Thursday, November 22, 2012
  Language update (special Thanksgiving edition)



Professor Polistra is thankful for a new (small) load of misused or strange words. She leads off with one that came in a uniquely appropriate story today:

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Raucous as noun:

Neighbors were forced to call police early Thursday after hearing a raucous out in the street. When they looked outside, it turned out to be a group of squabbling turkeys! Police responded to the scene near 18th and Rockwood to check on the turkeys. They appeared to have settled the squabble and wandered off on their way.

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Longer-stay:

Euphemism for "meth motel".

Officers say the fight broke out at the longer-stay hotel in the 12000 block of E. Sprague. Police are still looking for the suspect.

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Progress as verb:

We acknowledge the appointment of Dame Janet Smith to lead the BBC commissioned review into this matter and recognise her need to progress this important work.

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Defribillator:

BBC's version of the word. Most Americans pronounce it defibulator.

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Doinwell:

New universal meaningless response to the universal meaningless question Howareyou.

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Antithical:

New Wash gov Inslee says he'll move quickly to implement the referendum that legalizes pot: "I don't think there's any reason that that's antithical to national security or interstate commerce."

Not an accidental omission, because he puts the accent on the second syllable. Clearly this is his version of the word.

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Undiscover:

A neat story. Oceanographers working near Australia realized that a substantial island, present on all navigational charts for a long time, simply isn't there. Never was there. The seafloor is uniformly deep in that area, with no indication of any protrusions or outcroppings. So 'Sandy Island' has now been officially undiscovered.


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Professor Polistra hopes to see lots more undiscoveries in years to come. If science wants to regain sanity and respect, it will have to undiscover a huge pile of alleged "things" and "facts" that have been on the charts for a long time. "Global warming", biodiversity, quantum physics, evolution by mutation, most current ideas in economics and psychology.

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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