-in, continued to stumble through with so few accomplishments as to be laughable.

I have to wonder... Is there an afterlife? Would she be there waiting, ready to berate me?

I clung to this thought as I drudged through each wearying day and with all of my might, pretended to accept the gifts of her husband, haunted by the specter at my shoulder, pointing out all of my lies.

This face, this family, these obligations keep me under duress; I cannot esca--



“Catarine!” The familiar voice called to her as she dreamed. Ink stained a cheek, for she had fallen asleep at her desk while writing in her journal. She managed a little moan. “Catarine!” It came again, and this time she stood before her. Cissaria in the waving grass, laughing. Waving locks of gold had been freed from her limp bun and now fell like a mantle down her shoulders and back. How could she be so carefree?

Cata placed a crown of white and purple wildflowers on Cissa’s head and stepped back, smiling back at the imp before her. “What is it now, Cissa? I promised flowers for you before the end of the day. Of course I would make certain you got them!”

“Of course! You always do just as you promise, Cata. Can you make one more promise for me?”

“Anything for you. What would you have of me?”

Cissa’s arms reached out towards Cata, but they began to shrivel, her vibrancy fading first from fingertips, then spreading quickly along her arms, to the rest of her. The last to go was her smile as she dissolved into ashes that showered on Cissa’s clothing and skin.

“No, Cissa!” But the only response was an echo of a whisper on a last breath. ”Promise me you’ll try your best. Promise me you’ll make it come true.” In the hush that followed, she slowly curled and hugged herself. “Cissa… How calloused you are. You didn’t even wait for my answer. Always so impatient.” Who was she kidding? Cissa knew her better than anyone else. Cissa knew she would oblige in the end. Last wishes were such cruel things.

Her eyes flew open at the feel of a hand on her shoulder, along with a reflexive jerk of her body and a gasp.

“Cissaria.” It was his voice. Kind. His hand on her shoulder. Gentle. Firm. “Cissaria, come to bed. It’s quite late. You'll catch a cold again.”
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 09:15:07 PM by Mirrah »

Offline Lilias

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1412 on: September 05, 2018, 05:04:56 PM »
It was at Aunt Lizaveta’s house, on the southern, less fashionable bank of the lake, where Andrei met Natalia, and his fate was sealed. Bright and pretty, but pale and sickly, she had been passed over by several suitors until Andrei came along to sweep her away. She became his wife, bore him four children, and died on a clear spring morning, leaving him heartbroken.

Andrei had promised Natalia his eternal love, but he understood that he would have to take a new wife, someone capable of raising his children like their mother could not. At least this was going to be a mere advantageous agreement, not a quest for romance, so he could enlist his aunt’s formidable matchmaking skills and lay out his requirements without any pretence. Beauty was not an issue, nor a dowry. An older woman was better than a young girl, hopefully someone with proven housekeeping experience and ability.

Fedosya was thirty years old by then. She had nursed her father through his last days, she had looked after her little brothers until they were independent, and she was finally free to find herself a husband. So if her trusted friend Lizaveta Igorevna assured her that her recently widowed nephew would be an ideal choice, why, of course she would at the very least meet with him and see.

Andrei did not expect the lightning to strike him twice, certainly not in Aunt Lizaveta’s lace-overloaded front room. But when Fedosya Konstantinovna walked in, her step jaunty even under her trailing skirts and a few rebellious nut-brown curls escaping her chignon, stood before him, every bit as tall as himself, and offered a firm handshake, all his advantageous agreement plan fled his mind. He had no recall of the rest of the meeting, but after Fedosya retired and Aunt Lizaveta asked for his opinion, he immediately said yes, with an eagerness that startled even the older woman. Why didn’t he care to wait and find out more, confirm that she was suitable, if he was marrying for the sake of the children in the first place? He could not say, but he knew it was the right decision.

Offline Flower

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1413 on: September 05, 2018, 05:41:01 PM »
Today's word of the day is....

banshee
noun BAN-shee

Definition
1 : a female spirit in Gaelic folklore whose appearance or wailing warns a family that one of them will soon die

Offline Jaclyn

Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1414 on: September 05, 2018, 08:00:07 PM »
  One time when I went to visit the goddess, she welcomed me to her hearth and we sat and gazed into the flames and sipped herbs steeped in hot water with honey with herb bitters. We spoke of our lives, hers so long before mine and mine but a brief moment in her enduring lifetime. The goddess wore green, that should not surprise anyone for green is her color and all green was made by her. I wore white, for my life is uncolored and empty compared to hers. She told me of the chaos before all and of the gathering she and the turtle did and of the island they made so that we might all have a place to stand and become who we are. She spoke of the first hearth, there on her island.

  Later that night under the early sliver of the waxing moon, she took me to the edge, to the moor.

  “Listen,” she said and we did.

