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Jul 26, 2010
This week's theme
Words that aren't what they appear to be

This week's words
artificer
noisome
psychopomp
fulsome
meretricious

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Illustrating the importance of using the right word, Mark Twain once said, "The difference between the almost-right word & the right word is really a large matter -- it's the difference between the lightning-bug & the lightning."

Choosing the right word is critical, but with a million words in the language, it's hard to get to know them all. Sometimes we have to hazard a guess, and try to figure out a word by its looks and sounds. It doesn't always work and results can be similar to placing the publication Style (instead of InStyle) in the waiting area of a hair salon.

This week we feature five words whose meanings are different from what one might first guess.

artificer

PRONUNCIATION:
(ahr-TIF-uh-suhr)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An inventor.
2. A craftsperson.
3. A mechanic in the armed forces.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin artificium (craftsmanship, art), from art + facere (to make).

USAGE:
"The artificer turns a little sadly to his king: 'One day, I hope mankind will find a peaceful use for my invention,' he says."
Tom Lubbock; Flights of Fantasy; The Independent (London, UK); Sep 18, 2006.

See more usage examples of artificer in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Nothing which does not transport is poetry. The lyre is a winged instrument. -Joseph Joubert, essayist (1754-1824)

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