Cultural Literacy: Adjective

My definition – a describing word

Real definition – According to Dictionary.com, and adjective is  any member of a class of words that modify nouns and pronouns, primarily by describing a particular quality of the word they are modifying, as wise in a wise grandmother, or perfect in a perfect score, or handsome in He is extremely handsome. Other terms, as numbers (one cup; twelve months), certain demonstrative pronouns (this magazine; those questions), and terms that impose limits (each person; no mercy) can also function adjectivally, as can some nouns that are found chiefly in fixed phrases where they immediately precede the noun they modify, as bottle in bottle cap and bus in bus station.  Synonyms: modifier, qualifier, identifier, describer, describing word.

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Cultural Literacy: Adirondack Mountains

778px-1876_Wallace_Guide_Map_of_NY_Wilderness.JPG

My definition – the Adirondacks are a mountain range in New York state, where I had my honeymoon

Real definition – According to Wikipedia, “The Adirondack Mountains form a massif in the northeast of Upstate New York in the United States. Its boundaries correspond to the boundaries of Adirondack Park. The mountains form a roughly circular dome, about 160 miles (260 km) in diameter and about 1 mile (1,600 m) high. The current relief owes much to glaciation.”

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Cultural Literacy: Adiós

My definition – Adiós is Spanish for goodbye

Real definition – same as above

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Cultural Literacy: Ad Infinitum

My definition – it literally means “to infinity”, but means unendingly.  For example, someone could complain ad infinitum.

Real definition: According to Merriam-Webster, ad infinitum means “without end or limit.”

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Cultural Literacy: Adieu

 

goodbye-1673666_1920.jpgMy definition – French for goodbye

Real definition – From dictionary.com, adieu is Old French for goodbye or farewell.  It is a shortened form of a dieu (vos) commant, meaning “I commend you to God.”  Farewell was said to the person leaving, and adieu was said to the person staying.

 

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Cultural Literacy: ad hominem

My definition – the Latin means “to the man”, but I’m not sure of it’s modern meaning.

Real definition – From Wikipedia, “Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is now usually understood as a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.”

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Cultural Literacy: ad hoc

My definition – I know it’s Latin.  I don’t know the literal translation, but I think it means off the cuff, or something similar.

Real definition – From Merriam-Webster, “Ad hoc literally means “for this” in Latin, and in English this almost always means “for this specific purpose”. Issues that come up in the course of a project often require immediate, ad hoc solutions . . . If an organization deals with too many things on an ad hoc basis, it may mean someone hasn’t been doing enough planning.”

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