billifer has looked up 1 word, created 3 lists, listed 263 words, written 55 comments, added 3 tags, and loved 8 words.

Comments by billifer

  • Followup

    Indeed, given the discussion later in the book of various molds and even molds that grow only on other molds, it would appear that the second definition previously offered would be the more correct one. However, I still assert that Prince Q— could be likened to Candide and thus candidiatic is in fact a double entendre.

    January 31, 2008

  • Definition

    Within the novel Infinite Jest, a gasper is the argot for cigarette.

    January 31, 2008

  • I simply adore your username. So portmanteau, semi-onomatopoeiac, and illusory all in one succinct word: I envision a half-pound Idaho baker spouting Shakespearian soliloquy -- King Lear, perhaps -- while awaiting its fate in the microwave.

    August 29, 2007

  • Hey Taylor,

    Thanks for the great comments on my IJ word list! I have a Bunyanesque list of words that I've notated but haven't yet added to this list; I've been more focused on the congeries of words themselves than on the accurate documentation, taxonomy, and etymological research involved. I try to not list the words until I can work uninterrupted on the nisus needed for those tasks.

    August 29, 2007

  • By Himself, of course, I mean not James Incandenza, but DFW. :)

    I just got your comment on my IJ list. I've got tons more words to add; I've just been remiss in doing so. It's interesting to see, also, which words you've added that I passed up or vice versa.

    I know there's at least one other IJ list here on wordie; it's small, but it's at http://wordie.org/people/yearofglad?wl=1523.

    I've been reading IJ since November. I'm still around page 520.

    April 28, 2007

  • Likely misspelling of sphenoid.

    January 6, 2007

  • Main Entry: vitreous body
    Function: noun
    : the clear colorless transparent jelly that fills the eyeball posterior to the lens, is enclosed by a delicate hyaloid membrane, and in the adult is nearly homogeneous but in the fetus is pervaded by fibers with minute nuclei at their points of junction

    Note: A Google search of "vitreally" returned 445 hits, virtually all related to the eyeball. This is the correct headword for this listing. One can infer the definition of "vitreally" from that of "vitreous body."

    January 6, 2007

  • Probable misspelling of (coined) cachetic, adjectival form of cachexia. Within the text of Infinite Jest, it appears immediately adjacent to anorexic and tabescent, so this is a likely assumption.

    January 6, 2007

  • Unlisted in both Webster's Third New International Unabridged and Webster's Medical.

    Breaking down root words: steato-, meaning fat, and -crypt-, meaning unknown or hidden, it's reasonable to guess that David Foster Wallace intended this word to mean "having too little or unseen fat upon one's body." Compare with, for example, steatopygiac.

    January 6, 2007

  • Main Entry: ste·ato·py·gia
    Pronunciation: (IPA) /ˌsti.ət.ə.ʹpɪʤ.i.ə/ also /sti.ˌæt.oʊ.ʹpaɪ.ʤi̯.ə/
    Pronunciation: (phonetic respelling) ˌstē-ət-ə-ˈpij-ē-ə also stē-ˌat-ō-, -ˈpī-j(ē-)ə
    Function: noun
    : an accumulation of a large amount of fat on the buttocks
    - ste·ato·py·gous or ste·ato·py·gic adjective

    Citation:
    Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/medical.htm

    January 6, 2007

  • Main Entry: fan·tod
    Variant(s): also fan·tad
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): -s
    Etymology: perhaps alteration of fantigue
    1 usually fantods plural a : a state of irritability, fidget, and tension; sometimes : a state of acute worry and distress b : a state of bodily or mental disorder especially when ill-defined and more or less chronic
    2 sometimes fantods plural a : an instance or occurrence of the fantods b : a violent or irrational outburst
    3 : a fidgety fussy officer of a ship


    Citation:
    "fantod." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (6 Jan. 2007).

    January 6, 2007

  • In essence, it means to ooze pus.

    Example: "The ulcer in his leg was wet with suppuration."

