Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Asylum shopping

Asylum shopping is a practice by asylum seekers of applying for asylum in several states or seeking to apply in a particular state after transiting other states. The term is used mostly in the context of the European Union and the Schengen area, but has been used by the Federal Court of Canada. The term is controversial as it implies an abuse of the asylum process.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


In poetry, a spondee is a metrical foot consisting of two long syllables, as determined by syllable weight in classical meters, or two stressed syllables, as determined by stress in modern meters. This makes it unique in English verse as all other feet (excepting molossus, which has three stressed syllables, and dispondee, which has four stressed syllables) contain at least one unstressed syllable. The word comes from the Greek σπονδή, spondē, "libation".

It is unrealistic to construct a whole, serious poem with spondees - consequently, spondees mainly occur as variants within an anapaestic structure. The spondee is a very important poetic device that poets can use to emphasize meaning within their writing style.

For example (from G. K. Chesterton, "Lepanto"):

White founts falling in the courts of the sun
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;

Monday, July 29, 2013


Epode, in verse, is the third part of an ode, which followed the strophe and the antistrophe, and completed the movement.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Antistrophe (Greek: ἀντιστροφή, "a turning back") is the portion of an ode sung by the chorus in its returning movement from west to east, in response to the strophe, which was sung from east to west.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Pindarics (alternatively Pindariques or Pindaricks), the name by which was known a class of loose and irregular odes greatly in fashion in England during the close of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century. The invention is due to Abraham Cowley, who, probably in Paris, a place where he had no other books to direct him and perhaps in 1650, found a text of Pindar and determined to imitate the Greek poetry in English, without comprehension of the system upon which Pindar's prosody was built.

Friday, July 26, 2013


The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area, located at the end of the nave, at the far end from the church's main altar. Traditionally the narthex was a part of the church building, but was not considered part of the church proper. It was either an indoor area separated from the nave by a screen or rail, or an external structure such as a porch. The purpose of the narthex was to allow those not eligible for admittance into the general congregation (particularly catechumens and penitents) to hear and partake in the service. The narthex would often include a baptismal font so that infants or adults could be baptized there before entering the nave, and to remind other believers of their baptisms as they gathered to worship. The narthex is thus traditionally a place of penitence, and in Eastern Christianity some penitential services, such as the Little Hours during Holy Week are celebrated there, rather than in the main body of the church. In the Russian Orthodox Church funerals are traditionally held in the narthex.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


The Fantastique is a French term for a literary and cinematic genre that overlaps with science fiction, horror and fantasy.

The fantastique is a substantial genre within French literature. Arguably dating back further than English language fantasy, it remains an active and productive genre which has evolved in conjunction with anglophone fantasy and horror and other French and international literature.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


A fabliau (plural fabliaux) is a comic, often anonymous tale written by jongleurs in northeast France between ca. 1150 and 1400. They are generally characterized by an excessiveness of sexual and scatological obscenity. Several of them were reworked by Giovanni Boccaccio for the Decamerone and by Geoffrey Chaucer for his Canterbury Tales. Some 150 French fabliaux are extant, the number depending on how narrowly fabliau is defined. According to R. Howard Bloch, fabliaux are the first expression of literary realism in Europe.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


A switcheroo is a sudden unexpected variation or reversal often associated with a joke (sometimes "the old switcheroo"). It is often used colloquially to refer to an act of intentionally or unintentionally swapping two objects.

As a comedic device, this was a favorite of Woody Allen; for a time, he used so many switcheroos that friends referred to him as "Allen Woody." Some of Allen's switcheroo gags were:

  • Carrying a sword on the street, in case of an attack it turned into a cane, so people would feel sorry for him
  • Carrying a bullet in his breast pocket; he claimed someone once threw a Bible at him and the bullet saved his life.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Faxlore is a sort of folklore: humorous texts, folk poetry, folk art, and urban legends that are circulated, not by word of mouth, but by fax machine. Xeroxlore or photocopylore is similar material circulated by photocopying; compare samizdat in Soviet-bloc countries.

"Photocopylore" is perhaps the most frequently encountered name for the phenomenon now, because of trademark concerns involving the Xerox Corporation. The first use of this term came in A Dictionary of English Folklore by Jacqueline Simpson and Steve Roud.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Administratium is a well-known joke in scientific circles, and is a spoof both on the bureaucracy of scientific establishments and on descriptions of newly discovered chemical elements.