  From far out in the moor, from the ancient peat that floats our island we heard a banshee blaspheme to the skies above and the earth below and against all the goddess and the turtle had raised up.

  “What does this portend,” I asked.

  “An end and a beginning,” the goddess replied.

  “Thus it has ever been and thus it shall remain.”

‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
OOC: Does anyone wish to write these sorts of stories together? Please send a PM.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 08:20:18 PM by Jaclyn »

Offline Mirrah

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1415 on: September 05, 2018, 08:28:55 PM »
Gently, tapered fingers slid along the dark and polished wood of the armoire that dominated a corner of a spacious room upstairs in the tavern. Soft kid gloves covered pads that skimmed over the ripple of scales and jagged teeth of horned dragons and other beasts while indigo eyes roamed listlessly about the familiar room. This... was home? Home felt like a place that could never truly be returned to; not in this life, not in the next. Not ever. And how many lifetimes had it been?

From dark wood to the pendant that radiated warmth against her skin beneath her tunic, her hand moved. Relic of the past, she might be, but these items she had brought with her out of those doomed lands which had been left behind with bitterness and regret. The lone pieces of jewelry that she wore were nearly coeval, though each was enveloped with the sympathies of different memories. Her fingers played over them as they rested between her breasts, pulsing as though they had attained lives of their own.

And on her ears? A pair of onyx snake of protection had been strung through her pierced lobes, then undulated upwards to loop over her ears; their ruby eyes glared a stern warning at the world through her hair, their heads dangling low below her earlobes--a gift from the girl who had begged for a chance to serve her in return for being taken beneath the mantle of her protection. Though she had never officially claimed the girl as her student, the brazen little chit had always proudly introduced the taciturn older women to those she met as her mentor, her guide.

Sapped heart, yet hot blood coursed relentlessly through veins with the vigor of magma beneath the veil of sleeping earth. Enervated mind. The body moved. Everything, familiar yet not, crowded closely, tightly… the entire room shuddered amidst a silvery tinkling of bells, all furniture suddenly pressed against the walls at their backs as though they wished to flee from the delicate looking female whose presence suddenly seemed to loom large and dark before them. Candlelight was whipped out until only a whiff of smoke drifted to coil plaintively above the wilted wick, to disperse amidst the scent of night’s chill rain, warm honey, and the faint fragrance of a sweet flower that was not readily identifiable.

Indigo now were glowing discs with shards of blues and purples, flicked to a window of the room, where daylight poked inside to trail along the gleaming wooden floor. A few steps, and the curtains were slung aside, the windows flung open. Basked in sunlight, feminine hands raised as though to embrace the light, chill with the final gasps of winter, which still clung to the lands. Dark lashes lowered nearly to high cheeks and slowly, glittering blue melted into sparked purple as a semblance of calm returned.

The cerulean sky reflected in mirror-like eyes, radiant and mesmerizing with careless fluffs of white lazily strung along by gusts of wind that she could not feel so near the ground. Her back ached for the heady sensation of wings soaring to race across the skies; it had been so long, she could not be certain if the wings she called now could keep her aloft for any extended length of time.

Snow glistened, and winter entered the room while long, dark tresses were gathered, plaited, twisted, and pinned atop her head so as to keep them out of the way. The chill may have been bitten brutally into the flesh of others, but to her, it was a cool and soothing caress, and eventually, a prickle that reminded her of the fact that she was still alive. An inconvenience, that. A hand dropped to her belly as it complained abruptly.

To live was to eat. To consume other lives in a bid to lengthen one’s own time. She’d forgotten that at some point during her long slumber.

Offline Liam Dale

Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1416 on: September 06, 2018, 05:51:48 AM »
He caressed the sericeous cat
Hoping not to get another allergic attack

Offline Justric

Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1417 on: September 06, 2018, 05:58:30 AM »
Today's word of the day is....

quiddity
noun KWID-uh-teeee

Definition
1 :  whatever makes something the type that it is : essence

2 a : a trifling point : quibble

b : an unusual personal opinion or habit : eccentricity

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1418 on: September 06, 2018, 03:51:30 PM »
The thick layers of dust could not dull the gleam of gold beneath. It glinted in the occasional flicker of the oil lamp that she held aloft, her body quivering with the excitement of discovery. Just as the legends stated, it was still in the hands of the skeletal lord that sat upright upon the stone throne with its decomposed cushion beneath his literally bony ass. Not that bone made for much of a behind. Her gaze flicked to the empty sockets that were now filled with cobwebs and spider silk, the empty skull once a nest for baby skitterlings that had died or fled since.

She put the fingers of her free hand to her forehead and inclined her head--an ancient sign of respectful ingratiation among her people--before speaking to the corpse as though it was alive and could hear her. A jaunty feather on her headdress brushed against the protective covering of her lamp.

