Tag Archives: words

A Temperate Tempest

I like the high ceilings and spacious oak tables in my second office, the L.A. Central Library, but speaking of temperature, it was getting as hot as a stereo that fell off a truck. Ms. Khan lifted her long hair … Continue reading

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Seeking the Origin of Frappuccino

“You’re right,” said de Sica. “That wasn’t my real question. So how much is it going to cost to get some answers?” “I make two-fifty a day, plus all the Frappuccinos I can drink…if I’m lucky.” He pulled a wallet … Continue reading

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Dejected on the Jetty, Watching the Flotsam Float Away

Last time we reflected on “reject,” “inject” “project” and other words derived from Latin iacere ‘to throw.’ I said there were more. Did you think of any? If not, it’s probably because they don’t take the form “-ject.” Somewhere along … Continue reading

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Da Funk Is Not Defunct

How can something be “defunct” when it was never “funct” in the first place? “Defunct” sounds like something that’s had the funk removed from it, like a freshly laundered pair of jeans or a Musak version of a James Brown … Continue reading

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A Profusion of confusing fuses

I recently returned from the Aspen Music Festival where the word that came to mind was “profusion”: wildflowers everywhere, charging streams overflowing their banks and a bounty of music. I got to wondering whether “profusion” was related to “fusion” or … Continue reading

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19th Century Pixelation

“Oh, no! The image got all pixelated!” That’s the distressed cry of digital photographers who discover an image is too low resolution to be displayed in large format. With too few pixels, each pixel (or minute element of a digital … Continue reading

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Invasion of the invasivores

I’ve taken the first step toward becoming an “invasivore.” You know about “carnivores,” meat-eaters like lions and hawks; “herbivores,” animals like rabbits and stegosaurs that survive(d) on plants; and “omnivores,” like humans and pigs that aren’t fussy. The “-vore” suffix … Continue reading

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