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The Sympathetic Devil was Mulcted by the Elf Mob

October 28th, 2001 - 10:22 p.m.

I'm Currently Avoiding:

This is a public service announcement...well, no, actually it's not and I just lied. My life is miserable at the moment, no I don't want to discuss it, so don't ask. Oh, and I'm freezing too b/c these people can't turn on the bloody heat.

A year ago (well, a year and 17 hours ago roughly) I was talking about this. Turns out, running out of chocolate & insomnia is still a problem, the elastic balls are still there, and the Elf Mob is *still* watching you. There was a zombie ball period, but then they got annoying so the zombie balls went the way of the dodo.

Veritable Nyctalopia isn't Mulcted?

veritable (adj. VAIR-uh-tuh-bul)

: being in fact the thing named and not false, unreal, or imaginary

Veritable, like its close relative verity (truth), came to English through Middle French from Latin. It is ultimately derived from verus, the Latin word for true, which also gave us verify, aver, and verdict. Veritable is often used as a synonym of genuine or authentic (a veritable masterpiece), but it is also used to stress the aptness of a metaphor, often in a humorous tone (a veritable swarm of lawyers). In the past, usage commentators have objected to the latter use, but today it doesn't draw much criticism.

mulct (v. MULKT)

1 : to punish by a fine

2 a : to defraud especially of money : swindle b : to obtain by fraud, duress, or theft

A fine assessed as a penalty for an infraction is generally considered justifiable. Fraud, on the other hand, is wrong -- it's just the sort of thing that deserves a fine. So in mulct we have a unique word, one that means both to fine and to defraud. The fine sense came first. Mulct was borrowed from the Latin word for a fine, which is multa or mulcta. This sense is still in use, mostly in legal contexts (the court mulcted the plaintiff for costs), but these days mulct is more often used for the illegal act. That use may have come about by association with the verb milk, in its sense to exploit, to coerce profit from (as in she was milked by the lawyers for everything she had).

nyctalopia (n. nik-tuh-LOH-pee-uh)

: night blindness

Nyctalopia comes to us from the Latin word nyctalops, which means suffering from night blindness. It is ultimately derived from the Greek word nyktalops, which was formed by combining the word for night (nyx) with the words for blind and eye (alaos and ops, respectively). English speakers have been using nyctalopia to refer to reduced vision in faint light or at night since the 17th century. We added the somewhat more pedestrian night blindness to the lexicon in the 18th century.

Song of the Day: "Grouch" by Green Day because it seems incredibly appropriate.

Ghostbusters! Woohoo! I just had to put that in there...they've put on a sound byte from that movie. I haven't seen that in a long time. And now, after a "Satan" montage (does that word still apply if it's audial?), they're playing "Sympathy for the Devil." I still like this song, and it doesn't get old even though I've heard it quite a few times. I want my MyPoints certificate to get here damnit! (even though I only ordered it yesterday and it said to allow 4-6 weeks for delivery...patient? Who, me?) I wanna have fun with movies...and I could use a viewing of Gremlins 2.



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