Words of the day: Coruscating, Corrupting, Charlatan

Let’s start with dictionary definition of the words coruscating, corrupting and charlatan.

coruscating : adjective
1) flashing; sparkling
2) severely critical; scathing.

corrupting : verb
1) cause to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain
2) change or debase by making errors or unintentional alterations

charlatan : noun
1) a pretender to medical skill : quack
2) one making usually showy pretenses to knowledge or ability : fraud, faker.

Fun is using the words in sentences. Below is my humble attempt

His supporters came from far and wide hoping to witness coruscating brilliance, they left convinced he was just a charlatan with corrupting influence. Sigh! 😢🙏

Word of the day: metrics

Today’s word is metrics. Below are dictionary meanings of the word metrics.

  1. the use or study of poetic meters
  2. a method of measuring something, or the results obtained from this.

The word is used in the context of poetry (to study patterns of rhythm and word) and in a more widely used context to describe standard/parameters used for measurement.

Now for some context on why metrics is the word of the day. A gent, known for his sharpie mind, was asked about metrics in his presentation. He pointed to his head to indicate that’s where it all lay. I had a kind of Eureka moment as I thought I discovered “Metrics = Me + tricks” as in mind tricks. Thinking I had hit the jackpot began searching for the origin of the word in support of my discovery. Haven’t found it yet 😦 Can someone help please?

Words of the day: kludge, googol!

Today’s words are kludge and googol. First the dictionary meaning

kludge: An ill-assorted collection of parts assembled to fulfill a particular purpose

googol: Number that is equivalent to ten raised to the power of a hundred

Strikingly both words have their own Wikipedia entries in addition to being in English dictionary

kludge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kludge
googol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googol

A little bit of personal experience/anecdote (without that nothing is interesting that much, right 😀 ): I first heard about “kludge” when I was working on one IT project and came across a use case scenario that did not appear to be addressed in the solution for the problem. When I reached out to Business Analyst his first response after looking at it was “It’s a design kludge!”
googol became more widely known thanks to Google which appears to be a variation or misspell of that word (Hey, we are Americans and very resourceful. If a word does not exist we will create it and make sure it gets into dictionary. No less than as a verb too 😀 )

Finally, let me try to put together both words in a sentence.

With the possibility that people numbering in googols might be infected by the new virus the official response so far can be described as an attempt to kludge something together rather than a well thought out effort

P.S. I know googol is a bit of hyperbole but we live in an age where overplaying or underplaying seems to be the norm and what is a few googols between friends, right? 😉 I follow the dictum of a wise person who said “Never let a googol or two come in the way of a good story”. You might ask who that “wise guy” is. Of course, it’s The Raj 😀 I listen to myself a lot. There can be no better tribute to current leadership than that 🙂

Phrase of the day: Writer’s block

Over the past few years I have tried to make it a habit to write and post during weekends, most times Saturday morning when I am up early, to record whatever thought is occupying my mind before it’s forgotten and replaced by others. It’s my way of challenging and imposing some kind of discipline on myself. As usual I got up early last Saturday with one key difference: Just couldn’t bring myself to think abut what to write!

Which brings us to phrase of the day: Writer’s block

It’s defined as “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing”

Now, let me see if I can put the phrase to use without being afflicted by it 😀

Over the weekend I woke up early with the intent of writing only to experience writer’s block as I just couldn’t think of writing about anything despite the fact I have created series like “Fun with words”, “Is it just me?”, “What would I otherwise like to do for a living” etc. that can very well be added to when original thoughts run dry 🙂

Idiom of the day: Walk and chew gum

In recent times an idiom that has been heard very often and almost beaten to death is “Walk and chew gum”. Most times it’s been used by lawmakers on TV.
The idiom describes ability to do multiple things at the same time.

Whenever I hear that phrase I immediately shout back “Do that by all means but make sure it’s a sugar-free gum please!” 😀
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and lawmakers may be well covered under their health insurance plan but we don’t want the price for that passed on to regular folks.


Word of the day: turpitude, Idiom of the day: joined at the hip

For a change we have a word and an idiom today

Word of the day: turpitude
Dictionary meaning of turpitude is depravity; wickedness.
Almost always I have seen this word used with moral. “moral turpitude” is commonly used to describe a person’s descent into unacceptable behavior. Per Wikipedia moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States and prior to 1976, Canada, that refers to “an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community”. This term appears in U.S. immigration law beginning in the 19th century. moral and turpitude seem inseparable. Which brings us to the idiom of the day

Idiom of the day: joined at the hip
Used to describe the relationship between people. If two persons are described as being joined at the hip it means they are closely connected; always together

Now for the fun part: Using the word and idiom in a sentence!

