Word of the Day: qui vive

Collie on alert

Word of the Day: qui vive

Collie on alert
Source: corydoncollies.co.uk/qui_vive.html

qui vive (noun) kee-VEEV

Definition

: alert, lookout — used in the phrase on the qui vive

Examples

“All right. Lieutenant Howard, go see how the artillery wagons are managing, and on the way tell Major Mason that I need him again. Stay on the qui vive; you may find evidence of liquor.” — William T. Vollmann, The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War, 2015

“Pasadena Heritage staged its Colorado Street Bridge Party July 16, and Police Chief Phillip Sanchez was clearly on the qui vive at the entrance to the bridge.” — Patt Diroll, The Pasadena Star News, 24 July 2016

Did You Know?

When a sentinel guarding a French castle in days of yore cried, “Qui vive?,” your life depended upon your answer. The question the sentinel was asking was “Long live who?” The correct answer was usually something like “Long live the king!” Visitors not answering the question this way were regarded as suspect, and so to be “on the qui vive” meant to be on the alert or lookout, and qui vive came to mean “alert” or “lookout” soon afterward. Nowadays, the term is most often used in the phrase “on the qui vive,” meaning “on the lookout.”

My Take

Alright. Today’s word I want to say is stupid. It’s not, of course, but I’d like to think it. I know I will never use it. Yet, it does have a place in history. If I ever write a historical novel, then perhaps, I will use it.

From the examples, you will note contemporary uses of the word, and yet, I can’t seem to bring it about to use it. If I want to use a term to mean alert or lookout, I’ll use the words. Perhaps it is used in other parts of the world with more frequency. That’s okay too.

Adèle Exarchopoulos
Source: adele-exacharchopoulos-source.e-monsite.com

Thinking about the term, I came up with some scenarios that would be an appropriate usage of the term. For example, a city deploys additional security due to a terrorist alert, such as what recently occurred in Los Angeles California at the Universal Studios subway station. An event that is, unfortunately, all too common these days. I was also reminded of a woman on alert walking down a dark street or riding a crowded subway car. If the main character, Avril, in my new book were a bit more alert, perhaps she would have escaped her introduction to the despicable world of human trafficking. Be sure to look for this exciting new erotic thriller due out very soon.

In researching the word, I did find a field hockey club using the word as their team name. I also found a movie entitled ‘Qui Vive.’ I never heard of it of course, but what do I know. I found several pieces of artwork using the title, one of which I have included in this post as my twitter bonus picture. Finally, I did find a picture of a border collie. From its pose, it reminded me of my own collies our family bred growing up. When they alerted to something of interest, you knew the dog was on the qui vive.

Today’s bonus picture, available if you tweet from my page on Twitter is an image pertinent to the theme of the day. I hope you like it.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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My Quandary

The Trafficking Consortium Front Book Cover

My Quandary

The Trafficking Consortium Front Book Cover
Copyright (c) Richard Verry 2016

I’ve sat here, at my desk, or messing around the house trying to decide on what to write today. It’s not the Word of the Day. I can do that. It’s the My Take section that takes so much time. And right now, time is a commodity that is very expensive.

So, I’m going to slow down on the Word of the Day for the rest of the holidays. I’ll publish them, but as time allows or an interesting word captures my interest.

Why am I in a quandary? I’m working hard to put to bed my latest novel ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ Between getting ready for the holidays, which for me has already started, working with the editor to clean up my manuscript, cover design, website work, and all things related to indie publishing, it’s just a lot to deal with, and I hope you don’t mind the intermittent Words of the Day. It’s good to do, but the novel is so much more fun.

Till next time, this Richard Verry, getting back to work.

