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Jul 11, 2016
This week’s theme
Miscellaneous words

This week’s words
probative
jobbery
ostensible
fane
arable

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

So many books, so little time! Do you say that sometimes? I do too, but I also find myself saying: So many words, so little time!

There are hundreds of thousands of words that I want to get to know better. Each with a biography (in the word trade we call it etymology). Each with a unique story. Each with cousins and parents and children. One lifetime is not enough to know all the words we have.

We’ll never be able to read all the books we want to read, visit all the places we want to visit, know all the words we want to know. But that’s OK. As long as we are making progress, even if a little slow, we are heading in the right direction.

This week we continue making progress as we meet five words from various books, magazines, and newspapers.

probative

PRONUNCIATION:
(PRO-buh-tiv, PROB-uh-)

MEANING:
adjective: Serving to test something or providing a proof.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin probare (to test or prove), from probus (upright, good). Ultimately from the Indo-European root per- (forward), which also gave us paramount, prime, proton, prow, German Frau (woman), and Hindi purana (old). Earliest documented use: 1453.

USAGE:
“There seems to be a slight trail here, but we haven’t found anything probative yet.”
Jack Phillips; Off the Deep End; Page Publishing; 2015.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We grow tyrannical fighting tyranny. The most alarming spectacle today is not the spectacle of the atomic bomb in an unfederated world, it is the spectacle of the Americans beginning to accept the device of loyalty oaths and witchhunts, beginning to call anybody they don't like a Communist. -E.B. White, writer (11 Jul 1899-1985)

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