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Monday, February 16, 2009

Vocabulary word of the day

I have a friend who is quite intelligent when it comes to the English language. She introduces new vocabulary to me in almost every conversation we have - whether it be verbal or through email or IM. For example, just today she used a word in our IM conversation that I didn't know, so I had to go to to get the definition. Yes, most of the time I can figure out what the word means depending on the context....but she stumps me quite often!

So, the vocabulary word of the day, thanks to Coralie (and, is:


a bitter, sharply abusive denunciation, attack, or criticism:
A bitter, abusive denunciation.

Word History: Listening to a lengthy diatribe may seem like a waste of time, an attitude for which there is some etymological justification. The Greek word diatribē, the ultimate source of our word, is derived from the verb diatrībein, made up of the prefix dia-, "completely," and trībein, "to rub," "to wear away, spend, or waste time," "to be busy." The verb diatrībein meant "to rub hard," "to spend or waste time," and the noun diatribē meant "wearing away of time, amusement, serious occupation, study," as well as "discourse, short ethical treatise or lecture, debate, argument." It is the serious occupation of time in discourse, lecture, and debate that gave us the first use of diatribe recorded in English (1581), in the now archaic sense "discourse, critical dissertation." The critical element of this kind of diatribe must often have been uppermost, explaining the origin of the current sense of diatribe, "a bitter criticism."

Let me clear things up to say that she wasn't using this word in any way other than in titling her own words to me through her IM.


Laura said...

I just knew it had to be Coralie when I started reading this.

~Mad said...

lease, oh please...become a "word lover" - we used to keep a dictionary at the dinner table - for immediate answers.

Colloquialisms are good too - mine are totally different from my stepson and vice versa - thank God for the Internet.


~Mad said...

Learn to correct typos before hitting "publish"...another good skill.

lifemoreabundant said...

What I meant was: "Okay that was a long, negative sentence that took up your time needlessly when you had already told me that you were about to begin laundry."

But that would have been another long negative sentence to apologize for the first long negative sentence.

Just like this is a really long comment to apologize for using the word diatribe.