 

Word of the Day: bamboozle

Bamboozle

Word of the Day: bamboozle

Bamboozle
Source: imagict.com

Bamboozle (verb) bam-BOO-zul

Definition

1 : to deceive by underhanded methods : dupe, hoodwink

2 : to confuse, frustrate, or throw off thoroughly or completely

Examples

“Some consumers are so bamboozled by slick sales talk that they pay extra for amazingly bad deals. Just one example, a $49.99, four-year service plan on a DVD player that sells for $39.99.” — Mike McClintock, The Chicago Tribune, 13 Feb. 2009

“We agree with those who filed the suits challenging the wording of the ballot question. We believe it is deceitful—and deliberately so, designed to bamboozle voters into thinking they are voting on a minor issue that simply codifies existing law instead of adding five years to a judge’s term.” — The Philadelphia Daily News, 10 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

In 1710, Irish author Jonathan Swift wrote an article on “the continual Corruption of our English Tongue” in which he complained of “the Choice of certain Words invented by some pretty Fellows.” Among the inventions Swift disliked were bamboozle, bubble(a dupe), put (a fool), and sham. (Perhaps he objected to the use of sham as a verb; he himself had used the adjective meaning “false” a couple of years previously.) What all these words appear to have in common is a connection to the underworld as jargon of criminals. Other than that, the origin of bamboozle remains a mystery, but the over-300-year-old word has clearly defied Swift’s assertion that “All new affected Modes of Speech . . . are the first perishing Parts in any Language.”

My Take

Well, there are no shortages of images to go with today’s word. So, I picked a few that I thought were appropriate and I hope you do too.

Bamboozled cat
Source: wordnik.com/words/bamboozle

To me, though I don’t use the bamboozle too much, the meaning is obvious. Is it with you?

To deceive, dupe, hoodwink, confuse, frustrate or throw off completely. I probably could think of another pocketful of synonyms for the term, but I believe you get the message.

The image I found most enjoyable was the wall appliqué of a tree scene with dozens of birds sitting on the branches. Nice, but it was the dog staring at the wall, bamboozled by the birds beyond its reach. I can imagine how many hours the dog spent trying to catch one. I must be honest, when I first saw this image, I thought it was a cat, which works even better.

Government bamboozling
Source: trinbagoviews.com

Another image I found most enjoyable was the cartoon of the honest government worker. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what country you call home, the sentiment fits. Ain’t it a shame?

Today’s bonus picture, available if you tweet from my page on Twitter is an image pertinent to the theme of the day. I hope you like it.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: salient

Salient Features

Word of the Day: salient

Salient Features
Source: huemarcom.com

Salient (adjective) SAIL-yunt

Definition

1 : moving by leaps or springs : jumping

2 : jetting upward

3 : standing out conspicuously : prominent; especially : of notable significance

Examples

The speech was filled with so much twisted rhetoric that it was hard to identify any salient points.

“Among the projects: … an $18 million makeover of Freedom Hall, substantial new meeting and storage space, a new ballroom and a new $70 million exhibit hall…. Those were the salient recommendations of a new master plan for the Kentucky Exposition Center….” — Sheldon Shafer, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), 28 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

Salient first popped up in English in the 16th century as a term of heraldry meaning “rampant but leaning forward as if leaping.” By the mid-17th century, it had leaped into more general use in the senses of “moving by leaps or springs” or “spouting forth.” Those senses aren’t too much of a jump from the word’s parent, the Latin verb salire, which means “to leap.” Salire also occurs in the etymologies of some other English words, including somersault and sally, as well as Salientia, the name for an order of amphibians that includes frogs, toads, and other notable jumpers. Today, salient is usually used to describe things that are physically prominent (such as a salient nose) or that stand out figuratively (such as the salient features of a painting or the salient points in an argument).

My Take

Salient outside battle
Source: http://taralen.deviantart.com/

When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I admit it. I am wrong. I thought I knew the meaning to today’s word. I’ve known the term for many years, but I guess I never understood it. I must have heard it used in conversation somewhere and distorted its meaning in my head.

So, to fix my brain, I need to use it frequently, in the correct context. Let’s begin.

In sports, be it American Football, Futbol (or Soccer as it is known in the U.S.), Rugby, Field Hockey, Water Polo–you get the idea, the team moving the ball, down the field for a score is the salient team. In checkers, the act of jumping or leaping over your opponent’s checker is performing the salient move, removing a piece in the process. A monochrome holiday decoration that has a single brightly colored ornament contrasting the rest is a salient adornment. The person standing out in the crowd is salient.

