For a couple of years, now, I’ve been enjoying a new word every day, right in my email box. Anu Garg is an erudite linguist who started the free web list in 1994 while she was a graduate student. Every week has a theme, the word’s definition, a couple of examples on how to use the word, and, possibly, some commentary from Anu herself.
Some words are pretty esoteric and unusable in day-to-day conversation:
antanaclasis (ant-an-uh-KLAS-is) noun
A play on words in which a key word is repeated in a > different, often contrary, sense.
[From Greek antanaklasis (echo or reflection), from anti-> (against) + ana- + klasis (breaking or bending).]
Some others are more mundane:
This week’s theme: French terms for food.
macedoine (mas-i-DWAN) noun
A mixed dish, usually of fruit and/or vegetables, in which several different varieties are combined into a colorful tableau.[From French macÃ©doine, from MacÃ©doine (Macedonia). The reference is to the Balkan area of many different territories and ethnic groups that Alexander the Great welded into a single unit.]
All in all, it’s fun and educational, and you can send comments on each word if you want.
Anu has published two books about words, based on her famous (more than 600,000 subscribe to Word-A-Day) service. You can find them here.