Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wondrous Word Wednesday 1-16






Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Currently I am reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I have encountered lots of unknown words. Some I can figure out , because of the way they are used in the sentence and in the context of the story.

These two were unknown and I couldn't decide what they might mean. So I had to look them up. I was reading in bed, I keep a small notebook and pen on the bedside table, so I just wrote them down and the page number they were on. Then I took the time to look them up the next day.



Unctuousness:

Adjective

1. a. of, like, or characteristic of an ointment or unguent; oily or greasy

b. made up of or containing fat or oil



2. like oil, soap, or grease to the touch: said of certain minerals

3. soft and rich: said of soil

4. plastic; moldable

5. characterized by a smug, smooth pretense of spiritual feeling, fervor, or earnestness, as in seeking to persuade; too suave or oily in speech or manner

In the book, page 84 the sentence reads: “Josip had risen as an administrator because of a charming manner that sometimes bordered on unctuousness.”

So , the #5 definition applies here.



Incunabula:

plural noun sing. incunabulum
1. the very first stages of anything; infancy; beginnings

2. early printed books; esp., books printed before 1500

The first two sentences on page 85 : When they arrived at the library Faber nodded curtly and spoke for the first time. “Let me see your Jewish manuscripts and incunabula.”

When I see the #2 definition, it now makes more sense. Both definitions come from my online dictionary, Webster’s New World Dictionary.
This is a good story, and refers to some of the same time as other historical fiction I have been reading lately. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett and Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay.



Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy










6 comments:

  1. I've seen unctuousness before but have never used it because I'm not sure how to pronounce it. It sure does have a lot of different meanings!

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  2. I wouldn't know how to pronounce these words, new for me.

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2013/01/wondrous-words-wednesday_16.html

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  3. Unctuousness I know - not that I use it - but incunabula is completely new to me. I like the idea of expressing the infancy of something but I find the word even more unpronouncable than unctuousness. LOL!

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  4. I found incunabula very interesting. It was completely new to me.

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  5. I knew the first word, but not the second. Both are excellent words to know! I like how you provided in-depth definitions for both words.

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  6. I use unctuous sometimes- it's a fabulous word, it sounds how it means.

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