Word of the Week: Essence

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and soul-searching lately and one of the questions I asked myself was: what is the essence of who I am? That’s going to take a long time to figure out, if I ever do, but I thought it would be a good word for this week. Essence is the name of a magazine, a perfume/cologne, and a cosmetics company, among other things. But the name for each of these products/companies was chosen for a reason, so I dove in to find the meaning of essence. I don’t know that this information will help me in my soul-searching, but being a word nerd I always find word origins, and sometimes an unexpected definition, interesting.

essence

noun

  1. the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing or its significant individual feature or features: e.g., Freedom is the very essence of our democracy.
    2. a substance obtained from a plant, drug, or the like, by distillation, infusion, etc., and containing its characteristic properties in concentrated form.
    3. an alcoholic solution of an essential oil; spirit.
    4. a perfume; scent.
  2. philosophy. the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc.
    6. something that exists, especially a spiritual or immaterial entity.

Idioms

  1. in essence: essentially; at bottom, often despite appearances: e.g., For all his bluster, he is, in essence, a shy person.
  2. of the essence: absolutely essential; critical; crucial: e.g., In chess, cool nerves are of the essence.

Origin of essence

1350-1400: Middle English essencia from Medieval Latin essentia from Latin esse (to be).

Synonyms

substance, spirit, lifeblood, heart, principle, soul, core.

Source: Dictionary.com Unabridged

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016

 

#etymology, #weekly

Prompt for Shutterbug Showcase (Thursday, May 5th)

The prompt for Shutterbug Showcase would be shared a few days earlier to allow you time to click the picture. Please remember to tag your post ‘photopost’.

Because this is the first post, so starting with giving two prompts this week –  Continue reading

#feedback, #photopost, #weekly

Confirmed Schedule for May’s Weekly Features

Here’s the Confirmed Schedule for May’s Weekly Features

Continue reading

#feedback, #schedule, #weekly

Weekly Schedule for May 2016

Nominations now open for the weekly features schedule of weekly features from May 1st – May 31st.

Continue reading

#guestfeature, #schedule, #weekly

Prompt for Friday Feature 100 Words Story!

Hi all,

This time, we have quite a few members who are interested in participating the 100 words story. That’s quite heartening because more the participants, more  the stories for us to read. And, I am in a particularly generous mood. 😛
So, just to spice things up a bit, here are not one but TWO prompts for you to choose from.

The prompt/theme for 100 Words Story are: Addiction OR Euphoria.

Choose any one of the above themes and write a story in 100 words. You could publish it your own blog or here on the forum.
If you decide to publish it on your blog, pingback to this post
If you publish it here, please make it a sticky post and remember to use these tags – #weekly #100wordsstory

Happy Friday and Happy Writing everyone!

Barb @barbct and Vanessa @vnajac are already confirmed to be attempting this challenge. Please do read their stories and share your feedback via comments, even if you don’t partake in the challenge yourself.

#weekly

Word of the Week – Plebeian

Has anyone ever called you a pleb or have you heard someone refer to something as plebeian?

ple·be·ian (plĭ-bē′ən)

adjective: 1. Of or relating to the common people of ancient Rome; 2. Of, belonging to, or characteristic of, commoners; 3. Unrefined or coarse in nature or manner; common or vulgar: plebeian tastes.

Used in a sentence: The millionaire called the hotel a plebeian accommodation because it did not offer room service.

noun – pleb:  1. One of the common people of ancient Rome; 2. A member of the lower classes; 3. A vulgar or coarse person.

Used in a sentence: The pleb got on his knees and begged the prince for money to buy food for his family.


Latin plēbēi(us) of the plebs (adj. derivative of plēbē(s) plebs) + -an, the common people

Plebeian first appeared in English in 1533 with reference to Roman history, meaning ‘a Roman commoner’, or ‘a member of the plebs’. The plebs were the mass of ordinary people in the Roman Republic as distinct from the loftier nobles (or patricians) who ruled as senators and consuls and claimed descent from the original citizen families of Ancient Rome.

The word was already pejorative in the original Latin – apparently nobody wants to be a mere commoner – and the more negative sense of ‘a person not of noble or privileged rank’ was born almost simultaneously in English. It’s now mainly derogatory, used for ‘a person of low social status, a common or vulgar person’.

The first shortened use, pleb, appeared in 1795, in a play (Life’s Vagaries) by the Irish writer, John O’Keeffe: You’re under my roof, you pleb.

