Sunday, December 13, 2009


Here are the corrections and explanations for last week's entries.



Lightening” is a verb meaning to make lighter in shade or tone, to make more cheerful or to make more pale.
“The inventor was always trying to find ways of lightening his teaching workload so he could devote more time to research.”

Lightning” is a noun referring to an electrical discharge from cloud to cloud, from cloud to earth or a flash of light accompanying an electrical discharge.”
“The lightning flash in the western sky was awesome.”



Little” can mean small in size or small in amount.

“He was a little boy.”
“There is very little sugar left in the tin.”

In the comparative and superlative forms, little has two different forms.

If “little” means small in size, the comparative is littler or more little and the superlative is littlest.
“That puppy is littler than his sister.”
“Dopey was the littlest dwarf in the movie, Snow White.”

If “little” means small amount of, the comparative is less and the superlative is least.
“There is less milk in that carton on the counter than in this one by the sink.”
“The lazy boy will do the least he can get to get by.”



Definite”, an adjective, means clear, precise or known with exactness.
“Her turning her back on the drunk was a definite rejection of his lewd advances.”

Definitive”, an adjective, means explicit, sharply defined, conclusive or putting an end to debate or questioning.
“His description of minute details of the murder scene was so definitive that there was no question as to his guilt.”



Flagrant” means openly scandalous or notorious, conspicuously bad or reprehensible.
“The teacher’s flagrant behaviour led to his dismissal.”

Blatant”, an adjective, means offensively noisy, without any attempt at concealment and it usually refers to something that is done obtrusively and noticeably.
“The blatant disrespect by the mob for the politician resulted in the deployment of a large number of police to protect him.”



Official” as an adjective means authorized or sanctioned.
Official as a noun means a person with authority to make decisions or to decide things.

“There are always French and English official transcriptions of parliamentary procedures.”
“The fire official authorized the deployment of the various trucks around the conflagration.”

Officious”, an adjective, means meddling in affairs that are not one’s business or concern.
“The officious old crone was always busily attending to other people’s business.”


“Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.”
Andre Gide, French critic, essayist, & novelist (1869 - 1951) wrote this.


Repartee” (n.) refers to adroitness and cleverness in replying, quick and witty answering or skill in making replies.

Histrionics” (n.) refers to a theatrical performance, a public presentation or artificial behaviour for effect.

Pillory” (n.) refers to a wooden instrument on a post for holes for the neck and hands where offenders were locked in for public scorn.

Pillory” (v.) means to expose to public scorn or to punish by putting in a pillory.

Idiosyncrasy” (n.) refers to an attribute, a peculiarity or a character trait related to an individual.

Libidinous” (adj.) means lewd, lustful, autoerotic or given to lascivious desires.
The root is the Latin “libido” meaning pleasure or longing.

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