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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, December 14, 2006

dulcify

Another little meander through the dictionary brings us to the word: doofus or dufus which is slang for a foolish or inept person. Going further, a dodo is a large, extinct, flightless bird of the pigeon family, formerly inhabiting Mauritius. It is also slang for a dull-witted, slow-reacting person. Then in rapid succession, a dummkopf is slang for a stupid person or a blockhead. A dum-dum is also a silly, stupid person. A dolt or a dunderhead carries the same meaning of a dunce, a blockhead or numbskull. And a dupe is a person who is easily deceived or fooled.

Now before you start to wonder whether or not I have someone in mind for all these definitions, I will state up front that I do not. This was just the part of the dictionary I happened to be in and these caught my eye. Although I will admit to coming in close proximity to some of the ones defined, mostly on highways around the area.

The word doohickey is an informal word defined as a gadget or a thingamajig. Going a little deeper, a gadget is usually a small mechanical or electronic contrivance or device or any ingenious article. And further still, a thingamajig is a thing for which the speaker does not know or has forgotten the name, also called a thingamabob.

Another word I ran into is the noun dolor, meaning sorrow or grief. Dolorous, the adjective, means full of or causing pain or sorrow, also grievous or mournful. Many things can cause sorrow or grief, even doggerel, especially to the minds and ears of those appreciating great and artfully done verse. Doggerel is either writing that is comic or burlesque, and usually loose or irregular in measure, or something that has no aesthetic value or is poorly written. I think I have done some of that.

Although dulosis sounds a bit like some sort of disease, it is the enslavement of an ant colony or its members by ants of a different species – a hostile takeover of a different sort. Then I was enlightened to learn that dunnage is baggage or personal effects, I might have known this if I traveled more. The word also means loose material laid beneath or wedged among objects carried by ship or rail to prevent injury from chafing or moisture or to provide ventilation. So many words, so little time.

Dulcet is an adjective meaning pleasant to the ear or melodious. It also is defined as pleasant or agreeable to the eye or the feelings, or soothing. Closely related is dulcify: to make more agreeable, mollify or appease, also to sweeten. Maybe all these soothing and pleasant things could come about by using a dulcimer, one of two musical instruments. First, and the original, is a trapezoidal zither with metal strings that are struck with light hammers. The other is a modern folk instrument with three or four strings plucked or strummed with the fingers. All this sweetness is probably done for one’s dulcinea, a ladylove or sweetheart.

What our world seems to need is more dulcification, especially the parts meaning to make folks more agreeable or to sweeten them. This is not an easy thing to accomplish, even on oneself – unless we have the help of the Lord. He is able to not only sweeten us up but also make us more agreeable and both of these are good things. ec

11 Comments:

Blogger The very nice man said...

I so agree with you!! We so need the grace of the Lord now more than ever in this crazy world! I am rejoicing in the fact that you have been touched by the love of our wonderful God!
Erik

12/15/2006 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

This was just fantastic! Do you use a Thesaurus? Could you explain how you find these words? You are definitely a word collector...I think of word-bin, woodbine, bindweed, Woodstock...is that how you do it? Just 'free association'.

There are many names we give to God. Even Albert Einstein said of Him: That which cannot be understood.

12/15/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

TVNM - A portion of an old hymn - "Grace for you, grace for me, keeping true, keeping free . ." Without grace I have nothing on which to stand.

bonita - Usually I just rummage through a section of the dictionary and copy down any word that catches my attention. Then there would be an element of free association as to how I string them togather - seldom getting into depth and leaning toward the silly, as you might have noticed. :) ec

12/15/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Kila said...

I so enjoy your posts!

12/15/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

kila - Thank you so much, I'm glad you do. ec

12/15/2006 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Whew! What a relief! I thought you were talking about me. (big grin)

12/15/2006 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Your first paragraph astounded me: I had not realized that so many words describing dim-witted people began with the letter “d”!

12/15/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger adannells said...

Words are so much fun! And may we praise the Lord always for His wonderful grace! :)

12/16/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Brenda - Your comment brought a big grin to my face in response - thanks.

SSN - There are a few others with that letter, but I try to keep a decent blog. :)

ADannells - I do enjoy toying with words. Without His grace I would probably not be alive today. ec

12/16/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

So doofus really is in the dictionary? And we use it correctly too.

12/17/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - Don't remember ever calling anyone that, but I have met a few. :) ec

12/17/2006 11:29:00 PM  

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