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Archive for December, 2011

Parlous

Parlous (adj) is dangerously shrewd or cunning, full of risk.

As in the parlous finances of America’s municipal governments. Economist 12/3/11 article about Jefferson county and other state and local governments that are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. What a yikes of an era we live in.

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Dyad

A dyad is a group of two. A couple. A pair.

A dyad of musical notes.
A dyad is two chromatids joined by the centromere.
A dyad is the smallest possible social group.
A dyad is a mother and fetus.

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Psephological

Count them rocks

Never heard this one before. Psephology is the study of elections. The root of the word is “pebble”, since Greece used pebbles to count in their democratic elections.

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Pusillanimity

Pusillanimity is cowardliness. Countries need leadership, not pusillanimity from their leaders.

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Thrall

Thrall
I’m familiar with enthralled, which is to captivate or subjugate. The 11/19/11 issue of The Economist referred to India as being “in thrall” with the Gandhi family, the “democratic world’s most successful political dynasty”. So in Britain at least, the root of the word is still in use. Thrall means slave. To be enthralled is to be enslaved by the idea you so admire.

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