Posts tagged ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’

Wednesday Word of the Week: veronica

I had an appendectomy a few days ago, so there was no Monday Masterclass this week. But I can bring you another interesting lexeme today.

ve·ron·i·ca 1
/vəˈrɒnɪkə/

–noun ( sometimes initial capital letter ) Ecclesiastical .
1. the image of the face of Christ, said in legend to have been miraculously impressed on the handkerchief or veil that St. Veronica gave to Him to wipe His face on the way to Calvary.
2. the handkerchief or veil itself.
3. Also called sudarium. any handkerchief, veil, or cloth bearing a representation of the face of Christ.

Also called vernicle.

Origin:
1690–1700; < Medieval Latin veronica, alleged to be an alteration of vēra īconica true image ( see very, icon), subsequently also taken as the name of the woman who gave Christ the cloth

Source: Dictionary.com.

Consider our most real and tender pleasures – in the excitements of pain and mutilation; in sex as the perfect arena, like a culture-bed of sterile pus, for all the veronicas of our own perversions, in voyeurism and self-disgust, in our moral freedom to pursue our own psychopathologies as a game, and in our ever greater powers of abstraction.

Source: The Atrocity Exhibition by J G Ballard.

Wednesday Word of the Week: soigné

Post your own soigné sentences in the comments below.

soi·gné
/swɑnˈyeɪ; Fr. swaˈnyeɪ/

–adjective
1. carefully or elegantly done, operated, or designed.
2. well-groomed.

Also, soi·gnée .

Origin:
1915–20; < French, past participle of soigner to take care of < Germanic (compare Old Saxon sunnea care, concern)

Source: Dictionary.com.

How would she have preferred it: in terms of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, the ’50s school of highway engineering or, most soigné of all, the Embarcadero Freeway?

Source: The Atrocity Exhibition by J G Ballard.

Word of the day: yantra

Pronunciation

IPA: /jəntrə/

Etymology

Sanskrit.

Noun

yantra (plural yantras)
1. A geometrical diagram used as a meditation aid in tantric worship.
2. (religion) Any object used as a meditation aid in tantric worship.

Source: Wiktionary.

He watched her dance, a random cipher drawing its signature across the time-slopes of this dissolving yantra, a symbol in a transcendental geometry.

Source: The Atrocity Exhibition by J G Ballard.

Word of the day: caisson

cais·son /ˈkeɪsən, -sɒn/

–noun
1. a structure used in underwater work, consisting of an airtight chamber, open at the bottom and containing air under sufficient pressure to exclude the water.
2. a boatlike structure used as a gate for a dock or the like.
3. Nautical .
a. Also called camel, pontoon. a float for raising a sunken vessel, sunk beside the vessel, made fast to it, and then pumped out to make it buoyant.
b. a watertight structure built against a damaged area of a hull to render the hull watertight; cofferdam.
4. a two-wheeled wagon, used for carrying artillery ammunition.
5. an ammunition chest.
6. a wooden chest containing bombs or explosives, used formerly as a mine.
7. Architecture . coffer ( def. 4 ) .

Origin:
1695–1705; < F, MF < OPr, equiv. to caissa box ( see case 2 ) + –on aug. suffix

—Related forms
caissoned, adjective

Source: Dictionary.com.

(2) thoracic: the rusting shells of U-boats beached in the cove at Tsingtao, near the ruined German forts where the Chinese guides smeared bloody handprints on the caisson walls;

Source: The Atrocity Exhibition by J G Ballard.

Word of the day: zygomatic arch

–noun Anatomy.
the bony arch at the outer border of the eye socket, formed by the union of the cheekbone and the zygomatic process of the temporal bone.

Origin:
1815–25

Source: Dictionary.com.

‘They show (1) the left orbit and zygomatic arch of President Kennedy magnified from Zapruder frame 230’

Source: The Atrocity Exhibition by J G Ballard.