    January 6, 2007

  • Verb, third principle part (present participle) of aminate: to convert into an amine.

    January 6, 2007

  • Although spelled as magiscule in the text of Infinite Jest, it is apparent, from context and phonology, that the word intended is in fact majuscule.

    January 6, 2007

  • Main Entry: gon·fa·lon
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): -s
    Etymology: Italian gonfalone, from Old Italian, from Old French gonfanon, gonfalon -- more at GONFANON
    1 : the ensign or standard in use by certain princes or states (as the medieval republics of Italy)
    2 : a flag that hangs from a crosspiece or frame


    Citation:
    "gonfalon." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (6 Jan. 2007).

    January 6, 2007

  • Main Entry: arach·no·dac·ty·ly
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): -es
    Etymology: arachn- + -dactyly (from New Latin -dactylia)
    : a hereditary abnormality characterized by excessive length of the long bones (as of the fingers and toes) and usually associated with other abnormalities

    Citation:
    "arachnodactyly." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (6 Jan. 2007).

    January 6, 2007

  • One can only guess that suprasubliminal (adjective) describes a stimulus that is perceived somewhere between the subliminal and the liminal.

    As liminal is defined as "barely perceptible,"1 and subliminal is defined as "influencing thought, feeling, or behavior in a manner unperceived by personal or subjective consciousness"2, one might suppose that suprasubliminal would be the space between imperceptible and minimally perceptible: sort of a void, really, as it is the space between zero and the number right after zero, philosophically speaking.

    January 6, 2007

  • Main Entry: 2wopse
    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): -ed/-ing/-s
    Etymology: origin unknown
    dialect : to heap, wrap, or tangle in a disorderly way


    Citation:
    "wopse." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (6 Jan. 2007).

    January 6, 2007

  • Definite portmanteau of phallus and neurotic, as phalloneurotic is not listed in the Webster's Third.

    January 6, 2007

  • Main Entry: 1stret·to
    Function: adverb
    Etymology: Italian, literally, narrowly, closely, from stretto narrow, close, pressed together, from Latin strictus, past participle of stringere to draw tight, press together -- more at STRAIN
    : more quickly -- used as a direction in music


    Citation:
    "stretto." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (6 Jan. 2007).

    January 6, 2007

  • So, John, can I put the antic in pedantic? :-D

    January 5, 2007

  • I totally know where you're coming from, Valse. You're being neither persnickety nor pedantic. Unfortunately, English — especially when adapting foreign words and names — is one big miasma of bafflegab.

    I still spell "fish" as ghoti1 and "potato" as ghoughphtheightteeau.

    January 5, 2007

  • No, it wasn't my intention to list intention.

    January 5, 2007

  • Some of the words people post on here give me the howling fantods.

    January 5, 2007

  • See also entrepot.

    January 5, 2007

  • See also entrepôt.

    January 5, 2007

  • Somewhat of a rarity, this is a one-word litotes. Because English allows the piling on of multiple affixes, both non- and in- can be prefixed to secure instead of requiring the writer or speaker to say "not insecure."

    While technically a double negative, figures of speech and rhetorical devices, especially litotes, are given a certain amount of latitude with regard to the double-negative rule.

    January 5, 2007

  • Within the novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, the word map refers to a person's face, e.g., "erasing someone's map" means to kill or (possibly) horribly disfigure a person.

    January 5, 2007

  • This list, and the comments that I make on the words listed here, are licensed under a Creative Commons license. Feel free to reuse this list however you see fit within the scope of the license! Other users’ comments may not be licensed as such.
    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

    December 27, 2006

  • Neologism first appearing in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, probably as a direct transliteration of the Russian дроог.

    December 27, 2006

  • This is such a cute word — it's almost an onomatopoeia, but not quite. I can see people cringing at things that are cringeworthy!

