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Author Topic: ~ Word of the Day ~  (Read 80984 times)

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1425 on: September 09, 2018, 11:20:55 PM »
Yesterday's word of the day was....

wanderlust
noun WAHN-der-lust

Definition
: strong longing for or impulse toward wandering

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1426 on: September 10, 2018, 04:29:58 AM »
Today's word of the day is....

fathom
verb FA-thum

Definition
1 : probe

2 : to take soundings : to measure by a sounding line

3 : to penetrate and come to understand

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1427 on: September 10, 2018, 07:54:59 AM »
"I simply cannot fathom why Field Marshal Haig would refuse us our request," he said. The colonel's face was the picture book definition of 'perplexed.' "Surely it was a reasonable enough request to detach the engineers to reinforce our trenches?"

Lieutenant Neath flinched - only slightly, only slightly - as the earthworks shook violently. "Respectfully, sir," he shouted over the din of the latest artillery rounds, "the Field Marshal might disagree with our position!"

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1428 on: September 10, 2018, 05:32:11 PM »
The room was just like Maddie had left it, thought Peter, looking around. The bed was sloppily made, cushions piled up against the wall on top of the rumpled comforter. Above the headboard, the autographed Serena Williams poster dominated the wall like it had done for the last three years or so; one corner had come unstuck and fluttered in the draft from the door. A blue jumper still hung lopsided over the back of the desk chair, threatening to slide to the floor. Everything looked like Maddie had just popped out and would be bounding up the stairs any minute now, bent on finishing her homework before dinner was called.

Her mother probably hadn’t mustered the courage to even tidy it, let alone sort through anything to give away, thought Peter. No wonder; she had been heavily sedated at the funeral, and that was less than a week ago.

There was a library book on the nightstand, with a pencil jammed in it as a bookmark, a habit of Maddie’s that Peter hated, but that was irrelevant now. It only mattered that she had been two-thirds into The Fault in Our Stars, and she had had no chance to finish it. He picked up the book and opened it at the marked page. Just so many black squiggles on white, but his eye was drawn to a phrase that had been underlined, a question mark added on the page margin next to it. My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.

Peter’s eyes stung. If only he still could discuss that quote with her, at length, until they found some meaning or just… let go of it. I’m so sorry, Maddie. It should have been me.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1429 on: September 11, 2018, 04:25:30 AM »
Today's word of the day is....

deportment
noun dih-PORT-munt

Definition
1 : the manner in which one conducts oneself : behavior

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1430 on: September 11, 2018, 05:43:46 PM »
She left town in the middle of the night, just like she had arrived, six years earlier.

She left with nothing, just like she had arrived with nothing. She could ill afford to hold on to anything that could lead someone to her, once the carnage she was leaving behind was discovered.

That was the way it always happened. Arrive at a new place, send out feelers among the local community, see what mask would garner her the most trust, settle in, keep unsuspecting locals unsuspecting as long as possible. And then, a few months or a few years later,  the wanderlust of her people would start spreading again, like a burning itch under her skin, and she would grow distracted, and sloppy, and the locals would start to suspect.

She didn’t care if her disappearance confirmed the suspicions. She would shed the mask, the name, like so much dead skin, and cease to exist. Until the next place.

It was a fair trade-off. Small places had fewer people who could safely go missing or die under somewhat bizarre circumstances. Big cities, on the other hand, had more predators competing for a share of the prey, and she was not big on competition.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1431 on: September 12, 2018, 06:42:20 AM »
He realized he has too much free time when the meme count passed three digits.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1432 on: September 12, 2018, 07:55:13 AM »
Today's word of the day is....

enigmatic
adjective en-ig-MAT-ik

Definition
1 : of, relating to, or resembling an enigma : mysterious

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1433 on: September 12, 2018, 02:21:22 PM »
"Edward Nashton." Bruce looked disdainfully at the smug grin facing back at him from the Batcomputer's screen. "Broken home. Obsession with puzzles - possible means of escapism-turned-psychosis." A rolling list of police reports flickers into existence next to Nashton's face. "Numerous petty robberies, multiple bank heists, and..." The grim facade on his face broke for a moment. "...the theft of an antique puzzle piece from the Gotham Museum of Arts."

