Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Words I had to look up

(The first of a series. I look up words all the time, and if I post some of them here, maybe I'll remember them better!)

soi-disant (SWAH-dee-ZAHn) (nasal French "n" sound there at the end), adjective.
So-called or self-proclaimed. "The soi-disant superstar seems not to realize her fame has significantly waned."

autochthones (ah-TAHK-thuh-neez), plural noun. (You should have heard the way I was trying to pronounce this one before I looked it up. Frightening!)
People or living things that are native to a region. "When I arrived with my conquering force, the autochthones were surprisingly unwelcoming." (From Greek chthon = earth.)

chthonic (THAH-nik), adjective.
Relating to the underworld. (Same Greek root.)


Lisa said...

Other excellent goodies here, from a guy who spent a year reading the OED. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93170569

Tamary said...

Wow. Thanks for the great link, Lisa. As much as I like to look up words, I don't think I would ever read the whole dictionary. (Although I'd love to OWN the complete OED!)

Lisa said...

Just found another good reference for, um, references. http://lisagoldresearch.wordpress.com/

I especially appreciate the style rules she quotes for the correct use of the word "utilize." When to use it? Never! Amen and amen!

(One of the first things I do with training materials that cross my way is do a Find & Replace and change every "utilize" to "use.")

Tamary said...

I fervently agree about "utilize" and I wish you good luck in your campaign against it.

One of my peeves is "at this point in time." Half the time you could say "now" or "right now," and half the time you don't need to say anything.