niels has adopted no words, looked up 0 words, created 1 list, listed 169 words, written 21 comments, added 0 tags, and loved 13 words.

Comments by niels

  • As spelt by Thoreau in Walden (pg 21)

    July 23, 2010

  • The best known usage is probably from from Thoreau's Walden (pg 21), but I don't see how I can add another example.

    July 23, 2010

  • French, literally, "save who can".



    The lecturer, if he's a good one, has a loud, clear voice, and his handwriting is not too illegible. He goes slowly enough for them to get most of it down, but fast enough to keep them out of mischief.

    Suddenly, disaster strikes! A student drops his pencil! He gropes for it frantically. He can expect no help from his classmates; it's sauve qui peut with this crowd. If he finds the pencil immediately, he's all right; but if it takes more than a few minutes he's had it. He might just as well go back to his room and sleep it off.


    Robert T. Morrison, The Lecture System in Teaching Science, New York University.

    From: Proceedings of the Chicago Conferences on Liberal Education, Number 1, Undergraduate Education in Chemistry and Physics (edited by Marian R. Rice). The College Center for Curricular Thought: The University of Chicago, (October 18-19, 1986). (accessed 2 February 2009)

    February 3, 2009

  • As a physics guy, I understand your idea, and that's a great point about the use of *synergic* in *mathematics*, but synergistic is a common word in biology, and it at least works: syn = together, erg = work, istic = have some characteristics of.

    Cephalosporins and aminoglycosides are synergistic.

    Cephalosporins and aminoglycosides have some characteristics that work together.

    And, to really round out the definition, -istic tends to be a bit prejorative: they work together, but not really. Which is also true. First, the drugs don't per se *do* any work. And it's not like they interact. It just so happens that if you put the two in the same patient, they kill the same bacteria in different ways, ways that don't interfere with each other. So, synergistic, as far as terrible latin goes, is fairly accurate.

    Still wouldn't use it on a first date. Or any date.

    December 30, 2008

  • I use this word when cynicism is the order of the day:

    The crotchety old professors thought the Internet would steal their content automagically.

    November 14, 2008

  • I'm going to pop a squat on the couch and read.

    October 22, 2008

  • in vitro: an experiment or procedure done in glassware.

    in vivo: an experiment or procedure done in the living body.

    in silico: an experiment or procedure done in a computer.


    February 10, 2008

  • yes, I see that is a much more popular spelling. I did ask the woman who used it for a spelling. Appears she both misused it and misspelt it!

    February 10, 2008

  • There's a movie out shot in, and titled, Little Chenier. Reportedly the most breathtaking cinematography of bayou country ever. The Little Chenier area was destroyed in Hurricane Rita. The name comes from the French word for oak: chene.

    February 10, 2008

  • I was told a comestable is a thing that is edible; the context was a discussion of specialty retail stores: both king cake bakeries and bicycle shops make virtually all their money in one month of the year; unlike bicycle shops, which stay open all year, king cake bakeries are only open for that one month because their product is comestable.

    January 21, 2008

  • In Firefox, FireGPG can be used to encrypt and then attach a file in Gmail. The button reads "Attach chiffred file".

    December 18, 2007

  • Steven Pinker coberates oroboros's < a href="">entymology

    October 11, 2007

  • A word with obviously evil connotations that can be used by anyone to make it clear that *they* are on the side of good. Very 1984. What do you call a word like untermenschen that can be used to perpetrate deceit by narrowing the frame of the debate on an inaccurate center point? Newspeak?


    But, just like women stoned to death in Iran, or the mass starvation of the people of Zimbabwe, these horrors are greeted with the silence that racists reserve for the less-than-humans who behave in an uncivilized way. Their unspoken attitude is, well, what can you expect of these untermenschen?

    And anyway, it's all Bush's fault.

    -- Michael Ledeen,, The National Review Online, Friday, April 06, 2007,


    April 8, 2007

  • painful swallowing, sometimes used specifically to distinguish painful swallowing from mechanically obstructed swallowing, i.e. dysphagia.

    March 29, 2007

  • - Free poste restante facility (a facility of the Atlanta Hotel Bangkok)

    March 22, 2007

  • Alternate spelling of shillelagh.

    March 14, 2007

  • Wikipedia cites Mark Twain pronouncing it lanny-yap, but in present day New Orleans it's pronounced LAN-yap, like your local area network is a LAN, and small dogs yap. LAN-yap.

    March 14, 2007

  • "Hey! Stop throwing that ball in the hall! No skylarking in the dorm!"

    March 14, 2007

  • Djou see Reny and Mathis throw down?! Tha was dramastic! He almost went'n'a drink, yo. See, wha' happa was . . .

    March 14, 2007

  • With regards to accent characters - perhaps it would be best to allow redirects as Wikipedia does. At the very least Wordies could help by adding links in the comments sections to the correct version.

    March 9, 2007

  • Synonymous with shared psychotic disorder, in which a person who is closely associated with an already psychotic patient develops a delusion also.

    March 6, 2007

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