"Quite the enigmatic man," Alfred quipped. Quietly setting down a steaming mug of tea, he raised an eyebrow at the dossier. "And a calling card of sorts?"

"Riddles." Pictures of calling cards, all emblazoned with a sickly toxic-green question mark, appear in police evidence reports. "All posted one week prior to the crime. Gordon's detectives are starting to put a case together, but it won't be fast enough."

"Particularly as it seems he has laid down the gauntlet for you, Master Bruce," Alfred noted. Highlighting the most recent of the cards, it was discovered in the Gotham Gazette, posted directly on the editor's door.

RIDDLE ME THIS, DARK KNIGHT:
WHY IS AN ORANGE LIKE A BELL?

Bruce ignored Alfred's sigh of resignation as a frown crossed his face. "Shall I cancel your dinner appointment with Ms. Vale again, sir?"

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1434 on: September 12, 2018, 06:43:12 PM »
Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived on a small island with her sick mother.

Life was boring on the island, because there were only a handful of people living there. There was not even a proper school anymore, so the little girl took classes over the internet.

Every free moment she got every day, she would daydream that some mysterious stranger would sweep onto the island one day, declare her one destined for greatness (she was not exactly sure what for, but it’s not the purpose of daydreaming to clarify such details) and whisk her away to a lifetime of adventure.

But no one ever came, because the island was very small and could not accommodate guests, so all the tourists that swarmed those waters every summer stayed on the bigger island over yonder, or even on the mainland, and the few that strayed close were only interested in fishing and didn’t even bring their boats to shore.

So the little girl kept sighing to herself,, because if she spoke about her daydreams out loud, her mother would be upset.

One day her tutor, who could see her pining even over video conference, suggested she should write down what went on in her mind when it wandered, so the little girl set up a Livejournal and started posting stories. And people started to notice, and visit, and comment.

The more fantastic the stories became, growing out of moonless winter nights and midsummer afternoon cricket choirs, the further their reputation spread. Until they reached the rulers of some distant publishing lands, who offered the little girl money for them.

And the little girl thought for a whole minute, and said, ‘Where do I sign?’

So she kept writing, and the money kept coming in, and all without even having to leave the island, because the internet is a wondrous thing like that.

She only left after her mother finally died, and got to sail to other lands and spin more stories, for years and years. But in the end, she came back to the little island and settled once more in the house where she had been born, because by now she was the stranger there and she could be enigmatic and mysterious all she wanted.

And she lived happily ever after.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1435 on: September 13, 2018, 12:50:37 AM »
"I can't even fathom how you managed to fail the test."

"I know. I studied for weeks!"

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1436 on: September 13, 2018, 06:40:30 AM »
Today's word of the day is....

taradiddle
noun tair-uh-DID-ul

Definition
1 : a trivial or childish lie : fib
2 : pretentious nonsense

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1437 on: September 13, 2018, 05:34:43 PM »
Yes, I did read your book; forgive the tardiness, my concentration is not what it used to be, but I had been eager to see where you would go ever since you announced your research.

Did I enjoy it? Ah, that is a more… nuanced issue. I certainly enjoyed your writing--we need more academic writers who can come across as polished and engaging at once as you. I could certainly see the professor in my mind’s eye as you paint him: brooding, taciturn, given to flights of intellect so high that hardly anyone could follow. The problem is… I studied under him, and he was really not like that at all.

