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June 14th, 2006

Happy Birthday, blackfeather!

Alas, no Forgotten English today, as I'm not at work. So here's the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day!

divarication • \dye-vair-uh-KAY-shun\ • noun
1 : the action, process, or fact of spreading apart
*2 : a divergence of opinion

Example sentence:
A divarication arose over how to handle next year's themed party, with one faction arguing for a Hawaiian luau and another proposing a 1950s sock hop.

Did you know?
There's no reason to prevaricate about the origins of "divarication"—the word derives from the Medieval Latin "divaricatio," which in turn descends from the verb "divaricare," meaning "to spread apart." "Divaricare" itself is derived from the Latin "varicare," which means "to straddle" and is also an ancestor of "prevaricate" ("to deviate from the truth"). The oldest sense of "divarication," which first appeared in print in English in 1578, refers to a literal branching apart (as in "divarication of the roads"). The word eventually developed a more metaphorical second sense that is used when opinions "stretch apart" from one another.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

And here I figured a divarication is what happens when one person in a couple goes to Disneyland for two weeks, while the other goes to Key West.

-The Gneech

PS: Yes, I know, it's obscure.

Because I Love You...

I'm giving it to you a little early. ;)

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-The Gneech

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