The Generalist

Category: Language

Total 25 Posts

Weekly Word: Steppe

From The Free Dictionary: A vast semiarid grass-covered plain, as found in southeast Europe, Siberia, and central North America. I wanted to do this word because, quite frankly, though I have had a number of ecology classes over the years, I never really felt like I grasped the meaning. Numerous…

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Weekly Word: Mallard

Ok, someone recently asked me about this, so I decided a Weekly Word on it might not be a bad idea. A mallard is a species of duck, specifically¬†Anas platyrhynchos. It is the most common species of duck and tends to live in close proximity to man, so if you’ve…

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Weekly Word: Bureaucracy

We have all heard the word, but do we really know what it means? It certainly has a negative connotation, but for me this word was a little fuzzy – so I looked it up in my trusty Dictionary of Difficult Words. Here is what I think is the typical…

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Weekly Word: Condominium

Most people will be familiar with definition #1 of this word (from The Free Online Dictionary:): a. A building or complex in which units of property, such as apartments, are owned by individuals and common parts of the property, such as the grounds and building structure, are owned jointly by…

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Weekly Word: Paling

From The Free Online Dictionary: One of a row of upright pointed sticks forming a fence; a pale. Pointed sticks used in making fences; pales. A fence made of pales or pickets. From Asimov’s Chronology of the World: The English established themselves at first only about the area of Dublin….

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Weekly Word: Ruminant

Although I easily guessed this word from the context in which it appeared, and would perhaps recognize it in many contexts, I cannot say I would be able to recall it while writing. Notice the irony of the word’s double meaning. From Oxford American Dictionaries: An even toed ungulate mammal…

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Weekly Word

In my studies I often come across words that I have heard before but I do not know the precise definition of. In many cases, the context gives me a good idea, but I find that even with words that I am very familiar with and use in my own…

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Beginner’s Doublespeak: Equivocations

Doublespeak is a type of logical fallacy known as equivocation. Equivocation is the use in a logical argument of a word that has two or more distinct meanings. The purpose of using Doublespeak is to evade real debate by confusing or obfuscating. In any spoken language, words naturally change over…

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My Italian Diary

As I mentioned before, the Generalist is undergoing a big reorganization and upgrade right now. As the upgrade progresses, new sites will be coming online that will explore some of the topics covered here, but in more detail. I recently launched Learning Languages where you can access a nifty tool…

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Learning Languages

I’ve just launched a new website called Learning Languages where you can use a nifty Site Pal audio pronunciation guide if you are ever wondering how to pronounce a word in English, Italian, Spanish, French or German. I’m having some problems with Firefox at the moment, but if you are…

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