Thursday 3 November 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday 2/11/11

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a fabulous weekly meme hosted by Bermuda Onion, where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our weekly reading.  

This weeks Wondrous Words come from Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach.

1. Pavane (Noun)

Their courtship had been a pavane, a stately unfolding, bound by protocols never agreed or voiced, but generally observed. 

i) A slow, stately court dance of the 16th and 17th centuries, usually in duple meter.
ii) A piece of music for this dance. (The Free Dictionary)

2. Calumny (Noun)

But even as he listened in hostile silence to this calumny, he felt a burden lifting. 

i) A false statement maliciously made to injure another's reputation. 
ii) The utterance of maliciously false statements; slander. (The Free Dictionary)

3. Anglepoise (Noun)

In a corner, under the slope of a roof, was a scrubbed deal table with an anglepoise lamp and a kitchen chair, painted blue.

A balanced-arm lamp designed in 1932 by British designer George Carwardine. (wiki)

The famous Pixar logo has an anglepoise lamp

4. Millenarian (Adjective)

He chauffeured Violet around, once to a Schopenhauer symposium in Winchester, and on the way she grilled him about his interest in millenarian cults. 

i) Of or relating to a thousand, especially to a thousand years. 
ii) Of, relating to, or believing in the doctrine of the millenium. (The Free Dictionary)

5. Monads (Noun)

He was in no position to know what an unusual situation the Pontings' was, a don married to a successful businessman, and Violet, a sometime friend of Elizabeth David, managing a household in the vanguard of a culinary revolution while lecturing to students on monads and the categorical imperative. 

i) Philosophy. An indivisible, impenetrable unit of substance viewed as the basic constituent element of physical reality in the metaphysics of Leibniz. 
ii) Biology. A single-celled micro-organism, especially a flagellate protozoan of the genus Monas. 
iii) Chemistry. An atom or a radical with valence 1. (The Free Dictionary)

The philosophical definition is clearly the one in use here. 


Satia said...

As always, great words.

The video is great (but what a boring dance, or so it seemed to me) and I love that you used the Pixar logo--great choice.

Louise said...

Thanks so much Satia. I know I'd heard the word pavane before, and knew it was a dance, but it's always interesting to look it up. And doesn't it look so boring? Indeed.

Annie said...

I like a lot to listen to "Une pavane pour une infante défunte" written by the French musician Maurice Ravel ! Great words and great job ! Thanks !

bermudaonion said...

Great words! The only one I knew was calumny. I rather like pavane - it's a dance I'd be capable of doing!

Margot said...

I liked all your new words this week and especially how you presented them. The video of the pavane helped me understand. And, I love the Pixar logo with the cute little guy. Next time I'm going to pay attention to the anglepoise lamp.

Anonymous said...

Loved the words and video.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Louise,

I have to admit that for such a well known book, I have yet to read 'On Chesil Beach'

I knew of the words 'Millenarian', 'Anglepoise' and 'Pavane'.

I particularly like the sentence you used to illustrate the word pavane.

Where as 'Monads' sounds okay as a term used in biology or chemistry, yet totally out of place and a little derogatory in a philiosphical context.

Some great words


Hannah said...

I got so excited when I knew the first two, wondering if I could possibly have a 100% wondrous words experience. Alas, no, I'm still not a walking dictionary as yet ;)

Jennifer said...

Calumny I knew. Anglepoise is awesome!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

"Pavane" is such a perfect word for that relationship in that book. Are there people who spend their entire lives in pavane relationships? It certainly looks beautiful but cold.

Anonymous said...

I always learn something new from your word posts. Thanks!

Lady In Read said...

Great new words for me (I only knew calumny and could only try to guess at millenarian). Love anglepoise - now I can actually use it and refer to something everyone knows.