    December 27, 2006

  • See also literati, plural form, used more commonly than the singular

    December 27, 2006

  • See also literatus, singular form

    December 27, 2006

  • This is listed as my least-favorite word. It’s not, really, but there’s a story. See, when Starbucks was running their Akeelah and the Bee promotion… (read more)

    December 27, 2006

  • I actually hadn't even heard of GCIDE until I went looking for it, but evidently it's the entire 1913 (or whatever) public-domain Websters in well-formed XML format. A good parser and some glue and you've got yourself a headword checker -- at least, one that checks for headwords from 100 years ago. :)

    I love the site and I'm glad you had the idea to develop it before I did. I tend to overextend myself and if I had thought of wordie.org, I know it would have stalled and failed. Congratulations on a great "Web 2.1" site: semantic, folksonimied, but not eye-candied.

    December 27, 2006

  • I know that it's a massive request, given the morphology of English, but as a future enhancement, it would be great if you could have wordie try to guess (potentially with user confirmation) the root word when a word is entered, so that we don't end up with, say, discern, discerning, discerned, discernable, discerns, etc., all as separate entries, each with different people listing each one. So if I entered "discerned" maybe it should ask me in a nice AJAXy way, " 'Discern' is already listed. Add it to list instead?"

    There are XML-based dictionaries (or one, at least) on the web that might make the task a little easier -- GCIDE.

    This is a great site, and I'm glad to have it. Thanks for putting it together!

    December 24, 2006

  • "Ah, what was the question?
    Oh yeah, 'Memento Mori'
    It means remember it's inevitable that we will all die
    It sounds quite depressing when said so raw and direct
    But it means don't hang yourself on a material life
    But that gets dropped when I'm bop on shopping day
    Am I shallow, am I hung up on such wrong ways?"

    — "Memento Mori" by The Streets

    December 24, 2006

  • thecosas describes it in a very non-sesquipedalian way!

    December 23, 2006

  • This was one that was recently featured on the KPBS show A Way With Words: dour. The correct pronunciation, which I didn't realize until hearing the show, is not (IPA) /daʊɹ/ ("sour") but actually /dʊɹ/ ("sure").

    December 22, 2006

  • Hey there! Looks like we've got a common goal: Capturing the words of IJ. My list is at http://wordie.org/people/billifer?wl=993 if you'd like to take a look at what I've got thusfar. I'm still reading the book (slowly but surely), and I'm adding words to the list every few days.

    December 22, 2006

  • It reminds me of seafood. Crepuscular... crustacean.... Same thing. :)

    December 22, 2006

  • Muration is a close relative of mutation, the best I can determine. However, this word was added specifically as an element of a list I am harvesting — words which appear in the novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. As such, the word murated should stay.

    Additionally, as I've pointed out in my comment, muration is, indeed, an actual word, though it might best be considered scientific jargon.

    December 22, 2006

  • A contrived political ideology, one infers experialism to be the opposite of imperialism.

    December 19, 2006

  • Possibly a double entendre. A neologism that could describe something as similar to Voltaire's antihero Candide; or, possibly, describing an object as similar to the yeast Candida albicans. Both seem to be applicable to the Infinite Jest character (Prince Q―) described by this word.

    December 19, 2006

  • Adjectival form of the noun pedalfer, used within Infinite Jest antonymically in relation to denuded and fallow.

    December 19, 2006

  • This word is a very commonly occurring word within Infinite Jest. Learn it well should you choose to read the work.

    December 19, 2006

  • A sign, signal, etc. Related to the word semiotics. A semion is the basic unit of semiotics, indivisible and the smallest piece of information that can be encoded. It is analogous to the words meme, morpheme, grapheme, phoneme, and atom within other contexts of communication and linguistics.

    December 19, 2006

  • Synonyms
    light, gleam, brilliance, radiance, effulgence
    Related words
    lumen, luminance, luminesce, illuminate, luminescence, luminiferous, luminosity

    December 19, 2006

  • Referring, in this context, to the ancipital edges of the tooth.

    December 19, 2006

  • Usually capitalized. Preferred spelling Plasticine.

