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Feb 22, 2012
This week's theme
Words that were formed as a plural but are now used as singular

This week's words
truce
graffiti
insignia
viscera
paraphernalia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

insignia

PRONUNCIATION:
(in-SIG-nee-uh)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A badge or emblem of rank, office, or membership in a group.
2. A distinguishing mark of something.

ETYMOLOGY:
Plural of Latin insigne (sign, badge), from signum (sign). Earliest documented use: 1648.

USAGE:
"During the depths of the Great Depression, Rose Nisenbaum's bank refused to allow her to withdraw the $400 emergency fund she had spent her life carefully saving. So she decided to appeal to a higher authority: she wrote to the president, Franklin Roosevelt, much to the amusement of her family.
Eight weeks later, everyone but Nisenbaum was shocked when she received a response from the White House. She was instructed to take an enclosed letter to the bank. When she arrived and rapped on the window of the locked building, the manager inside waved her off. But when he saw the White House insignia on the envelope she pressed against the glass, he let her in, read the missive, and promptly gave her the money."
Hilary Leila Krieger; Reaching for the Jewish Vote; The Jerusalem Post (Israel); Feb 9, 2012.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If a rabbit defined intelligence the way man does, then the most intelligent animal would be a rabbit, followed by the animal most willing to obey the commands of a rabbit. -Robert Brault, writer (b. 1938)

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