26 Nov



adjective \dī-ˈa-fə-nəs\
—used to describe cloth that is very thin and light

Full Definition of DIAPHANOUS
1: characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through
2: characterized by extreme delicacy of form : ethereal 3: insubstantial, vague
— di·aph·a·nous·ly adverb
— di·aph·a·nous·ness noun

Examples of DIAPHANOUS

Medieval Latin diaphanus, from Greek diaphanēs, from diaphainein to show through, from dia- + phainein to show
First Known Use: 1614


Such a rich and erotic word. It’s interesting to see what it currently means to Google.

23 Nov

Sharpen the Saw: Volume 3

In the spirit of keeping my tools sharp and working to develop my mind, body & skills here’s some things that I worked on this week:

How to Grow a Mandala

Songs & Musicians I’m Checking Out
Full House by Wes Montgomery
Joni Mitchell: Big Yellow Taxi & Free Man in Paris
– the bass line from Cannonball Adderly’s version of Autumn Leaves on Somethin’ Else

Check out the latest word that I learned more about.

20 Nov

52 Interesting Things #2: Artisanal / Artesian

From time to time discussions will arise with those in my life about the correct pronunciation of words. ‘Artisanal‘ is one of those words. I finally decided to look up the darn thing and alas, I have been pronouncing it incorrectly. Apparently it should be pronounced “ARR-tizz-uh-nul”, with the emphasis on the first syllable and no hard ‘ee’ sound. I’ve always known that an “artesian spring” gets the hard ‘ee’ and the emphasis on the second syllable, but I thought the same was true about artisanal. Have to rewire in my brain on this one.

Paul Brians’ ‘Common Errors in English Usage‘ seems like a fabulous book for answering these types of questions. Full of interesting little factoids about the use and misuse of the English language.

I wonder if it has any tips on apostrophe use for people whose last name ends in an ‘S’. I’m somewhat sure that I got it right above, but it seems like it could go either way.

19 Nov


noun \flä-ˈnər\

Definition of FLANEUR
: an idle man-about-town

First Known Use: 1854

This word is much more complex than this basic definition lets on. See the Wikipedia entry.