    December 19, 2006

  • One can infer droogy(-ies) to be DFW's adapted form of, and a nod to, Anthony Burgess' Droogs from A Clockwork Orange. Within the context of Infinite Jest, droogies is used analogously to the way Droogs is used in A Clockwork Orange: by the leader of a group addressing the other members of the group.

    Given that Infinite Jest's content matter deals substantially with drug abuse and addiction, the word may be a false paronym for the slang druggies.

    December 19, 2006

  • An onomatopoeia used by DFW in Infinite Jest within the context of tennis matches. This definition from AllExperts is accurate and complete:

    A term used in the novel Infinite Jest roughly meaning to insult or mess with someone. It can be used as a noun, e.g. Bobby felt his third nipple was an existential kertwang. Or a verb, e.g. God enjoyed kertwanging Bobby by sending gusts of wind to blow up his shirt to reveal his third nipple.
    The word is onomatopoeia because of its usage in conversation regarding tennis matches, with opponents rushing the net, "kertwanging," giving the sense of the sound of the strings in the tennis racket.

    December 19, 2006

  • See also aperçu

    December 19, 2006

  • See also aper%e7u

    December 19, 2006

  • Within the context of Infinite Jest, the hyphenated motion-noise can be thought to mean myoclonus, muscle spasm, or other involuntary jerking of the muscles, especially during sleep.

    December 19, 2006

  • panagoraphobia
    neologism derived from adding the prefix pan- to the word agoraphobia. The meaning, thus, can be determined as "ubiquitous fear of crowds," or, more colloquially, a state in which everyone is afraid of everyone else: mass paranoia.

    December 19, 2006

  • This neologism could be murated from cortication, which means "having a cortex." Such a definition would fit the context of the text in which the word appears in Infinite Jest.

    On the other hand, this word also bears striking similarity to corticalization, which, while the context does not bear out its definition, could still be a significant connection, given DFW's penchant for making such connections.

    December 19, 2006

  • Muration is a scientific term, the definition of which is difficult to pinpoint via Google. The best I can get, without paying for access to the full text of a journal paper, is:

    Muration
    Muration is the occasional (with small probability) random alteration of a gene. It may reintroduce useful genetic material, which is lost through ...
    which comes from The development of a variable Schmidt number model for jet-in-crossflows using genetic algorithms, by Yanhu Guo, Guangbin He, Andrew T. Hsu (Miami, Univ., Coral Gables), A. Brankovic, S. Syed (Pratt and Whitney, West Palm Beach, FL), and N.-S. Liu (NASA, Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH); accessible at American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

    December 19, 2006

  • All the words gathered in this list are words that I have encountered, or in some cases, reencountered, while reading David Foster Wallace's magnum opus Infinite Jest.

    Unfortunately, I didn't think to start this list until I was more than a few dozen pages in, so many words, good ones, have not been captured in this list.

    Many of these words, of course, are the author's own neologisms, and you will find them nowhere except in Infinite Jest or in essays, reviews, or surveys of the work. DFW's literary prowess is unmistakable upon reading this or any of his other works. As a writer myself, I aspire to the heights (or depths?) of genius that is DFW.

    Others, naturally, are to be found in common dictionaries, or in exceptional cases, only in unabridged ones. Many, such as noninsecure, are merely compounded or strange twists of preexisting words: forms that, in many cases, make plenty sense to have around, but simply aren't part of the language proper.

    I've found it difficult at times to know when to draw the line with respect to more common words, viz. not Wallace's neologisms, such as contemptuous. Many readers who find this list — and hopefully find it a useful reference while reading Infinite Jest — may not know that word, especially those who are non-native speakers of English. Many other people (especially the type to read Infinite Jest) will consider such inclusions germane. In any case, I've tried to set a tolerance for established words that everyone can be happy with.

    If you have any comments regarding this list, please feel free to leave me a comment on my profile, or on my blog.

    December 5, 2006

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