Word of The Day for Thursday, September 30, 2010


biv•i•ous  (biv"i*ous)   adj

having, or leading, two ways

bivously adverb


Synonyms: none found
Related Words: all by way of sharing the root via: obvious, impervious, devious, deviate, previous


• In bivious theorems, and Janus-faced doctrines, let virtuous considerations state the determination. 1635
• Beneath the burthen of a bivious brest where bivious seems to mean "hesitating between two courses". 1887


L. bivius; bis twice + via way

Sources: Dictionary.com

Why This Word:

During later Renaissance leading up to the Industrial Revolution, the need for new words to express new ideas and discuss new knowledge spurred the coining from Latin words and roots a plethora of new English words, many of them commonly used today.

Bivious wasn't one of them. It was created circa 1635 by Sir Thomas Browne. It enjoyed a mild flourish in the 19th Century, secured its spot in Webster's 1828 Dictionary, and in dictionaries thereafter and fell into abeyance.

But ask yourself these questions: Do we have a use for a word expressing having or leading two ways? Do we have another word expressing having or leading two ways? I think the answers are obvious, bivious needs to be saved from oblivion.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Wednesday, September 29, 2010


vir•tu  (vuhr-TOO)  / vr-t, vr- /   n

1. a knowledge or love of, or taste for, artistic objects
2. the quality of being artistic or beautiful, or rare
3. such art objects, collectively
4. productions of art especially of a curious or antique nature


Related Words: by virtue of the root vir: virago, virile, virilescence, viripotent, virtual, virtuoso


The Italian humanist Giovanni Pontano described these objects as "statues, pictures, tapestries, divans, chairs of ivory, cloth interwoven with gems, many-coloured boxes and coffers in the Arabian style, crystal vases and other things of this kind . . . [whose] sight . . . is pleasing and brings prestige to the owner of the house." They all spoke to the wealth, taste and virtu  of their owner.
-- John Brewer, The Pleasures of the Imagination

Divans, Persian rugs, easy chairs, books, statuary, articles of virtu  and bric-a-brac are on every side, and the whole has the appearance of a place where one could dream his life away.
-- "Mark Twain's Summer Home", The New York Times , September 10, 1882


1722, from It. virtu "excellence," from L. virtutem (nom. virtus) "virtue" from vir "man". The same word as virtue, borrowed during a period when everything Italian was in vogue.

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Why This Word:

On the one hand, one can't really have too many words for fine art and beauty, even if it is essentially a souped-up Italian import that attached itself to high end knick-knacks and bric-a-brac.

One the other hand, its sexist pedigree, which literally makes virture synonymous with manly, is hard to ignore.

What we have then is a word fashioned from the cultural fashion of making male the standard of that is good, strong and, well, virtuous (vir being Latin for man) and the later fashion of peppering English with Italian words, even when English equivalents were already at hand. But even if such ideas are no longer, well, fashionable, I've never been one to hold that the original sins of a word's creation stain it indelibly when the present-day meaning has become so thoroughly untethered from its roots. Thus making virtue out of virtu.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Tuesday, September 28, 2010


lach•ry•mose   / LAK-ruh-mohs /   adj


1. Generating or shedding tears; given to shedding tears; suffused with tears; tearful.

2. Causing or tending to cause tears.

lachrymosely adverb lachrymosity noun


Synonyms: dolorous, tearful, weeping
Related Words:
lachrymal, a. pertaining to tears and weeping;
lachrymal, n.pl. organs secreting tears; crying fits.
lachrymary, a. containing, or intended to contain, tears; lachrymal
lachrymation, n. the act or process of shedding tears
lachrymator, n. substance or gas causing tears.
lachrymatory, n. narrow-necked vase; tear-bottle.
lachrymiform, a. tear-shaped.
lachrymist, n. weeper.
lachrymogenic, a. causing tears.