In 1991, Thomas Kyle (the supposed discoverer of this element) was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for physics, making him one of only three fictional people to have won the award.

"The Spoof" was written by William DeBuvitz in 1988 and first appeared in print in The Physics Teacher (January 1989 issue). It spread rapidly among university campuses and research centers, and many versions surfaced, often customized to the contributor's situation.

A similar joke concerns Administrontium which was referenced in print in 1993.

Another variation on the same joke is "Bureaucratium". A commonly heard description describes it as "having a negative half-life", in other words the more time passes, the more massive "Bureaucratium" becomes; it only grows larger and more sluggish. This obviously refers to the bureaucratic system, which is generally perceived as a system in which bureaucratic procedures accumulate and whatever needs to get done takes increasingly longer to get done as soon as it touches the bureaucracy.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


A perverb (portmanteau of "perverse proverb"), also known as an anti-proverb, is a humorous modification of a known proverb, usually by changing its ending in a way that surprises or confounds the listener.

  • A rolling stone gets the worm.

Friday, July 19, 2013


An anti-proverb is the transformation of a stereotype word sequence – as e. g. a proverb, a quotation, or an idiom – for humorous effect. To have full effect, an anti-proverb must be based on a known proverb. For example, "If at first you don't succeed, quit" is only funny if the hearer knows the standard proverb "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Anti-proverbs are used commonly in advertising.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


A mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning. It most commonly is applied to a line in a poem or a lyric in a song. American writer Sylvia Wright coined the term in her essay "The Death of Lady Mondegreen," published in Harper's Magazine in November 1954.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Holorime (or holorhyme) is a form of rhyme in which the rhyme encompasses an entire line or phrase. A holorime may be a couplet or short poem made up entirely of homophonous verses.

"Poor old Dali loped with an amazin' raging cyst, as
poor Roald Dahl eloped with Anna-May's enraging sisters."
—the final line from an unpublished short story by translator Steven F. Smith about the attempts of Salvador Dali and Roald Dahl to woo a couple of American lasses.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


In linguistics, an eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect. The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original, but plausible in the same context, such as "old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease". This is as opposed to a malapropism, where the substitution creates a nonsensical phrase. Classical malapropisms generally derive their comic effect from the fault of the user, while eggcorns are errors that exhibit creativity or logic. Eggcorns often involve replacing an unfamiliar, archaic, or obscure word with a more common or modern word ("baited breath" for "bated breath").

The term eggcorn was coined by Geoffrey Pullum in September 2003. Liberman discussed the case of a woman who substitutes the phrase egg corn for the word acorn, arguing that the precise phenomenon lacked a name; Pullum suggested using "eggcorn" itself.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Catachresis (from Greek κατάχρησις, "abuse") is "misapplication of a word, especially in a mixed metaphor" according to the Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. Another meaning is to use an existing word to denote something that has no name in the current language. Catachresis is a very common habit, and can have both positive and negative effects on language: on the one hand, it helps a language evolve and overcome poverty of expression; on the other, it can lead to miscommunications or make the language of one era incompatible with that of another. Catachresis is more a linguistic phenomenon than a figure of speech.

Compare malapropism and solecism, which are unintentional violations of the norms, while catachresis may be either deliberate or unintentional.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Colemanballs is a term coined by Private Eye magazine to describe verbal gaffes perpetrated by (usually British) sports commentators. The word Colemanballs probably borrows from Colemans Meatballs, once familiar in the UK and sold by the (now renamed) company ColemanNatural. Here though, Coleman refers to the surname of the now retired BBC broadcaster David Coleman and the suffix -balls, as in "to balls up", and has since spawned derivative terms in unrelated fields such as "Warballs" (spurious references to the September 11, 2001 attacks) and "Dianaballs" (sentimental references to Diana, Princess of Wales). Any other subject can be covered, as long as it is appropriately suffixed by -balls. The all-encompassing term "mediaballs" has since been used by Private Eye as their coverage of gaffes has expanded.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


A malapropism is the grotesque or inappropriate use of a word. An example is Yogi Berra's statement: "Texas has a lot of electrical votes." The malapropism is the use of "electrical" instead of the correct word, "electoral," which is similar in sound.