Am I getting it right? Basically, as I understand the word, it’s akin to a brain teaser “What is different from all the rest?” or “Who or what is advancing better than another?”

I believe in uniqueness, conspicuousness, prominence, and difference. I write stories different from all the rest. Most of them are dark revelations of the human condition. They are meant to make one think, to question. “Could this really happen to the human race?” and “Could this happen to me?” and “OMG, this could happen to my child or me?”

Yes, I tend to write what many call ‘Dark Erotica.’ I don’t see my Mona Bendarova books that way but for certain, ‘Her Client’ and ‘The Breakup’ are.

Trafficking In Women
Source: epthinktank.eu

My new one, coming out in the next few weeks is also in that category. The title is tentatively called ‘Trafficking Consortium’ though that is likely to change in the next couple of weeks when the book goes to publication. The premise being that just by going to your doctor for an annual physical, brings you to the attention of an international human trafficking ring and puts into motion a plan to sell you into human slavery. Sure, there are many stories, real and fiction, over the centuries of stealing people and selling them into bondage. Mine is a new take, and if you like reading these kinds of stories, I believe you will enjoy this one.

Barbie with human proportions
Source: slideshare.net/artista33

As usual, I found many images related to today’s term. Products and companies love the concept of trying to stand out from the crowd. Why not? I try to get my books to stand out among the plethora of books out there. Frequent followers of the Word of the Day will know that I look for unique images. Today, I found artwork and a digital representation of what needs to change to make the Barbie doll, ™Mattel, more realistic and proportional to a real human being.

Today’s bonus picture, available if you tweet from my page on Twitter is an image pertinent to the theme of the day. I hope you like it.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: ziggurat

The Great Ziggurat of Ur

Word of the Day: ziggurat

The Great Ziggurat of Ur
Source: ancient-origins.net

Ziggurat (noun) ZIG-uh-rat

Definition

: an ancient Mesopotamian temple tower consisting of a lofty pyramidal structure built in successive stages with outside staircases and a shrine at the top; also : a structure or object of similar form

Examples

“The building itself is certainly distinctive: The bronze-meshed ziggurat moves upwards toward the sky and into the light.” — Lisa Benton-Short, GWToday (gwtoday.gwu.edu, George Washington University), 10 Oct. 2016

“The opulence remains in Barbara de Limburg’s expansive sets, but the dramatic point is the contrast of the family’s poverty with the consumerist rapacity suggested by the Witch’s lair—not the usual gumdrop-bedecked gingerbread house but a towering ziggurat of brightly packaged junk food….” — Gavin Borchart, The Seattle Weekly, 19 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

French professor of archaeology François Lenormant spent a great deal of time poring over ancient Assyrian texts. In those cuneiform inscriptions, he recognized a new language, now known as Akkadian, which proved valuable to the understanding of ancient Mesopotamian civilization. Through his studies, he became familiar with the Akkadian word for the towering Mesopotamian temples: ziqqurratu. In 1877 he came out with Chaldean Magic, a scholarly exposition on the mythology of the Chaldeans, an ancient people who lived in what is now Iraq. In his work, which was immediately translated into English, he introduced the word ziggurat to the modern world in his description of the ziggurat of the Iraqi palace of Khorsabad.

My Take

LEGO SUMERIAN ZIGGURAT
Source: playwelltek.wordpress.com

Today’s word is a new one for me. Ziggurat. It is a building of ancient design, with level stacked upon level and stairs on the outside leading up to the top.

There were no shortages of images of various ziggurats. I chose two that I found interesting. The one built of Legos, well that’s just cool.

What I found interesting was the building style is found all around the world, built by cultures that never intersected with each other. How is that possible?

If you believe what I believe and have believed since I was a youngling, then there had to be an external influence that interacted with the various groups of humans. Where we visited or even seeded on this planet by extraterrestrials? I believe it. The universe is too grand to think that we humans are alone in the universe.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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