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Publication: Word A Day
Volte-face

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                     *  WORD A DAY  *
                   Monday, July 30, 2007
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Fellow Logophiles, 

Good morning! It's time for another Reader's Digest word 
power quiz. This one's called "Puppy Love." Let's fetch 
some words from two recent entries in the canine canon: 
Alfred Gingold's "Dog World" and Emily Yoffe's "What the 
Dog Did." I'll reveal the winners and answers on Wednesday. 
Good luck! 

1. frowsy (adj.) - A: frowning. B: sleepy. C: slovenly. 
D: weak, insubstantial. 

2. dappled (adj.) - A: extremely wrinkled. B: marked with 
spots. C: musty, stale. D: rust-colored. 

3. telepathy (n.) - A: silent communication. B: fungus spore. 
C: distant view. D: holistic healer. 

4. emulate (v.) - A: to mix. B: imitate. C: increase the 
power of. D: abandon. 

5. impending (adj.) - A: about to occur. B: delayed. 
C: falling. D: attacking. 

6. unmitigated (adj.) - A: unusual. B: unprecedented. 
C: unexpected. D: unrelieved. 

7. brambles (n.) - A: prickly shrubs. B: happy jaunts. 
C: rambling talks. D: excuses. 

8. emit (v.) - A: to give off. B: express. C: correct. 
D: be sensitive to. 

9. trepidation (n.) - A: surgical procedure. B: warning. 
C: eagerness. D: apprehension. 

10. onerous (adj.) - A: unique. B: harmonious. C: burdensome. 
D: foul-smelling. 

11. dissenter (n.) - A: holder of a shared opinion. 
B: holder of a differing opinion. C: relative. D: carafe. 

12. tchotchkes (n.) - A: dumplings. B: agitation. C: knick-
knacks. D: leftovers. 

13. euphonious (adj.) - A: false. B: youthful. C: carefully 
planned. D: pleasing to the ear. 

14. pendulous (adj.) - A: boring. B: suspended as to swing 
freely. C: awaiting approval. D: celebratory. 

15. phlegmatic (adj.) - A: stolid in temperament. B: sick. 
C: soft-spoken. D: stubborn. 

16. periphery (n.) - A: area's midpoint. B: deep cave. 
C: journey's start point. D: outer edge. 

Sincerely,

Carly

P.S. You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the
new Word A Day forum. Check it out here... Word A Day Forum

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                             *


WORD:  volte-face   vawlt-FAHS  (noun)

: An about-face; a reversal, as in policy or opinion. 

SYNONYMS: * turnaround 
          * change 
          * 180 degree turn 

WORD WISE: Volte-face comes from French, from Italian 
voltafaccia, from volta, "turn" + faccia, "face." 

QUOTE: "In a sudden volte-face, he seemed to accept the 
agreement; then, when the besieged forces came out to embark, 
he had their barges held in port." 
--Richard Eder, "Just Wild About Horatio," New York Times, 
November 7, 1999 


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BONUS WORD OF THE DAY:  maven   mayven  (noun)

: Somebody who is an expert or knowledgeable enthusiast in 
a particular field. 

Mid-20th century. Via Yiddish meyvn from Hebrew mebin, 
literally "somebody who understands." 


                  OBSCURE AND UNUSUAL WORDS
                  *************************

1)  sough   sow  (intransitive verb) 
    : to make a soft rustling, sighing, or murmuring sound, 
    like the wind in trees 

    Old English swogan, of prehistoric Germanic origin. 

2)  tatterdemalion   tatterde maylyen  (adjective) 
    : raggedly dressed and unkempt 

    Early 17th century. Tatter from tattered; -demalion is 
    of unknown origin. 


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Copyright 2007 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved. 

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