Category Archives: Words

Beneficiation: It probably doesn’t mean what you think it does.

Yes, I continue to encounter, investigate, and explain obscure words—so that you don’t have to! In this installment: beneficiation. Advertisements

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A Little Practical Hawaiian

A couple of months ago I started putting together what I had expected would be a pair of posts to bookend my (long-planned and nearly cancelled) family vacation to Hawaii. The idea was that I would look at Hawaiian words … Continue reading

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Tour de force? Coup de grace? Maybe coup de force or tour de grace?

A weird error crossed my desk the other day and it was interesting enough that I’m devoting this post to it. You’ve probably encountered both of these phrases: coup de grace and tour de force. A coup de grace (the … Continue reading

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What does “anodyne” mean? It’s really not very exciting.

Bland. Dull. Boring. Insipid. Those are some of the synonyms listed in one dictionary for “anodyne.” Are you familiar with that word: anodyne? It’s certainly been getting a lot more use lately. Why is that? The word has been around … Continue reading

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“Do these genes make me look fat?” Maybe. Or maybe it’s the obesogens.

If you have a weight problem and you think it’s not entirely your fault, there might be something to that belief. Researchers have identified a number of substances that might act on organisms, including humans, in ways that cause them … Continue reading

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