Yes, yes, I know that’s what the material suggests. Mind you, his lectures could be mind-numbingly dull, especially for anyone who had only read his fiction before coming to listen. Those were bound to be cruelly let down. But the professor was not really awkward, much less antisocial. We didn’t know much about psychology back then, but today you would probably call him an introvert who was simply incapable of communicating his points effectively in a setting as public as a university auditorium. His tutoring sessions were simply delightful. Whether in his office, in the back room at the pub, or down by the duck pond in summer, working with two or three people at a time was where his brilliance showed. I wish there were some way to record those times for posterity, so you could have something more than disenchanted admirers painting him as a fuddy-duddy to draw on!

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1438 on: September 14, 2018, 04:34:31 AM »
The banshee wail echoed through the moonlit night, striking fear into those that heard it.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1439 on: September 14, 2018, 07:54:29 AM »
Today's word of the day is....

advert
verb ad-VERT

Definition
1 : to turn the mind or attention — used with to

2 : to call attention in the course of speaking or writing : make reference — used with to

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1440 on: September 14, 2018, 03:32:10 PM »
"...see to it that the Mordian Guard are positioned along this flank," the Lord General sighed. Frowning as the hololith flickered into obscurity, he muttered a prayer of maintenance under his breath and slammed the artifice with a ritual smack to the side. He repeated this two more times before the dispositions of the Imperial Guard rematerialized. Ignoring the scandalous look from the nearest tech adept, he turned his attention back towards me. "Can the PDF be relied on?"

"As much as any can," I answered truthfully enough. I'll be perfectly frank, most PDF formations I've worked with make the penal legions from home look downright professional, but I've been pleasantly surprised before. Unfortunately, Linteum V's  PDFs were likely to remain safely within parameters - which was to say, the God-Emperor was going to have His work cut out for Him with this lot.* A good chunk of the lads bringing out the Chimera transports from mothball looked as if they'd never even seen one before - and on this Throne-forsaken rock, I'd have believed that.
*
Linteum V's Planetary Defense Force was horribly mismanaged, to say the least. With the late and unlamented Planetary Governor's passing, like so many other Governors whose appointment was due to hereditary bloodlines, a succession crisis had locked the nobility into a political stalemate and precluded any official action to restore the PDF. To be fair, the active fornication with at least half of Berus Hive's noble daughters for the last century meant the gridlock was quite rigid by the time Cain and the Lord General arrived in-system.


"Be honest with me, Ciaphas," Zyvan grumbled. "Can they hold the line?"

"Against an ork mob?" I shook my head. Times like these I was quite happy to have the scarlet sash and fancy hat of my office to speak my mind. "Put a bunch of them well in front of the Mordians, sure. They might advert the greenskins' attention for a little bit, but they'll get bored after they run out of PDF to chomp their way through." Now, mind you, I had absolutely no problems with putting more bodies with lasguns ahead of me - better chance for me to get away, mind you - but Zyvan didn't need to know that. But given the horrible state the PDF was in, I couldn't count on adverting the Warboss's attention with the PDF rabble for too long.

Ten minutes, maybe. Enough time for Jurgen to scrounge some recaff. I might even have enough chance to drink all of it.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1441 on: September 14, 2018, 06:43:07 PM »
The recruiter pushed his glasses higher on his nose and shuffled the papers strewn over his desk. ‘Everything in your application seems in order, Miss Bailey,’ he said gruffly, then leaned his elbows on the desk and fixed the young woman sitting across from it with beady, crow-like eyes.

‘Make no mistake, the position is fairly exigent,’ he said. ‘You will need to live on the premises full time, except for 40 days off a year, to allocate as you see fit. You will also need to sign a full confidentiality agreement, and we will see about creating a suitable cover story for your absence. We do not keep office hours; we monitor all time zones and a crisis can require intervention at any hour, so everyone is on rolling shifts around the clock. Being called to circle in the middle of the night is not an everyday occurrence, but it has been known to happen. All necessary healthcare is provided in-house. Your contract will be up for renegotiation every two years, and at such times you will be free to terminate it without consequences, if you so choose.’ The last bit sounded like a challenge. Let’s see how long you’ll last, witchlet.

