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Books, Bad. Things, Piss Me Off.

April 18th, 2002 - 2:08 a.m.

I'm Currently Avoiding:

It's been two, possibly almost three days since I last updated. I should therefore update again. Not because I want to particularly, but because the length of time I've not updated stares me in the face accusatorily every time I look at my buddylist. I have things I should be doing at the moment. Things which are more important and time-consuming than this, but I don't want to do them. Procrastination at it's best I suppose. And I'm tired too, so we can just add that to the list of Things Which Make My Day Worse. I went from being extraordinarily productive to being extremely exhausted. And frankly, I am not pleased with the change. I would've been happy to retain a steady level of apathetic acheivement instead of this up and down roller-coaster thing. It's really pissing me off. Grrr. Add the browser not being cooperative and deleting about a paragraph of my words to that list of things that piss me off. I'd write it over again, but it's really not worth my time. Even if I type it really fast. The upshot of my paragraph was that I'd bought books yesterday and that it was overall A Bad Idea.

Even though I enjoyed them. In fact, I think I'm going to have to pick up the first book by Charlaine Harris (I'm not sure that's her name since I can't see the book spine very well from where I'm sitting and I have no inclination to get up and look), Dead Until Dark. The one I have, Living Dead In Dallas, I thoroughly enjoyed. It was funny and enough of a mixture of genres to greatly entertain me. If you're fond of vampire books (humorous ones anyway, it wasn't terribly scary), then it is recommended that you read it. And now, Off I Go to do More Productive Things (enh, hopefully).

jurisprudence (n. joor-us-PROO-dunss)

1 a : a system or body of law b : the course of court decisions

2 : the science or philosophy of law

3 : a department of law

"For a farewell to our jurisprudent, I wish unto him the gladsome light of jurisprudence. . . ." With this valedictory to English jurist Sir Thomas Littleton, another jurist, Sir Edward Coke, welcomed two new words into English. In 1628, his jurisprudence meant knowledge of or skill in law, a now archaic sense that reflects the literal meaning of the word. Jurisprudence goes back to Latin prudentia juris (literally skill in law), from which was derived the Late Latin formation jurisprudentia, and subsequently our word. The noun jurisprudent means one skilled in law -- in other words, a jurist. There's also jurisprude, a 20th-century back-formation from jurisprudence. It can mean jurist or (under the influence of prude) one who makes ostentatious show of jurisprudential learning.

minatory (adj. MIH-nuh-tor-ee or MYE-nuh-tor-ee)

: having a menacing quality : threatening

Knowing that minatory means threatening, can you take a guess at a related word? If you're familiar with mythology, perhaps you guessed Minotaur, the name of the bull-headed, people-eating monster of Crete. Minotaur is a good guess, but as terrifying as the monster sounds, its name isn't related to today's word. The relative we're searching for is actually menace. Minatory and menace both come from derivatives of the Latin verb minari, which means to threaten. Minatory was borrowed directly from the Latin minatorius. Menace was borrowed from the Middle French manace, menace, which came from minac-, minax, meaning threatening.

ominous (adj. AH-muh-nuss)

: being or exhibiting an omen : portentous; especially : foreboding or foreshadowing evil : inauspicious

Ominous didn't always mean foreshadowing evil. If you look closely, you can see the omen in ominous, which gave it the original meaning of presaging events to come -- whether good or bad. It is ultimately derived from the Latin word omen, which is both an ancestor and a synonym of our omen. Today, however, ominous tends to suggest a menacing or threatening aspect. Its synonyms portentous and fateful are used similarly, but ominous is the most menacing of the three. It implies an alarming character that foreshadows evil or disaster. Portentous suggests being frighteningly big or impressive, but seldom gives a definite forewarning of calamity. Fateful implies that something is of momentous or decisive importance.

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