Thursday, February 28, 2008

Confessionalism

Confessionalism is a system of government that distributes political and institutional power proportionally among religious communities. Posts in government and seats in the legislature are apportioned amongst different groups according to the relative demographic composition of those groups in a society, which is seen as a way of formally recognizing the communal political rights of indigenous groups.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thraw

  1. To Twist or Turn
  2. Ill humour

source

Lapidary

Of or relating to precious stones or the art of working with them

"the ring is of no lapidary value"- Lord Byron; "lapidary art"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Centimyriad

Centimyriad is another way to say 100.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Triumphalism

Triumphalism is the attitude or belief that a particular doctrine, culture, or social system is superior to and should triumph over all others. Triumphalism is not an articulated doctrine but rather a term that is used to characterize certain attitudes or belief systems by parties such as political commentators and historians.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mordacious

tending to bite; caustic, sarcastic.

source

Friday, February 8, 2008

Scientism

The term scientism can be used as a neutral term to describe the view that natural science has authority over all other interpretations of life, such as philosophical, religious, mythical, spiritual, or humanistic explanations, and over other fields of inquiry, such as the social sciences. It also can imply a criticism of a perceived misapplication or misuse of the authority of science in either of two directions:

  1. The term is often used as a pejorative to indicate the improper usage of science or scientific claims. In this sense, the charge of scientism often is used as a counter-argument to appeals to scientific authority in contexts where science might not apply, such as when the topic is perceived to be beyond the scope of scientific inquiry.
  2. The term is also used to pejoratively refer to "the belief that the methods of natural science, or the categories and things recognized in natural science, form the only proper elements in any philosophical or other inquiry," with a concomitant "elimination of the psychological dimensions of experience". It thus expresses a position critical of (at least the more extreme expressions of) positivism. (Compare: scientific imperialism.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Asportual

Someone is asportual if they do not enjoy sports.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bellwether

A bellwether is any entity in a given arena that serves to create or influence trends or to presage future happenings. The term is derived from the Middle English bellewether and refers to the practice of placing a bell around the neck of a castrated ram (a wether) in order that this animal might lead its flock of sheep.