Sarah’s hands stilled in the fur of the large ginger tabby that had found his way into her lap, rather to the annoyance of his master. The animal stopped purring and let out a meow of mild indignation at the interruption. Sarah scratched him between the ears, without taking her eyes off the recruiter. Bring it on. She flashed a big smile, that managed to look almost feral instead of emptily sweet. ‘When do I start?’

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1442 on: September 15, 2018, 07:13:21 PM »
Gather round, children, and I will tell you the one about the girl who thwarted the plans of her wicked stepmother and the Yule goblins, and gained a fortune.

Not so long ago, there was in this very village an orphan girl called Zlata, who lived with her stepmother and stepsister. Her stepmother disliked her, not only because she would inherit half of her father’s fortune when she grew up, but also because she was beautiful, and bright, and charming, while her own daughter was none of those things.

So the stepmother decided to get rid of Zlata without appearing to have anything to do with whatever happened to her, and on Yule Eve ordered the hapless girl to take two sacks of grain to the mill to be ground into flour. The miller didn’t really want to start such a big job on the eve of the feast, but he knew Zlata would be beaten if she went back without the flour, so he obliged and let her sleep in a warm corner of the mill while he worked.

It was so cozy there among the piles of straw and sacks, that Zlata overslept and woke up to find that it had grown dark, the miller had gone home, forgetting about her, and the mill was swarming with goblins.

Have you ever seen a Yule goblin? They’re the ugliest things imaginable. Short, black, hairy, with goat’s legs and donkey’s ears and long snouts filled with sharp teeth. They spend the whole year in the underworld, working to cut down the tree that holds up the world, but when Yule arrives they come topside to torment people with endless pranks, unless they are banished from the house. They are not nice, and Zlata was all alone with them.

Terrified, she started to cry, and of course that drew their attention. They marvelled at her beauty and decided to take her beneath with them and offer her as their king’s bride.

The prospect of becoming Queen Below did not reassure Zlata at all, and as she would not stop crying, the goblins started to bring her gifts to cheer her up. Necklaces and rings and bracelets, one on top of the other, made of real gold, not that fairy stuff that vanishes in sunlight, until Zlata was hung about as richly as any queen that ever lived. But she remained disconsolate, and the goblins in the end simply lifted her onto the donkey, together with the sacks of flour, covered her with a cloak that seemed to be woven of spun moonlight, and set off.

Now, goblins are not the smartest creatures in the nine worlds. They had only gone as far as the crossroads, not too far from the mill, when they started to get confused about which way to go. Soon they were arguing in earnest, and Zlata was once again forgotten, sitting on the donkey by the side of the road.

Zlata saw her chance, climbed off the donkey leaving her cloak wedged upright between the sacks, and ran as fast as she could towards the village. By the time the goblins realised she was gone, she would be safely home.

Or would she? Her stepmother would never believe her, she thought. She would be beaten anyway. The house was not her home without her father, and now she no longer needed it, not with a fortune in jewels hanging on her.

So Zlata kept going, right past the village and onto the main road towards the market town, where even the smallest ring on her fingers would buy her a richer Yule than she had had for years, before moving on to bigger places and a rosier future. The goblins could keep the donkey and the flour. They were no longer her concern.

She did become a queen in the end, but that’s a whole other story...
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 04:10:48 PM by Lilias »

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1443 on: September 15, 2018, 07:36:52 PM »
Today's word of the day is....

melancholia
noun mel-un-KOH-lee-uh

Definition
: a mental condition and especially a manic-depressive condition characterized by extreme depression, bodily complaints, and often hallucinations and delusions

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1444 on: September 16, 2018, 03:41:59 PM »

The apartment was dark. The dark of a power outage, or failure to pay the power bill--which was mostly the dame effect--and Karen was worried more that she didn't know which might apply. "Larry?" she called out softly, her voice seeming to echo back from the almost bare walls of the living room, unimpeded by furniture between her and them. She sighed and lightly shook her head.

