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Jan 25, 2017
This week’s theme
Miscellaneous words

This week’s words
quotidian
effluvium
ineffable
visage
inexorable

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

ineffable

PRONUNCIATION:
(in-EF-uh-buhl)

MEANING:
adjective:1. Incapable of being expressed: indescribable.
 2. Not to be expressed: taboo.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin in- (not) + effari (to speak out), from ex- (out) + Latin fari (to speak). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bha- (to speak), which also gave us fable, fairy, fate, fame, blame, confess, and infant (literally, one unable to speak), apophasis, and confabulate. Earliest documented use: 1450.

USAGE:
“I love walking the midway, opening my senses to the overload: the smells of hot oil from the food stands and excrement from the livestock pens rising to mix in an ineffable effluvium of mortality and feeding.”
Mark Baechtel; Love it, Hate It; Anchorage Daily News (Alaska); Aug 31, 2006.

“Underneath, he added in large, fiery script the signs of the ineffable name of God.”
Primo Levi; The Complete Works of Primo Levi; W.W. Norton; 2015.

See more usage examples of ineffable in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. -Carl Sagan, astronomer and author (1934-1996)

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