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A.Word.A.Day--obturate

Pronunciation: WAV or RealAudio

obturate (OB-tuh-rayt, -tyuh-) verb tr.

To close or obstruct.

[Latin obturare, obturat- : ob- + -turare, to stop up.]

"Upon firing, the force of the powder gases obturates the base of the bullet, and in an ideal world, swages it to precisely fit the bore. Scott E. Mayer, Muzzleloader basics, American Rifleman, Oct 1997.

It is said that in the English language every noun can be verbed, but there is nothing more grating on the ears than the gratuitous "verbification" of nouns in a modern workplace exchange. From "productizing an idea" to "administrating the plan" and "incentivizing the workers" these verb-forms are about as graceful as a sumo wrestler performing a ballet. Don't get me wrong--there is nothing sinful about coining new words, or using existing ones in creative ways, but there is no excuse for the laziness shown in the above examples. There are already countless words that can do the job very well. This week we look at seven verbs from English. -Anu

X-Bonus

The belly is the reason why man does not mistake himself for a god. -Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) [Beyond Good and Evil, 1886]


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