At the farewell party on the boat, Joyce was surrounded by a lachrymose  family.
-- Edna O'Brien, "She Was the Other Ireland", New York Times , June 19, 1988

I promise to do my best, and if at any time my resolution lapses, pen me a few fierce vitriolic words and you shall receive by the next post a lachrymose  & abject apology in my most emotional hand writing.
-- Rupert Brooke, "letter to James Strachey", , July 7, 1905

The game is perpetuated by the sons in a sometimes vicious sibling rivalry that inevitably subsides into lachrymose  reconciliation.
-- Arthur Gelb and Barbara Gelb, O'Neill: Life With Monte Cristo

Meanwhile, a lachrymose  new waltz, "After The Ball Is Over," was sweeping the nation.
-- Benjamin Welles, Sumner Welles: FDR's Global Strategist


1660s, "tear-like," from L. lacrimosus "tearful, sorrowful," from lacrima "tear," a dialect-altered borrowing of Gk. dakryma "tear," from dakryein "to shed tears," from dakry "tear," from PIE *dakru-/*draku- (see tear (n.)). Meaning "given to tears, tearful" is first attested 1727; meaning "of a mournful character" is from 1822.

Sources: Online Etymology, Dictionary.com, Dictionary of Difficult Words,

Why This Word:

So many variants, so seldom used. I started out after the word lachrymal and despaired of another fine word that has become primarily a medical term. Fortunately, lacrima has deposited itself in English in several forms, bespeaking a useful word, albeit from an age evidently more comfortable with signs of grief and sorrow.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Monday, September 27, 2010


pran•di•al (PRAN-dee-uhl)  / prnd-l /   adj


Of or pertaining to a meal, especially dinner

 prandially adverb


Related Words: preprandial, anteprandial, postprandial; edible


• To Pitt it had been the abode of his own familiar prandial Penates, and Lord Liverpool had been dull there among his dull friends for long year after year. 1867, Phineas Finn
• The washing, singing, distribution of food, beating time, and all the prandial _etceteras_ of comfort, were performed with the utmost precision and cleanliness.1854, Captain Canot
• She was able to point out to Henry, as a bit of prandial small-talk, that the orchestra was playing "Nancy Brown" -- a classic ditty whose notes had reached even Clayton Centre.1908, Many Kingdoms


1820, from L. prandium “late breakfast, luncheon”, from pram "early" + edere "to eat", from Proto-Indo-European base *ed- "to eat"

Sources: Online Etymology, Wiktionary

Why This Word:

It's hard not to be struck by the deep roots of prandial, going back to the PIE root for one of the most basic of all human activities.And yet it seems also an unlikely candidate for this meaning. Of all the words derived from edere, the one that presently means related to meals is derived from the Latin word for brunch.

Just as hard to explain is the dearth of synonyms. Mensal might do, given our association of meals with sitting at a table Although that doesn't seem to be as true as it once was.

And yet as basic an activity as eating is, the one word we have to describe being related to a meal is largely relegated to the medical literature.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Sunday, September 26, 2010


de•rac•in•ate  [dih-ras-uh-neyt]   \(ˌ)dē-ˈra-sə-ˌnāt\   /dɪˈræsəˌneɪt v

1. to pull up by or as if by the roots; uproot; extirpate,
2. to remove, as from a natural environment
3. to remove the racial or ethnic characteristics or influences from

deracination noun deracinated past participle deracinated past tense deracinates 3rd person singular present deracinating present participle


Synonyms: uproot; extirpate; eradicate
Related Words: radish, radical, eradicate


• After her parents moved her across the country for her father to take a new job, Janice felt deracinated, all of her friends left behind in her suburban habitat as she was forced to adapt to her new high-rise-dwelling life.

• To activate that process one must engage the risk that an Event has the power to deracinate one's identity and the entire system of ideas and guarantees grounding that self- reference.


Middle French desraciner, from des- de- + racine root, from Late Latin radicina, from Latin radic-, radix
First Known Use: 1599

Sources: Dictionary, Etymology Online, Merriam-Webster

Why This Word:

In an age of dislocations, when so many people feel deracinated, by force of violence or economic necessity, we need to have this word in our vocabulary - if only to make manifest the connection between deracination and eradication.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Saturday, September 25, 2010


pro•lep•sis    (pr-lpss)    n


1. A figure of speech in which a future event is referred to in anticipation. For example, a character who is about to die might be described as "the dead man" before he is actually dead. The same device can be used in non-verbal media such as film, where it is also called flashforward.

2. The anticipation of an objection. For example, a speaker might say "'Ah', you say, 'but that is impossible!'" Here the speaker is anticipating the objection 'Ah, but that is impossible!' from his audience—and is probably about to refute that objection before it arises. This form is more accurately called procatalepsis.