A rustle came back out of the even heavier darkness of the rooms in the back. Karen watched as a figure separated itself from the shadows and stepped to where it was just silhouetted in the center of the hallway. "Karen? Is that you?" Larry's creaky voice asked.

'Who else would it be?"

"Hard to say. I've had so many visitors lately."

"Oh, Larry," Karen said, "that's just the melancholia. You know no one has been here until I came in just now."

"Maybe, maybe so...and maybe you're not really here, either."

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1445 on: September 16, 2018, 05:37:57 PM »
A blue bird of joy
denied by bars of the mind,
melancholia.

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1446 on: September 16, 2018, 05:56:19 PM »
Might be trying my hand at six word stories using these word prompts, since it seems a good way to get thoughts going.

"You left. Melancholia rules here now."

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1447 on: September 16, 2018, 06:46:37 PM »
Today's word of the day is....

resplendent
adjective rih-SPLEN-dunt

Definition
: shining brilliantly : characterized by a glowing splendor

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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1448 on: September 16, 2018, 06:56:53 PM »
Lo! I do remember
the heroes born of old.
Their banners high, their armour bright,
Resplendent helms of gold.

Marching forth across the field
with lances sharp and quick
they crashed into the hoary host
and into them did stick

the barbs and shafts of mighty yew
and fiends' foul ichor hissed.
Their knightly vows fulfilled by arms,
that night they got well pissed.


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Re: ~ Word of the Day ~
« Reply #1449 on: September 16, 2018, 07:06:36 PM »
‘And did they catch the thief, child?’

‘They did, Grandfather. He had fled to the port and tried to get passage on a boat bound sponge-diving in the southern seas.’

‘Foolish man. He should have run uphill. The only true sanctuary is on yonder mountain top. The bare one, see?’

‘What is up there, Grandfather?’

‘A shrine, child, dedicated to the Three Sisters, although I don’t think anyone was sure which three--the priests like their divine triplets, don’t they? A small, humble thing--the peristyle leads straight into the mountainside, and no one but the Oracle ever served there. The same Oracle, for as long as anyone can remember; there has never been another chosen.’

‘She must be really ancient, Grandfather! But why is that place a sanctuary?’

‘Well, the only people who went up there used to be those who wanted to consult the Oracle. It’s not easy going, six leagues through the weald, all stout oak and ash and hawthorn thickets in my youth, and doubly hard if you have to go through the dark. But one day, a woman from the village accused the coal-maker’s daughter of sorcery, and made such a ruckus that her menfolk were ready to hang the poor girl without a magistrate or anything. The girl was up at the kilns when word went out, so the only way for her to flee was uphill, hoping the Oracle could hide her. She was right; when the village men arrived, the Oracle stood on the peristyle and declared that the girl belonged to her now and no one could take her away. The silly woman’s father scoffed and made to shove the Oracle aside…’

‘Well, don’t stop, Grandfather! What happened?’

‘Ehhh… let’s just say the Oracle’s staff was no walking stick at all. It’s another kind of rod that a queen shows her authority with. She just tapped the silly old git on the chest and, well, he’d end his days howling at the moon, ever unable to leave those woods again. The others came back to the village with the message that the shrine would be now sanctuary to anyone who managed to reach it, and anyone attempting to violate it would be forced into Her service too.’

‘What happened to the girl?’

‘Nobody ever saw her again. Nor anyone else who took refuge there.’

‘Grandfather… who was the Oracle, really? And why was she there?’

‘We do not speak the name of the One who holds dominion over one-third of the earth, the sea and the underworld, child. But what is strange about Her dwelling in Her own house and watching over Her people?’

‘People don’t believe such stories now, Grandfather.’

‘Their loss, child. She has all the time in the world.’