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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dictionary.com Sends No More Word of the Day

I am in mourning! Dictionary.com is no longer doing a word-of-the-day for people like me and you.

I loved Dictionary.com's word-in-my-mailbox-a-day service and I especially like the ones that have to do with words or writing! Thought maybe you'd like this one--one of their last.

Galimatias (noun)

Pronunciation: [gal-uh-`mey-shee-uh s]

Definition: Gibberish, foolish talk; unintelligible speech.

Usage: The world galimatias, which itself sounds unintelligible, simply means unintelligible speech. It can be used in reference to speaking gibberish (or “gobbledygook”), although it is often used to describe a rambling and incoherent speech. Perfectly normal patterns of speech that fall outside the purview of an individual, such as legalese or a foreign language, may also be appropriately described as galimatias.

Suggested Usage: If you can’t understand what someone else means, whether they’re speaking a language you don’t speak or just using words outside of your vocabulary, introduce a vocab word of your own: galimatias! Whatever the context, crying “galimatias” is a fun way to discredit the words or arguments of others. Best of all, it doesn’t sound particularly mean; just kind of silly. (It is, therefore, to be used liberally around people way smarter than you.)

Etymology: When it first came into use in English, galimatias was also spelled gallimatias. It is French in origin. In fact, the word means the same thing in French—utter nonsense—as it does in English. It has been suggested that the word is a popular variation of the French term galimafrée, which means a medley. The English word gallimaufry, which means a mix or jumble, reflects this origin.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978515870. Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com, where writers will find lists and other helps on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her Sharing with Writers blog.
And please tweet to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

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