“Ancient brother, you have rested peacefully for eons. Loathe as I am to interrupt your slumber, I must ask you to fulfill a selfish request of your tribe’s daughter. Our people have been scattered by the evil that you subjugated during your reign. Please, brother, guide us to victory over your closest enemy and rival as you did with your puissant prowess.”

At first she thought it was her imagination, or perhaps her eyes had conjured it in desperation. No, that was not the case. The scepter that the skeletal hands cradled glowed with increasing intensity until all she could see was the bright sanguinity behind her eyelids. Her vision went white, then ink black.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1419 on: September 06, 2018, 06:02:31 PM »
It had been a long drive up and down rolling green hills--the scenic route was the only route in these places--but the promised quaint village at the end of it seemed all in a tizzy and the smell of fear hung in the air stronger than that of peat fires.

Once they were settled in their room at the inn, the two went back down into the common room, hoping to catch an early supper. Two complete strangers in such a place should have drawn attention from all the locals, but tonight everyone seemed more intent on nursing their pints, clustering in small groups and talking softly, with an air of grim expectation.

When the landlord put their plates down on the table, the young man could no longer hold back. ‘Excuse me, has anything happened? Everyone seems rather concerned for an evening out at the pub…’

The landlord looked at him, then at the girl with him, then him again. ‘Have you been here before?’ he asked.

‘I lived around here for a while, when I was little,’ the girl said. It had been more than a while, her accent had not faded entirely; but he didn’t need to know that. ‘He’s never been on this side of the pond,’ she added, indicating her companion with a thumb. ‘What’s the matter?’

‘The banshee was heard wailing last night, over towards the crossroads,’ the landlord said, rather brusquely. ‘Everyone in the village must have heard. If you have any business going up to the big house, better hurry. They may be in mourning soon.’ He stomped off towards the kitchen door again.

‘What was all that about?’ asked the young man, looking nonplussed.

‘Someone at the manor is about to die,’ replied the girl, her eyes narrowing grimly. ‘Which means that either someone is on to us, or we have competition.’ She picked up her knife and fork. ‘Let’s tuck in. We’ll need to go over there before dark.’

Offline Justric

Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1420 on: September 07, 2018, 09:41:59 PM »
Today's word of the day is....

schmooze
verb SHMOOZ

Definition
1 :  to converse informally : chat; also : to chat in a friendly and persuasive manner especially so as to gain favor, business, or connections

2 : to engage in informal conversation wit

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1421 on: September 08, 2018, 05:22:38 AM »
He went home embarrassed because he got caught trying to schmooze his boss.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1422 on: September 08, 2018, 08:53:05 PM »
Today's word of the day is....

periphrasis
noun puh-RIFF-ruh-sis

Definition
1 : use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter form of expression

2 : an instance of periphrasis

Offline Zaval

Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1423 on: September 09, 2018, 05:55:46 PM »
"That man," the duke grumbled, "would not understand 'brevity' if it punched him in the face, stripped to its buttocks, and initiated an ancient ritual whilst shouting, 'brevity, brevity!'"

"Oh, surely you exaggerate, milord," his assistant said. "Surely a man such as he would understand the need to save time."

"'Saving time,' he says!" the duke said. Throwing both hands up in the air, he sneered, "That man is a walking definition of periphrasis if I've ever seen one! Long-winded and flowery speech for every turn of phrase, every instance of loquacious lectures!"

Perhaps you both know a thing or two about periphrasis, then, the assistant thought to himself.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1424 on: September 09, 2018, 07:09:22 PM »
‘I see Tom’s clocked in already. I didn’t think he’d turn up at all today.’

‘Why on earth not?’

‘Hangovers are rough. Especially when they come with embarrassment on the side--and colleague witnesses.’

‘Are you sure you’re not the hungover one? What are you going on about?’

‘Oh, come on now. He got drunk enough to schmooze the boss’s wife! Right in front of his girlfriend, too! I felt sorry for her, having to put up with it before everyone. I wonder how much hell she gave him at home…’

‘Okay, okay, let me stop you right there, kid, before you embarrass yourself any further. I know you’re still the new guy, but you can’t be that thick, can you?’

‘What do you--’

‘Kid. The boss’s wife is Tom’s sister. Between him being off to Australia with the merger negotiation team--you know, the one that got you your job here?--and her finalising her master’s degree in London, they hadn’t seen each other for over three months. Nobody would begrudge them some catching-up time.’

‘I didn’t--’

‘Of course you didn’t, but you assumed anyway, right? But no worries. She’ll be taking over as head of PR when old Connor retires, at the end of the year. You may still get to see a lot more of her at such functions.’

‘Shit, if Tom finds out…’

‘’Fraid that ship’s sailed, kid.’

‘...He’s behind me, isn’t he?’