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Wondrous Words Wednesday

January 6, 2010

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and join the fun!  (Don’t forget to leave a link in the comments if you’re participating.)

All of my words this week came from my nifty Word-a-Day calendar that Santa Claus brought me.  This calendar gives the definition, uses the word in the sentence and gives some interesting facts.

1. langue – “Langue makes communication possible; without it, we could not process and understand each other’s utterances.”

In French, langue literally means “language,” but in English it means language viewed abstractly as a system of forms and conventions used for communication in a community.

Since I found that definition hard to understand, I looked this word up on and it said langue means language as a system rather than language in use. Langue is the formal rules, structures, and limitations of language.


2. ultima – “For the last line of her poem, Sheila needed a word with an ultima that rhymed with “green,” so she found a way to use “magazine.””

Ultima means the last syllable of the word.  (The second to last syllable is called the penult or penultima.)  The related word ultimate, originally referred to the last of something in a series.


3. syncretic – “Dr. Portman and his partners practice a syncretic form of medicine, borrowing from both Eastern and Western medical traditions.”

Syncretic means characterized or brought about by the combination of different forms of belief or practice.


What new words have you encountered lately?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2010 6:58 am

    I wasn’t aware of any of these words. So thanks for introducing these to me..Ultima is the most interesting one among these.

  2. January 6, 2010 7:26 am

    langue is pretty deep! 🙂

  3. January 6, 2010 8:07 am

    Such interesting words. Wouldn’t have come close to guessing any of them except syncretic.

    I finished “Life of Pi” last week and found more new words. It’s been a great source of vocabulary for me.

  4. January 6, 2010 8:10 am

    All of those are new to me!

  5. January 6, 2010 8:12 am

    Wow — very interesting words. All new to me!

    Here are mine:

  6. January 6, 2010 8:51 am

    Your new calendar was interesting as well as helpful.

    I have one new word this week. Find it here

  7. January 6, 2010 9:39 am

    Great words! Looks like Santa brought you the perfect gift!

  8. January 6, 2010 10:03 am

    Great words, here is mine;

  9. January 6, 2010 11:48 am

    All your words were new to me too. That’s a very cool calendar! I finally found some new words in my reading so I can play along. Here is mine:

  10. January 6, 2010 12:31 pm

    I’d say that was pretty clever of Santa to bring you a word of the day calendar!

  11. January 6, 2010 12:39 pm

    Excellent words! I feel smarter already! 🙂

  12. January 6, 2010 1:02 pm

    New the ultima word, but the others were new! Nice word gift for the year!

    Here’s mine:

  13. January 6, 2010 1:11 pm

    Ooh–I like syncretic. I can imagine using that one.

  14. January 6, 2010 1:34 pm

    This is my first time to participate. This is fun!

    Here are my words:

  15. tea permalink
    January 6, 2010 2:46 pm

    All three words are great. Now I have to do my words. I’m late, I’m late for a very important date, Wondrous Words.

  16. January 6, 2010 3:15 pm

    Great words that were all new to me. What a great present Santa brought you. 🙂

    Here are my words…

  17. January 6, 2010 3:42 pm

    great words as usual…I think I could possibly use #2 in a sentence someday! 🙂

  18. January 6, 2010 8:15 pm

    Yikes! Langue makes my head hurt.

  19. January 6, 2010 9:35 pm

    One of the few times that having a linguistics major pays off is when trying to parse new words. That and we spent a lot of time talking about “penultimate” and “ultimate” syllables in our classes.

  20. January 7, 2010 8:17 am

    Langue is pretty deep. If I did not read properly, I would’ve thought it was language.

    I like the second word too. Ultima.

  21. January 7, 2010 6:20 pm

    I need to read some tougher books – nothing lately has sent me scurrying for the dictionary. These are excellent words to know!

  22. January 7, 2010 10:22 pm

    I learned something new again today. You’re the best dictionary for now. 😀

  23. January 9, 2010 9:30 am

    Thank you for today’s word lesson. These are good ones.

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