3. A grammatical construction that consists of placing an element in a syntactic unit before that to which it would logically correspond. Example: "That noise, I just heard it again", where that noise grammatically belongs in place of it.

4. A philosophical concept used in ancient epistemology (in particular by Epicurus and the Stoa) to indicate a so-called "preconception", i.e., a pre-theoretical notion which can lead to true knowledge of the world.

pro·lep·ses plural

pro·lep·tic adjective

pro·lep·ti·cal·ly adverb


Synonyms: prochronism, anticipation, procatalepsis
Related Words: analemma syllepsis analeptic syllable metalepsis

• From the moment of the death of the helmsman it is apparent that prolepsis is being used to add significance rather than suspense.
• Memory and prolepsis contribute to spiritual development — memory by transmitting the past and bestowing identity, prolepsis by incorporating a vision of the future into the present— thereby making creativity possible,


Late Latin prolpsis, from Greek, from prolambanein, to anticipate : pro-, before;  + lambanein,  to take

Sources: Wikipedia, FreeDictionary

Why This Word:

What's that, you say? Prolepsis is a perfectly useful word. Before you can object, allow me to say why.

Apart from anticipation, there is no common synonym. At that, no other word describes exactly this notion. Certainly pointing out a person's prolepsis is more succinct and to the point than pointing out their argument in advance of our objection.

Just as certainly prolepsis is a ubiquitous feature of modern discourse. With the near instantaneous speed of communications, the pressure to anticipate objections is high; as is the pressure to anticipate events in advance.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Friday, September 24, 2010


ob•tund  /ɒbˈtʌnd/  v


To reduce the edge, pungency, or violent action of; to dull; to blunt; to deaden; to quell.

ob·tund·ent, adjective
ob·tun·di·ty, noun


Synonyms: attenuate, benumb, cripple, dampen, deaden, debilitate, desensitize, disable, enfeeble, hebetate, numb , sap, soften, take the edge off, undermine, water down, weaken
Related Words: Obtundation refers to less than full mental capacity in a medical patient, typically as a result of a medical condition or trauma. The root word, obtund, means "dulled or less sharp".
Obtunded: Neurology adjective- Mentally dulled
Obtuse: not pointed or acute
Retund: To blunt; to turn, as an edge; figuratively, to cause to be obtuse or dull; as, to retund confidence


• Here Claudia formed the habit of drinking much more wine than was good for her: and she did it to blunt her sensibility; to obtund the sharpness of her heartache; to give her sleep.

• While we live upon the level with the rest of mankind, we are reminded of our duty by the admonitions of friends and reproaches of enemies; but men who stand in the highest ranks of society, seldom hear of their faults; if by any accident an opprobrious clamour reaches their ears, flattery is always at hand to pour in her opiates, to quiet conviction, and obtund remorse.

• Likewise a writer or speaker generally should not say obtund when the verbs dull and blunt come more readily to mind.


c.1400, (trans.) "to render dead, make dull," used occasionally in English, especially in medical jargon; from L. obtundere to blunt or dull by striking at, equiv. to ob-  ob- + tundere  to strike

Sources: Wordnik, Dictionary.com,

Why This Word:

Another fine word that survives largely only in technical literature. Search for obtund on Google and get about 87,000 results, along with the query as whether you really meant to looked for the medical term obtunded. 

But whereas to dull, blunt or deaden are more focused on the effect of the action, obtund is more about the act itself. Contrast with Latinate synonym hebetate - to make dull or obtuse - derived by the root hebes: dull. Obtund originates, on the other hand, from the word meaning to strike and carries with it the sense of quell or reduce the violent action of. This active quality differentiates obtund from its flock of synonyms and recommends itself for rescue from the medical literature.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day


Word of The Day for Thursday, September 23, 2010


ru•gose   \ˈrü-ˌgōs\   adj


1.  full of wrinkles
2.  having the veinlets sunken and the spaces between elevated

rugosity noun


Synonyms: cockled, corrugated, folded, furrowed, lined, puckered, wrinkled , rugous, rumpled, unironed, withered
Related Words: corrugate

• In this clay can be found rugose corals and spiky trilobites
• First infection of rugose mosaic and leaf roll on potato has been observed generally by the last week of December until the second week of January, depending upon locality and variety.


