Word of the Week: 2/17/17

Word: Coalesce

You Pronounce It: [koh-uh-les]


verb (used without object), coalesced, coalescing.
1. to grow together or into one body:
The two lakes coalesced into one.
2. to unite so as to form one mass, community, etc.:
The various groups coalesced into a crowd.
3. to blend or come together:
Their ideas coalesced into one theory.
verb (used with object), coalesced, coalescing.
4. to cause to unite in one body or mass.

I found it while reading Adrienne Rich’s prose “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision” when she states, “For a poem to coalesce, for a character or an action to take shape, there has to be an imaginative transformation of reality which is in no way passive” (Rich 174).


Word of the day: 1/30/17

Word: Ineptitude

You Pronounce It: /iˈneptəˌt(y)o͞od/

Definition: noun
lack of skill or ability.
“the officials displayed remarkable ineptitude”

I found it while reading Rhetoric in the European Tradition by Thomas M. Conley when he writes about Plato and the influencing factors behind his philosophy, “Athens, it was clear to him, had fallen because of the ineptitude and ignorance of its democratic leaders and, in no small measure, the teachings of the likes of Gorgias and Protagoras.” (8)


Word of the week: Esoteric

Word: esoteric

You Pronounce It: [es-uh-ter-ik]

Definition: adjective
1.understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite:
poetry full of esoteric allusions.
2.belonging to the select few.
3.private; secret; confidential.
4.(of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to be revealed only to the initiates of a group:
the esoteric doctrines of Pythagoras.

Works Cited:


Word of the week: Mesmeric

Word: Mesmeric

You Pronounce it: mez-mer-ik

Definition: adjective
1. produced by mesmerism; hypnotic.
2. compelling; fascinating.


3. causing a person to become completely transfixed and unaware of anything else around them.
“she found herself staring into his mesmeric gaze”

I found it:

While reading The Beetle by Richard Marsh when he says,

“I was far, yet, from being my own man; I realised that he exercised on me a degree of mesmeric force which I had never dreamed that one creature could exercise on another; but, at least, I was no longer in doubt as to whether I was or was not dead. I knew I was alive.” (28)

Works Cited:


Word of the Week: Epistemology

Word: Epistemology

You Pronounce it: [ih-pis-tuh-mol-uh-jee]

Definition: noun
1.a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge.

I found it: 

During class discussion in a Theory course. I found it easier to remember it as “knowledge and knowing.” Not to be confused with “Epistolary” which I used to do (as silly as that may sound). An Epistolary novel is a novel filled (or primarily constructed of) letters, diary entries and documents.

Word of the Week: July 12, 2016

Word: Nihillistic

You Pronounce It: ni·hil·ism

Definition: n.
1. Philosophy The doctrine that nothing actually exists or that existence or values are meaningless.
2. Relentless negativity or cynicism suggesting an absence of values or beliefs: nihilism in postwar art.
3. a. Political belief or action that advocates or commits violence or terrorism without discernible constructive goals.
b. also Nihilism A diffuse, revolutionary movement of mid-19th-century Russia that scorned authority and tradition and believed in reason, materialism, and radical change in society and government through terrorism and assassination.
4. Psychiatry A delusion, experienced in some mental disorders, that the world or one’s mind, body, or self does not exist.

I found it:

While reading, The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present by Bissell and Herzberg.

Works Cited:


Word of the Week: Abstruse

Word: Abstruse

You Pronounce It: [ab-stroos]

Definition: adjective
1. hard to understand; recondite; esoteric:
abstruse theories.
2. Obsolete. secret; hidden.

Origin: 1590-1600 Latin: abstrūsus thrust away, concealed (past participle of abstrūdere), equivalent to abs- abs- + trūd- thrust + -tus past participle suffix

I found it:

While reading, The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present by Bissell and Herzberg.

Works Cited: