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Mar 4, 2008
This week's theme
Lesser-known counterparts of common words

This week's words
prepone
nocebo
dystopia
inhume
prequel

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

nocebo

(no-SEE-bo) Pronunciation Sound Clip

noun: A substance producing harmful effects in someone because it is believed to be harmful, but which in reality is harmless.

[From Latin nocebo (I will harm), from nocere (to harm). Modeled after placebo (I will please).]

"Both groups who received nocebos showed elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood."
James Morgan; Is Your Pain a Trick of the Mind?; The Herald (Glasgow, UK); Jan 12, 2007.

X-Bonus

I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone. -Dwight D. Eisenhower, US general and 34th president (1890-1969)

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