Latin rugosus full of wrinkles, folds or creases, from ruga wrinkle; wrinkle; crease, small fold

First Known Use: 1676

Sources: Thesaurus.com,  Merriam-Webster, My Etymology

Why This Word:

When we think of wrinkled, we think of something old, damaged, something that was once smooth and that we would prefer would be still: wrinkled paper, clothing, skin. Wrinkle itself comes from an original Proto-Germanic root meaning defect, problem. In our youth obsessed culture any of the signs of senescence will surely be problematized. So wrinkle is not just an adjective describing a state of being, but a verb, describing a process. Wrinkle happens to something.

But I love rugosa roses. They're hardy, grow on their own root stock, salt resistant and, while not as showy as the floribundas, surely put on a better show than many of the flowering shrubs that would grow in like conditions. They take their names from their rugose leaves. Not wrinkled by age, but by design, and all the more beautiful for it.

If you hear the word rugose used, it's probably in connection with the roses or corrals. This desuetude, however, means that rugose does not carry the cultural baggage of wrinkled, providing us a way to describe the texture without the judgment.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Wednesday, September 22, 2010


se•nes•cence \si-ˈne-sən(t)s\   n

1.  the process of growing old, especially the condition resulting from the transitions and accumulations of the deleterious aging processes.
2. the growth phase in a plant or plant part (as a leaf) from full maturity to death
senescent adjective

Senior, senile and senate all share the Latin root senex


• The processes induced by photoperiodism are called "senescence", which is a term for the collective process that lead to the aging and death of a plant or plant part, like a leaf. Senescence is a part of the larger process by which a plant goes into dormancy. There is more involved than the gradual reduction of growth.

• In general terms, leaf senescence is a way for a deciduous plant to prepare for winter and recycle some of the valuable and often scarce mineral nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Leaf senescence is also a way to to get rid of old and photosynthetically less efficient leaves in both deciduous and evergreen plants.


senescent, from Latin senescent-, senescens, present participle of senescere to grow old, from sen-, senex old

First Known Use: 1695

Sources: Merriam-Webster, MW Medical,

Why This Word:

Happy Autumnal Equinox (at 11:09 this evening)!

With the leaves just starting to turning, the nights getting cooler and my own birthday soon upon me, I suppose it only natural to think about senescence. But it's a word so seldom used that one ubiquitously hears it referred to instead as the aging process. When a word can stand in for a phrase, that's a sure sign that it has added to our power of expression.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Tuesday, September 21, 2010


sump•tu•ary \ˈsəm(p)-chə-ˌwer-ē\   adj


1: relating to personal expenditures and especially to prevent extravagance and luxury <conservative sumptuary tastes — John Cheever>
2: designed to regulate extravagant expenditures or habits especially on moral or religious grounds <sumptuary laws> <sumptuary tax>


Shares a root with sumptuous and consumption.


• Some have called the purchase of carbon offsets the moral equivalent of buying ”indulgences” from the medieval Catholic church. Others have compared it to the men who paid substitutes to fight for them in the Civil War.  There is some truth in both comparisons. I would like to enter a third comparison: the sumptuary laws. Sumptuary laws were much in vogue during the medieval times as well as periods of time in colonial America. February 2007

• This Article assesses intellectual property law’s emerging role as a modern form of sumptuary law. The Article observes that we have begun to rely on certain areas of intellectual property law to provide us with the means to preserve our conventional system of consumption-based social distinction, our sumptuary code, in the face of incipient social and technological conditions that threaten the viability of this code. January 2010

• Throughout history, societies have used sumptuary laws for a variety of purposes. They attempted to regulate the balance of trade by limiting the market for expensive imported goods. They were also an easy way to identify social rank and privilege, and often were used for social discrimination. Wikipedia


Latin sumptuarius, from sumptus expense, from sumere to take, spend
First Known Use: 1600
This word began its life as one of the adjectives of the now defunct noun, sumpt, which meant "expenditure". The other adjective is sumptuous "expensive, costly". The person in charge of expenditures may be called the sumptuary, which makes a plural, sumptuaries, possible, as in a gathering of the company sumptuaries. alphaDictionary

Sources: Merriam-Webster

Why This Word

While the root word suggests that sumptuary would refer to being related to an expenditure, in modern usage it seems completely wedded to law. Sumptuary laws have a long history and people, in modern western cultures, tend to think of them as a relic of the past or limited relevance in the present. The idea of regulating personal consumption is today so thoroughly discredited that when the word is used contemporaneously, it's as a criticism.

