Tag Archive: vocabulary


random

What it means: adjective meaning without aim, pattern, or purpose; by chance; every member of a set having an equal probability of being chosen

“You begin Scrabble with a random selection of seven letter tiles.”   I ♥ Scrabble!

  • slang: something unexpectedly irrelevant but often amusing
    • “I watched this great movies last night; it was about…  Whoa, look at that squirrel!”
    • “Dude, random.”

From ME “succession, surge,” from Anglo-French randun (randon) “speed, violence,” from OF randir “to run, to gallop,” of Germanic origin (possibly from OHG rinnan “to run”)

Why I chose it: I dunno … I picked it at random.

Words

They can be tantalizing, infuriating, colorful, and provocative. Sometimes I run across one that is particularly interesting, another that people often use in the wrong way, or one that’s newly entered the English lexicon, and I just want to share it!  So I will — here, under Word for Thought.

This won’t be a “word of the day” thing — some days may usher in more than one fascinating word, while we may go for weeks without a decent one … nah, that last part probably won’t happen.  It’s more likely that I won’t have time to post them all.  Allrighty then, here’s the inaugural word for thought:

epistolary

What it means: contained in, carried on, or pertaining to letters (as in snail-mail); from the Latin epistolāris: of or belonging to a letter

Pen-pals have epistolary relationships.  A book composed of letters between characters is an epistolary novel. An epistle is a formal letter, like the apostolic letters in the New Testament.

Why I chose it: I had just posted a book review referring to the epistolary writing of author Steve Kluger, and I realized that some people might be scared away from his funny, observant, fast-read books by this five-syllable behemoth with the simple definition.

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