This short plosive monosyllable has been popular ever since, in both the neutral sense (a member of the ordinary people or working classes) and the loaded (an unsophisticated or uncultured person).

If anything, plebeian and pleb seem to have gained in derogatory force over the years, so that now we are most likely to take them as slights. Certainly, the colloquial shortening to pleb adds a curtness which sounds peculiarly offensive to our modern ears. Perhaps with less rigid class divisions and social boundaries than before, we are even more sensitive to being consigned to the lowliest of them – especially so in class-conscious Britain. And yet pleb, like its near-equivalent, plebe, is also a colloquial status putdown in the U.S., used within the strict hierarchies of military academies to denote a low-ranking newbie, ‘a new cadet at a military or naval academy’.


 In Britain, where classes are still important to many today, public schools of the 18th and 19th centuries deliberately modeled themselves on ancient Greece and Rome. In public school parlance, a pleb was a pupil who was not a member of the landed classes. As these public schoolboys left school to run the British Empire, it seems they took the word with them to describe the lower orders.

These days, the word is mostly used by somebody about themselves as a mark of false modesty, such as, “I’m such a pleb when it comes to modern art.” It’s rarer to hear pleb used as an insult, although chef Gordon Ramsay used it to put down rival restaurateur Sir Terence Conran in 2003, saying  “I think he is a pleb. I would rather have food at my four-year-old daughter’s prep school than eat at Quaglino’s.”

It’s similar to some sex- or race-based insults, where it’s OK to use it of oneself, but certainly not OK to use it of someone else.

And the British government has been accused several times of alluding to the word. In 2011, an agency released a newsletter highlighting the problem of what it described as People Lacking Everyday Basic Skills. Once people figured out the full import of the acronym, the agency found itself in a heap of trouble.

#etymology, #weekly-features #weekly

Calling Word-Nerds for May

We are looking to fill the Word Nerd calendar for May. Please reply and let me know what dates you would like. I will take whatever date doesn’t get picked. Does ANYONE ELSE want to write about a favorite word? Don’t be shy. You don’t have to be a word nerd just to join in the fun. Just reply to this post.

Do you want/need a reminder as your date approaches? I’ll happily send reminders to whomever needs. Please state in your reply.

4/18 Barb
4/25 Ananya
5/2 Lula Harp
5/9 Barb @barbct
5/16 amommasview
5/23 Ananya
5/30 (FYI, Memorial Day) xaranahara

A couple reminders, and I’m guilty of remembering these as well. Please remember to tag your post #etymology, #weekly so they will show up those categories. Also, when you post, there are 3 dots in the upper right hand corner, please click on that and “stick post to home”. The admins will unstick the next day.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for expanding our vocabulary!

@barbct
@mkjackie99
@ananyabha
@brendablagdon
@sashay909
@piyushavir
@wynstep

Word of the Week: Exhaust

I think the thing that has surprised me most about being in my 40’s is the sheer exhaustion and strength it takes to recover. Recover from an injury, day out working in the yard, staying out too late, or drinking too much. It exhausts me, and then takes me days, weeks, or months to recover.

There was once the day I would fall and immediately bounce back up. I’d brush myself off and continue on like nothing had happened. Now when I fall, a bruise sets in, followed by aches I’ve never know, and then I am limited by what I can do the next day.

Yesterday I spent a beautiful day in the sun, working at the barn. Scraping railings and painting. Today Coe and I are gimpy and napping all day. We got out for a short walk, but immediately came home for a nap like we hadn’t slept in a week.

Etymology:  Latin exhaust- participial stem of exhaurīre (an obsolete word meaning to draw out or forth.  Exhaust first used in 1540.

The more common definition of exhaust that we are accustomed to was found in 1541:

To use up completely (either a material or immaterial thing); to expend the whole of; to consume entirely

Exhaustion as I am referring to:

The state of being exhausted of strength, energy, etc.; extreme loss of strength.

a1639    H. Wotton Let. in  Reliquiæ Wottonianæ(1672) 334   Great exhaustions cannot be cured with sudden remedies.

Ginger kitty is fully recovered from her injury and is allowed on the patio while I’m home. Not necessarily supervised, but if something happens, at least I know about it. She, Coe and I have spent our Sunday moving from sunny spot to shade, soft chair to the floor, and from one room to another. I really don’t know when this magical transformation took place and I’m honestly too exhausted to ponder it more. Holy moly I’ve used up all the energy I had stored typing this up.

Do you have a 6 word story for exhaustion? I have two for you.

I’m too exhausted to get up.
This is a perfect napping spot.