But that is something of a lie. All but the most hardcore libertarian accepts a large variety of regulations of personal expenditures. A law banning the wearing of silk scarves would be sumptuary laws, but law banning the wearing of scarves by Muslim women? Laws banning eating cakes, yes; laws banning trans-fats? Laws banning recreational drug use?

However, as the examples suggest, when we do use sumptuary in a modern context, it in a way that deliberately seeks to expand the meaning. Whatever one thinks of the logical connection between historical sumptuary laws and carbon trading, applying sumptuary to corporate pollution emission controls would not have made sense to the Edwardians. But as we expand more and more the idea of personhood to corporations, it would only make sense that corporate regulations would be viewed through the lense of sumptuary laws.

Thus, the use of sumptuary has become in itself a political act. We use it to differentiate ourselves from the past. We use it to differentiate necessary restrictions of use and consumption from incorrect moralizing. And in that it becomes a prism that refracts the spectrum of the contemporary debate of the role of government in regulating expenditures.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

Word of The Day for Monday, September 20, 2010


ad·um·brate   / adəm brāt/   /ə dəm-/    v
1.      to foreshadow vaguely : intimate
2.      to suggest, disclose, or outline partially <adumbrate a plan>
3.      overshadow, obscure

adumbrated past participle;   adumbrated past tense;   adumbrating present participle;   adumbrates 3rd person singular present
adumbration noun; adumbrative adjective; adumbratively adverb

  • Report or represent in outline
    • James Madison adumbrated the necessity that the Senate be somewhat insulated from public passions
  • Indicate faintly
    • the walls were not more than adumbrated by the meager light
  • Foreshadow or symbolize
    • what qualities in Christ are adumbrated by the vine?
  • Overshadow
    • her happy reminiscences were adumbrated by consciousness of something else
  • Of all this Howells was equally exemplar and critic. If his novels filled the air, so did his doctrines. The monthly articles which he wrote for “The Editor’s Study” in Harper’s Magazine between 1886 and 1891, though many of them were too timely to have survived, adumbrate the labors he performed on behalf of realism. 1921


Latin adumbratus sketched, outlined, past participle of adumbrare to shade or sketch in outline, from ad- + umbra shadow
First Known Use: 1581

Why This Word

The word has a delicious irony behind it: it precisely describes imprecise description. But it is also shadowy in itself. Whatever denotative meaning adumbrate carries in context, it is overcast connotatively by its other meanings - a sketchy outline which is meant to conceal as much as it reveals, shadows and much as it illuminates. Adumbrate calls into question, by implication, the motives of the descriptor. Is the plan merely incipient or intentionally vague? Contrast the jeopardy of the person buying into an adumbrated plan with the protection offered by the coverage of an umbrella - a word drawn from the same root. Is being shaded protective? Depends on what we are being shaded from.

Word of The Day for Sunday, September 19, 2010


(pan-dik-yoo-LA-shen)   /pan- dik-yə- lā-shən/  (pæn dɪkjʊ leɪʃən)    n
  1. the act of stretching and yawning, esp on waking
  2. a stretching and stiffening especially of the trunk and extremities (as when fatigued and drowsy or after waking from sleep)
  3. a yawn
  • 1880, Tandy L. Dix, The Healthy Infant: A Treatise on the Healthy Procreation of the Human Race, page 82: ... we must pandiculate or stretch, in order to restore the equipoise of these two sets of muscles.
  • 1893, Dr. Hoskins, "Osteo-Porosis Discussion", The Journal of Comparative Medicine and Veterinary Archives, January 1893, page 404: ... and one of the earliest symptoms that I have noticed in a great number of cases is, that when you pandiculate them they show a great tenderness,
  • a. 1909, Frederick William Rolfe, Don Renato: An Ideal Content, page 26: Moreover, the intellect of the said examples being equal to their pulchritude, they relax, they pandiculate their members, they rest their bodies,
  • 2002, Steven Sherrill, The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, page 151:Rick shifts in his seat. "If I don't eat soon I may have to pandiculate," he says.
  • 2009, October, Frans de Waal, “Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect”[1], Discover: I once attended a lecture on involuntary pandiculation (the medical term for stretching and yawning) with slides of horses, lions, and monkeys—and soon the entire audience was pandiculating.
1640–50; < L pandiculāt ( us ) ptp. of pandiculārī  to stretch oneself, deriv. of pandere  to stretch

