vocabulary lessons: The World’s Strongest Librarian

worldsstrongestLeave it to an author as well-read as Josh Hanagarne to stump me several times over! I keep a piece of scratch paper as a bookmark, one sheet faithfully dedicated to each book, for keeping notes: page numbers for referral or quotation, words to look up, thoughts that belong in my review. If I have to look up more than 1-3 words in a book of standard length, that book often finds its way into a “vocabulary lessons” post. Here are the words that I learned from The World’s Strongest Librarian.

revenant: “one that returns after death or a long absence.” As used, a great way to poke fun at the ultra-serious character in question.

elided: “to suppress or alter (as a vowel or syllable) by elision” (a prime example of the crime of using the word in its own definition! shame on you, Merriam-Webster) or “to strike out (as a written word).” Not to be confused, I suppose, with redact, a term I was more familiar with and which did come up as a “related word.”

D and C: a most unpleasant-sounding surgery performed for, in this case, a very sad condition.

fontanelle: that soft spot on a baby’s head that you have to be careful of until the skull zips up properly. I am not a person well-versed in babies, in case you couldn’t tell. Used here in a metaphoric sense which I found quite effective, and topical.

Bonus: I went out the other night for beers with a girlfriend who also works in health care, and she dropped one on me that I’d never heard before. Because I’m a logophile, I had to go look it up right away! Lisa says that perseverate is word mostly used in health care; and the definition, to “repeat a response after the cessation of the original stimulus,” does fit with Lisa’s specialty in treating neurological conditions. There you go – learn something every day, even at the local pub. Thanks Lisa!

Sorry to say, folks, that The World’s Strongest Librarian will not be released for some time (May 2, last I saw). But in the meantime, you can check out Josh’s blog.

And if you’re interested – you can see a few more “vocabulary lessons” posts here.

3 Responses

  1. Very interested to read about your process to keep track of things while you read a book. What about with audio books? Please don’t tell me you are taking notes while driving….

    • Great question, Pops, I’m so glad you asked!! I had been struggling with this, and often felt that my audio reviews were less good (and/or my reading less full) because I rarely made notes. I occasionally paused until a stoplight where I could jot a track & time to go back and listen to later, but that was rare because so laborious. But NOW that I have a smartphone, I am thrilled to use the voice recorder in my “notes” app! I was actually already starting to shop for such a thing: a little pocket voice recorder so I could make notes while driving – on an audiobook, or just my own notes for later (to-do lists, interesting thoughts). And now I have it in my phone. I first used this to make a thought-for-later note, verbally, but had failed to pause my audiobook and so it jotted down for me both my thought, and the audio reading, interspersed together (which was its own interesting poem), and so I learned that it records the audiobook excellently. So NOW I just rewind the book a few lines, hit record, and take notes that way. Voila.

  2. […] was thinking something like jewelry or a tiara, and I was right). And speaking of notes – as I’ve written before, I keep notes while I read: passages I want to quote, words or concepts I want to look up, thoughts […]

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