Julie Anne, accused of moral turpitude, claimed whatever she did was at the insistence of Ronald which would make it appear both of them are joined at the hip

Words of the day : Juggernaut, Catamaran

Today’s words, juggernaut and catamaran, are of Indian origin.

Juggernaut dictionary definition : A huge, powerful, and overwhelming force or institution.
Origin (source Wikipedia): The English loanword juggernaut in the sense of “a huge wagon bearing an image of a Hindu god” is from the seventeenth century, inspired by the Jagannatha Temple in Puri, Odisha (Orissa), which has the Ratha Yatra (“chariot procession”), an annual procession of chariots carrying the statues of God. The word is derived from the Sanskrit/Odia Jagannātha , combining jagata (“world”) and natha (“lord”), which is one of the names of Krishna found in the Sanskrit epics.

Catamaran dictionary definition : A yacht or other boat with twin hulls in parallel
Origin (source Wikipedia): Catamaran is from a Tamil word, kattumaram, which means “logs tied together”. A catamaran (informally, a “cat”) is a multi-hulled watercraft featuring two parallel hulls of equal size. It is a geometry-stabilized craft, deriving its stability from its wide beam, rather than from a ballasted keel as with a monohull sailboat.

Fun is in usage. Below is an attempt

To avoid the juggernaut caused by devotees packing the roads of Indian port city Puri during the Jagannatha Rath Yatra some visitors for the festival preferred to travel to the city by sea in a catamaran

East is East, and West is West, and the Twain shall meet

The Twain met in 2015 on the west shore of the writers’ beloved Mississippi river in Dubuque, IA when Raj and family drove in from east of the river and visited the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium!
Thought the East and West part fit in with Easterner/s driving in from East of the river meeting with Westerner on West side of the river and the fact that the phrase “West/East of the Mississippi” is sometimes symbolically used as demarcation for Western and Eastern parts of the country 🙂

Words of the day: Debrief, Brief

Debrief dictionary definition below

verb : question (someone, typically a soldier or spy) about a completed mission or undertaking.
noun : a series of questions about a completed mission or undertaking.

Brief dictionary definition below

adjective : of short duration.
noun: a concise statement or summary.
verb: instruct or inform (someone) thoroughly, especially in preparation for a task.

Fun is in usage. Below is an attempt

Members of the committee, selected to debrief the counsel, were surprised when he did not exceed his brief by sticking to his script and kept his response brief

Words of the day: Bindaas, Jhakaas!

In a nod to the city I grew up in, Bombay (or Mumbai as it is officially known now) in India, the words of the day are: Bindaas, Jhakaas!

Meaning of the words:

Bindaas: independent and carefree; admirable, cool.

Jhakaas (not to be confused with jackass 😀 ): excellent

A bit of background helps. Bombay like other great cities is a melting pot. Everything is bigger compared to the smaller towns. Business, employment opportunities, commute times, real estate price, entertainment, hustle and bustle, getting to meet folks from different backgrounds etc. People from all over the country come to the city and enrich the cultural fabric with their own language, culture and traditions. The effect of which is spawning of a culture which is a bit of everything that is also uniquely Bombayish 🙂 The city’s version of national language Hindi is also influenced by locally spoken language, Marathi, further influenced by languages spoken by people from other parts of the country. Bombayites/Mumbaikars are proud of their own lingo: Bambaiya Hindi 🙂 The original Hindi speaking people may consider calling what is spoken as Hindi a sacrilege but who cares, language is just for communication, right? 😀
Inevitably some of the Bambaiya Hindi lingo has made its way to Bollywood movies too as Bombay is home to the very popular Bollywood entertainment industry. Bindaas and jhakaas have made it to Bollywood movies too! Bindaas is generally used in a positive way to suggest something fearless yet not reckless. Jhakaas is used to convey one’s extremely positive reaction about a place, event etc.

Usage of bindaas in sentence

Person 1: क्या मैं यह करून? (Shall I do it?)
Person 2: बिंदास करो (Do it bindaas!)

Usage of Jhakaas in sentence

Person 1: फिल्म कैसे थी? (How was the movie?)
Person 2: एकदम झकास (Absolutely excellent!)

Interestingly I see bindaas has made it to Oxford English dictionary! Wouldn’t be too long before jhakaas also makes it there. Strength in numbers certainly doesn’t hurt (roughly one in seven world citizen is an Indian or of Indian origin) 😀