Sources: Dictionary.com , Wiktionary

Why This Word

We all do it: stretch, yawn, move from slumber to wakefulness. Or maybe we're trying to revive ourselves from the midday sleepies. Or perhaps it's day's end but we are nowhere near home and we need to rally ourselves until we can fall into bed. It's a word that describes both action and purpose, effort and effect, albeit by implication. Yes, it has its narrower technical meaning. But I like the full image of the person pulling themselves up in the morning, stretching, letting out a a big yawn, engaging in this most human of activities, that has a word.

Word of The Day for Saturday, September 18, 2010


ō-nē-ō-kə-lā'zē-ə        n


:  The purchasing of objects as a form of mental relaxation 

Usage example

  • Bellboy: Sir, that woman is pulling at her hair, is bright red and screaming at other guests. Should I have her removed?
    Concierge: No, that is our favourite customer at the gift shop. She practices oniochalasia. Watch what happens now.
    Bellboy: Well she is attacking the shop keeper and tearing up the postcards of our hotel.
    Concierge: No problem, give her a minute.
    Bellboy: She seems to have stopped.
    Concierge: Yes and now she is about to purchase 12 our most expensive glass statues of the Burj al Arab.
    Bellboy: Incredible.
    Concierge: Never underestimate the value of oniochalasia on one’s pocket.
    Feb 18, 2010 -   HotelierMiddleEast.com


Greek onio-, sell, for sale; chalasia, the relaxation of a ring of muscle (as the cardiac sphincter of the esophagus) surrounding a bodily opening


Related Words: oniomania, oniomaniac

Sources: Wiktionary, Dictionary.com, English Word Information, Answers.com

Why This Word

Here is an obscure word unused in everyday speech that describes a very common phenomenon for which there is no common word. It begs the question, given our consumer culture, why we seem so reluctant to name this thing: shopping as recreation. A good word gives us the ability to describe something no other word does. That ability is power to know and understand the thing being described. Perhaps it is too unwieldy a word to ever serve that purpose. But until a better candidate comes along, this is a word that we need.

Word of The Day for Friday, September 17, 2010


in·cip·i·ent adj


in·cip·i·ent   (ĭn-sĭp'ē-ənt) pronunciation


: beginning to come into being or to become apparent <an incipient solar system> <evidence of incipient racial tension>
in·cip·i·ent·ly adverb


  1. The project is still in its incipient stages.
  2. <I have an incipient dislike and distrust of that guy, and I only met him this morning.>

Usage examples

  • Bernanke told Congress last week that a "relapse in financial conditions would be a significant drag on economic activity and cause the incipient recovery to stall."
    May 13, 2009 -  Ben Bernanke -  Bloomberg

  • In his 1873 book, "Lombard Street," British financial journalist Walter Bagehot described how fear spreads in financial circles: "Incipient panic starts with a 'vague conversation.' People are talked about every day, [and] as a panic grows, this...
    Aug 18, 2007 -  Walter Bagehot -  Washington Post

  • Last week, Brent Scowcroft, Bush Sr.'s national security adviser and until recently a member of Bush Jr.'s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, said, "We may be seeing an incipient civil war at the present time."


Latin incipient-, incipiens, present participle of incipere to begin — more at inception
First Known Use: 1669


Sources: Merriam Webster

Why This Word

It's the first post in a blog in a suprisingly uncrowded field of blogs about words. The blog itself is still becoming. I'm still ironing out the format, figuring out the layout and look. Incipient seemed to capture not just the initiality of the moment but also the ongoing process of becoming. There is, too, I think the implicit notion of promise. An incipient thing isn't just becoming, it's becoming something.  It is moving towards. It is revealing its eventual form and nature. It is beginning to show what it will be. Here's hoping that it was a word well chosen.