• Florida Word of the Day: Ligule

    By / March 25, 2010

    In writing the post on hastula, I found out that a hastula is like a ligule. Which  I guess is fine, as far as that goes, but really, it doesn’t go very far with me. I, after all, am neither agrostologist nor graminologist, so I had no idea what a ligule might be. According to MW,… Read more

  • Florida Word of the Day: Hastula

    By / March 8, 2010

    Today’s word is a botanical term, hastula, which I assume originates from the Latin hasta, spear. I can only assume it because I don’t know it for a fact. None of my desk references, not Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate, not the “unabridged” American Heritage 4th edition, not even the venerable Oxford English Dictionary admit the term into the… Read more

  • Word of the Day: Fomite

    By / February 16, 2010

    The word of the day is fo·mite \ˈfō-ˌmīt\ n, pl fo·mites \-ˌmīts; ˈfäm-ə-ˌtēz, ˈfōm-\, which, according to Merriam-Webster’s online medical dictionary, is an inanimate object (as a dish, toy, book, doorknob, or clothing) that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission <the much maligned toilet seat is a remarkably ineffective fomite—M. F. Rein> <what… Read more

  • Word of the day: irrupt

    By / January 5, 2010

    Today’s word is irrupt. It’s not just an alternative spelling of “erupt”; it has a specific meaning in ecology. Merriam-Webster’s 11 team defines it as follows: ir•rupt vi [L irruptus, pp. of irrumpere, fr. in– + rumpere to break — more at REAVE] of a natural population : to undergo a sudden upsurge in numbers esp…. Read more

  • Word of the day: protoctist

    By / December 8, 2009

    Today’s word is fairly hardcore. A couple of months ago, I talked about the different ways scientists (biologists, taxonomists, zoologists, botanists, etc.) categorize life on Earth into five kingdoms (the Prokaryote superkingdom consisting solely of Bacteria, and the Eukaryote superkingdom, which contains the remaining 4 kingdoms: Protoctista, Animalia, Fungi, and Plantae). Since then, I’ve been… Read more

  • Florida word of the day: raindrop

    By / November 13, 2009

    Although south Florida’s rainy season has been officially over for a few weeks now, that doesn’t mean that we won’t get any more rain for the year. Far from it. After all, the “dry” season still has cold fronts pushing down from up north, and these are usually preceded by at least some measure of precipitation…. Read more

  • Florida word of the day: pickerelweed

    By / November 12, 2009

    In my day job, I spend a lot of time with my nose in dictionaries and style manuals. And today, while thumbing through Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition* (you see why in the trade we call it MW11), I ran across a headword (MW11 calls them “guide words”) that I actually know something about, and,… Read more

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