#weekly, #etymology

(@barbct, here is a reminder you are up next monday)

Prompt for Sunday’s 13 Words Story

Hi Story-tellers,

Here’s the prompt for this Sunday’s (April 10th) 13 Words Story – Feral

feral

So, go on and weave your word magic, spin the tale and tell us a wildly imaginative story in 13 words 🙂

#13wordsstory  #weekly

@sasmiths1112 @jahnavichintakunta @iamdonovan @iamabloggertoo @notionlux @haripriyakm @vikrambishla @xaranahara @feelings161 @myesteriousgirlneerja @barbct @vnajac @darshith0000 @fjjjuneau @nicolaauckland @srinathtk86 @ishitarc1908 @wordscoffeeandlacedresses @mkjackie99 @jsackmom @kingsoracle @gutsy4 @whatsandrathinks @arpitastravelblog @rugwed @ranu802 @booksandothermiracles @mumbletymuse @myesteriousgirlneerja @noorainsobiya @lulaharp @dalees107 @foodeezjunction @jaipurthrumylens @avenscent @joseelavallee @raniamanda @arwen1968

Ideas Required for New Weekly Feature

Thursdays are now free, with the Grammar and Punctuation feature coming to its natural end.
Currently, the day is being used to share a variety of interesting guest posts spanning different topics and genres.

From May onwards, we could start a new feature. A few of us have been bandying about some interesting ideas in the comment section of this post.

Would urge more people to join in the discussion, give more ideas, or feedback and suggestion on the existing ones.

Some ideas that have already been suggested are –

  1. Photo Feature (this seems to be the most favoured one as of now) – We have two suggestions for this feature.
    One is that every week, there would be a new theme. Members can share old or new pictures on that theme or their interpretation of it. (This would be quite similar to Daily Post’s WPC but the difference being that we’ll throw in additional restrictions or challenges to make it fun)
    Second idea is that we can do a photo post on people. Similar to Humans of New York and its various off-shoots. Members would be free to share photographs of people around them. It may or may not be accompanied by a written story. You could either take new pictures (with prior permission, of course) or share old ones along with a personal story of how that person (whether a kind deed of a stranger or a major influence of a known friend or relative) impacted your life.
    This feature may even inspire others to share their stories and could become a great starting point for more participation and conversations, on this forum.
  2. World Personalities – similar to Author Story. To ensure peace and harmony on this forum, we’ll have to keep the subject of Politics off limits. 😀 Focus should be on personalities from the world of Music, Sports, Art & Architecture, Business and Economics, Subjects like Mathematics, Philosophy, Religion, Astronomy etc.
  3. Travel Articles – Could be general articles on travel, or a specific place, or a travel review. One need not be a travel blogger to attempt this. Personal stories of a family vacation are welcome too.

All of these posts could be shared on your own blog, but since it is for a weekly feature for this forum, it would be nice if you would ‘Reblog’. that would also increase the visibility of this forum. Else, if you decide to post it on your blog, that’s fine too. But it would be nice to do it a couple of days later.

So the above is what has already been discussed.

@pamkirst2014 @ishitarc1908 @niyati16 @sashay909 @kristinavanhoos @meloheart @santoshnc @whatsandrathinks @foodeezjunction @surbhisachdeva89 @feelings161 @wordscoffeeandlacedresses @darshith0000 @srinathtk86 @robertmgoldstein @dalees107 @xaranahara @lulaharp @anandartist @ananyabha @brendablagdon @beckybwinch @myusername432 @barbct @beckyaluoch @cathylynnbrooks @celiacathlete @mumbletymuse @neildsilva @neatusername @noorainsobiya @nicolaauckland @mkjackie99 @jaipurthrumylens @vnajac @vellissima @notionlux @vellissima @laikassuvaikais @jsackmom @clockworkindigo @flightscarlet @sasmiths1112 @startingtheclimb @honestme363 @icerene01 @myesteriousgirlneerja @ohmyglai @onetarhayes @fictionalkevin @indira2412 @jahnavichintakunta @iamdonovan @wwwpalfitness @arwen1968
Any one who I’ve missed tagging is also welcome to join, please.

I request you all to join in and come up with new and interesting ideas for the feature or share your suggestions in this thread, so we can all take part in the discussion at one place.

Once we have a general consensus and can come to 2 or 3 most favoured ones, we can then take a poll to see which one to run the feature with.

What do you think? What will work and what won’t? Do share your thoughts.

#idea #feedback #discussion #weekly-features