I am a trivia nerd. I competed in Knowledge Bowl (think pub quiz without beer) for years. I am a connoisseur of random factoids from all over the place. I forget lyrics to songs I’ve heard thousands of times. I forget lyrics to songs I’ve written. It is often embarrassing. I am trying to embrace it as part of my charm. At least, that is what I tell myself.
This week’s Wondrous Words is an ode to commonly misused words and the people who love them.
- Mondegreen [mon-di-green] – Noun
A word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of another word or phrase, especially in a song or poem.
- Eggcorn [eg-kawrn] – Noun
A word or phrase that is a seemingly logical alteration of another word or phrase that sounds similar and has been misheard or misinterpreted, such as ‘old wise tale’ for ‘old wives’ tale’.
- Malapropism [mal-uh-prop-iz-uhm] – Noun
- an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.
- an instance of this, as in “Lead the way and we’ll precede.”
- Immanent [im-uh-nuhnt] – Adjective
- remaining within; indwelling; inherent.
- Philosophy (of a mental act) taking place within the mind of the subject and having no effect outside of it.
- Eminent [em-uh-nuh nt] – Adjective
- high in station, rank, or repute; prominent; distinguished: eminent statesmen.
- conspicuous, signal, or noteworthy: eminent fairness.
- lofty; high: eminent peaks.
- prominent; projecting; protruding: an eminent nose.
Neither of which are to be confused with imminent [im–uh-nuh nt] – Adjective – which means “about to happen.”
- Faint [feynt] – Adjective, fainter, faintest.
- lacking brightness, vividness, clearness, loudness,strength, etc.: a faint light; a faint color; a faint sound.
- feeble or slight: faint resistance; faint praise; a faint resemblance.
- feeling weak, dizzy, or exhausted; about to lose consciousness: faint with hunger.
- lacking courage; cowardly; timorous: Faint heart never won fair maid.
- Law. unfounded: a faint action.
- Feint [feynt] – Noun
- a movement made in order to deceive an adversary; an attack aimed at one place or point merely as a distraction from the real place or point of attack: military feints; the feints of a skilled fencer.
- a feigned or assumed appearance: His air of approval was a feint to conceal his real motives.
Verb (used without object)
- to make a feint.
Verb (used with object)
- to make a feint at; deceive with a feint.
- to make a false show of; simulate.
- Stationary [stey-shuh-ner-ee] – Adjective
- standing still; not moving.
- having a fixed position; not movable.
- established in one place; not itinerant or migratory.
- remaining in the same condition or state; not changing: The market price has remained stationary for a week.
- Stationery [stey-shuh-ner-ee] – Noun
- writing paper.
- writing materials, as pens, pencils, paper, and envelopes.
- Capital [kap-i-tl] – Noun
- the city or town that is the official seat of government in a country, state, etc.: Tokyo is the capital of Japan.
- a city regarded as being of special eminence in some field of activity: New York is the dance capital of the world.
- capital letter.
- the wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm,corporation, etc.
- an accumulated stock of such wealth.
- any form of wealth employed or capable of being employed in the production of more wealth.
- assets remaining after deduction of liabilities;the net worth of a business.
- the ownership interest in a business.
- Capitol [kap-i-tl] – Noun
- the building in Washington, D.C., used by the Congress of the U.S. for its sessions.
- (often lowercase) a building occupied by a state legislature.
- the ancient temple of Jupiter at Rome, on the Capitoline.
- the Capitoline.
- Insure [in-shoo r, –shur] – Verb (used with or without object), insured, insuring.
- To guarantee against loss or harm.
- 2. to secure indemnity to or on, in case of loss,damage, or death.
- to issue or procure an insurance policy on or for.
- Ensure [en-shoo r, –shur] – Verb (used with object), ensured, ensuring.
- to secure or guarantee: This letter will ensure you a hearing.
- to make sure or certain: measures to ensure the success of an undertaking.
- to make secure or safe, as from harm.
- Insolate [in-soh-leyt] – Verb (used with object), insolated, insolating.
- to expose to the sun’s rays; treat by exposure to the sun’s rays.
- Insulate [in-suh-leyt, ins-yuh-leyt] – Verb (used with object), insulated, insulating.
- to cover, line, or separate with a material that prevents or reduces the passage, transfer, or leakage of heat, electricity, or sound: to insulate an electric wire with a rubber sheath;to insulate a coat with down.
- to place in an isolated situation or condition; segregate.
- Accept [ak-sept]- Verb (used with object)
- to take or receive (something offered); receive with approval or favor: to accept a present; to accept a proposal.
- to agree or consent to; accede to: to accept a treaty; to accept an apology.
- to respond or answer affirmatively to: to accept an invitation.
- Except [ik-sept] – Preposition
- with the exclusion of; excluding; save; but: They were all there except me.
- only; with the exception (usually followed by that): parallel cases except that one is younger than the other.
- otherwise than; but (followed by an adv., phrase, or clause): well fortified except here.