Friday, July 12, 2013


A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise"), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too. Homophones that are spelled the same are also both homographs and homonyms. Homophones that are spelled differently are also called heterographs. The term "homophone" may also apply to units longer or shorter than words, such as phrases, letters or groups of letters that are pronounced the same as another phrase, letter or group of letters.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


A bushing or rubber bushing is a type of vibration isolator. It provides an interface between two parts, damping the energy transmitted through the bushing. A common application is in vehicle suspension systems, where a bushing made of rubber (or, more often, synthetic rubber or polyurethane) separates the faces of two metal objects while allowing a certain amount of movement. This movement allows the suspension parts to move freely, for example, when traveling over a large bump, while minimizing transmission of noise and small vibrations through to the chassis of the vehicle. A rubber bushing may also be described as a flexible mounting or antivibration mounting.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


A polyurethane (PUR and PU) is any polymer composed of a chain of organic units joined by carbamate (urethane) links. Polyurethane polymers are formed through step-growth polymerization, by reacting a monomer (with at least two isocyanate functional groups) with another monomer (with at least two hydroxyl or alcohol groups) in the presence of a catalyst.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Eiderdown can refer to:

Monday, July 8, 2013


In music, a fugue is a composition (in classical music) in two or more voices, built on a subject (theme) that is introduced at the beginning in imitation (repetition at different pitches) and recurs frequently in the course of the composition.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

wind wave

In fluid dynamics, wind waves or, more precisely, wind-generated waves are surface waves that occur on the free surface of oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and canals or even on small puddles and ponds. They usually result from the wind blowing over a vast enough stretch of fluid surface. Waves in the oceans can travel thousands of miles before reaching land. Wind waves range in size from small ripples to huge rogue waves. When directly being generated and affected by the local winds, a wind wave system is called a wind sea. After the wind ceases to blow, wind waves are called swell. Or, more generally, a swell consists of wind generated waves that are not—or hardly—affected by the local wind at that time. They have been generated elsewhere, or some time ago. Wind waves in the ocean are called ocean surface waves.

Tsunamis are a specific type of wave not caused by wind but by geological effects. In deep water, tsunamis are not visible because they are small in height and very long in wavelength. They may grow to devastating proportions at the coast due to reduced water depth.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Etiology (alternatively aetiology, aitiology /tiˈɒləi/) is the study of causation, or origination. The word is derived from the Greek αἰτιολογία, aitiologia, "giving a reason for" (αἰτία, aitia, "cause"; and -λογία, -logia).

The word is most commonly used in medical and philosophical theories, where it is used to refer to the study of why things occur, or even the reasons behind the way that things act, and is used in philosophy, physics, psychology, government, medicine, theology and biology in reference to the causes of various phenomena. An etiological myth is a myth intended to explain a name or create a mythic history for a place or family.

Friday, July 5, 2013


A spaceplane is a vehicle that operates as an aircraft in Earth's atmosphere, as well as a spacecraft when it is in space. It combines features of an aircraft and a spacecraft, which can be thought of as an aircraft that can endure and maneuver in the vacuum of space or likewise a spacecraft that can fly like an airplane. Typically, it takes the form of a spacecraft equipped with wings, although lifting bodies have been designed and tested. The propulsion to reach space may be purely rocket based or may use the assistance of air-breathing engines.

To date, only pure rocket spaceplanes have succeeded in reaching space, although several have been carried up to an altitude of several tens of thousands of feet by a purely atmospheric aircraft mothership before release. While all spaceplanes have used atmospheric lift for the reentry and landing phase, none to date have succeeded in a design that relies on aerodynamic lift for the ascent phase in reaching space (excluding mothership first stage).

Thursday, July 4, 2013

volumetric display

A volumetric display device is a graphical display device that forms a visual representation of an object in three physical dimensions, as opposed to the planar image of traditional screens that simulate depth through a number of different visual effects. One definition offered by pioneers in the field is that volumetric displays create 3-D imagery via the emission, scattering, or relaying of illumination from well-defined regions in (x,y,z) space. Though there is no consensus among researchers in the field, it may be reasonable to admit holographic and highly multiview displays to the volumetric display family if they do a reasonable job of projecting a three-dimensional light field within a volume.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Ultramontanism is a religious philosophy within the Roman Catholic community that places strong emphasis on the prerogatives and powers of the Pope. In particular, ultramontanism may consist in asserting the superiority of Papal authority over the authority of local temporal or spiritual hierarchies (including the local bishop).

Monday, July 1, 2013


Neo-figurative art describes an expressionist revival in modern form of figurative art. The term neo and figurative emerged in the 1960s in Mexico and Spain to represent a new form of figurative art.