Dictionary listings

Jason Kottke notes, “I’ve been keeping track of words which return a link to a dictionary definition of the word in Google.”

As kottke.org defines blog topicality, now is probably a good time to call out my own dictionary word list. Since early 2004 I’ve been tracking in del.icio.us (almost) every time I’ve looked up a definition, 164 in all. Sometimes it’s been a supplement to what I’m reading; others have been to confirm something I’m writing; still others are just sheer curiosity. A few trends can be spotted in the list if one looks hard enough.

A full list of terms (with links but without contextual notes) appears in the Read More link below for archival purposes.

  1. comportment – Definitions from Dictionary.com
  2. Cautel – definition
  3. vertiginous: Definition
  4. sedition: Definition
  5. kleptocracy: Definition
  6. Dictionary.com/multiplicitous
  7. Dictionary.com/flibbertigibbet
  8. A word for “neither solid nor liquid?” | Ask MetaFilter
  9. jerry-rig
  10. Dictionary.com/jury-rig
  11. pandemic: Definition
  12. epidemic: Definition
  13. disseminate: Definition, Synonyms and Much More From Answers.com
  14. Dictionary.com/dastardly
  15. Sloppy joe – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  16. Dictionary.com/sloth
  17. Dictionary.com/abecedary
  18. Dictionary.com/cairn
  19. Dictionary.com/taproot
  20. Dictionary.com/cherub
  21. Dictionary.com/buffet
  22. Dictionary.com/marginalize
  23. Dictionary.com/boondoggle
  24. Dictionary.com/equitable
  25. Dictionary.com/beneficent
  26. Dictionary.com/borne
  27. Dictionary.com/purveyor
  28. Dictionary.com/animation
  29. Dictionary.com/fetid
  30. Dictionary.com/influx
  31. Dictionary.com/divest
  32. Dictionary.com/levee
  33. Dictionary.com/commingle
  34. Dictionary.com/orgastic
  35. Dictionary.com/recondite
  36. Dictionary.com/commiserating
  37. Dictionary.com/conjecture
  38. Dictionary.com/albatross
  39. Dictionary.com/dilution
  40. Dictionary.com/titer
  41. Dictionary.com/fending
  42. Dictionary.com/decried
  43. Dictionary.com/breviary
  44. Dictionary.com/occlude
  45. Dictionary.com/marque
  46. Dictionary.com/biddable
  47. Dictionary.com/quixotic
  48. Dictionary.com/egregious
  49. Dictionary.com/premier
  50. Dictionary.com/premiere
  51. Dictionary.com/bogart
  52. Dictionary.com/wonky
  53. Dictionary.com/poultice
  54. Dictionary.com/taffeta
  55. Dictionary.com/mimesis
  56. Dictionary.com/endoscopy
  57. Dictionary.com/gastric
  58. Dictionary.com/exegesis
  59. Dictionary.com/obsequious
  60. Dictionary.com/verbiage
  61. Dictionary.com/vernacular
  62. Dictionary.com/asperity
  63. Dictionary.com/snipe
  64. Dictionary.com/belie
  65. Dictionary.com/semblance
  66. Dictionary.com/vanguard
  67. NIMBY: Definition
  68. Dictionary.com/emphasis
  69. Dictionary.com/dongle
  70. Dictionary.com/replicate
  71. Dictionary.com/contumely
  72. cottage industry: Definition and Much More From Answers.com
  73. Dictionary.com/propriety
  74. Dictionary.com/prescient
  75. Dictionary.com/productional
  76. Dictionary.com/effluent
  77. Dictionary.com/employee
  78. Dictionary.com/coworker
  79. Dictionary.com/colleague
  80. Dictionary.com/unequivocally
  81. Dictionary.com/dynasty
  82. Dictionary.com/fortuity
  83. Dictionary.com/manipulable
  84. Dictionary.com/half
  85. Dictionary.com/unprepossessing
  86. Dictionary.com/ignominy
  87. Dictionary.com/rambunctious
  88. Dictionary.com/postulate
  89. anastrophe
  90. anaphora
  91. What is Chiasmus
  92. Cliche Finder
  93. Dictionary.com/benediction
  94. Dictionary.com/promise
  95. Dictionary.com/denouement
  96. Dictionary.com/necrology
  97. Dictionary.com/unawares
  98. Dictionary.com/duende
  99. Dictionary.com/cajole
  100. Dictionary.com/presence
  101. Dictionary.com/pervade
  102. Dictionary.com/efficacy
  103. Dictionary.com/efficacious
  104. Dictionary.com/redact
  105. Dictionary.com/ruckus
  106. Dictionary.com/hoo-ha
  107. Dictionary.com/uproar
  108. Dictionary.com/furor
  109. Dictionary.com/fracas
  110. Dictionary.com/clamor
  111. Dictionary.com/arch
  112. Dictionary.com/recalcitrant
  113. Dictionary.com/capricious
  114. Dictionary.com/capacious
  115. Dictionary.com/strapping
  116. Dictionary.com/stridently
  117. Dictionary.com/modicum
  118. Dictionary.com/shyster
  119. Dictionary.com/grok
  120. Dictionary.com/sumptuous
  121. Dictionary.com/heathen
  122. Dictionary.com/ligate
  123. Dictionary.com/barista
  124. Dictionary.com/obviate
  125. Dictionary.com/sanguine
  126. Thesaurus.com/despite
  127. Thesaurus.com/regardless
  128. Thesaurus.com/reluctant
  129. Dictionary.com/conceit
  130. Dictionary.com/rejoinder
  131. Dictionary.com/notoriety
  132. Dictionary.com/myriad
  133. Dictionary.com/renascence
  134. Yo, vote! | csmonitor.com
  135. Dictionary.com/bi-
  136. Dictionary.com/languorous
  137. Dictionary.com/indolent
  138. Dictionary.com/dilatory
  139. Dictionary.com/gravitas
  140. Dictionary.com/ditto
  141. Dictionary.com/persnickety
  142. Dictionary.com/prow
  143. Dictionary.com/itinerant
  144. Dictionary.com/palpable
  145. Dictionary.com/glower
  146. Dictionary.com/bittersweet
  147. Dictionary.com/plectrum
  148. Dictionary.com/sycophant
  149. Dictionary.com/end-all
  150. Dictionary.com/be-all
  151. Dictionary.com/unctuous
  152. Dictionary.com/smarmy
  153. Dictionary.com/wrester
  154. Dictionary.com/double-tongued
  155. Double-Tongued Word Wrester
  156. Dictionary.com/ostensible
  157. Dictionary.com/prurience
  158. Dictionary.com/hotfoot
  159. Dictionary.com/lug
  160. Dictionary.com/ingenious
  161. Dictionary.com/touchstone
  162. Dictionary.com/twee
  163. Dictionary.com/peripatetic
  164. Dictionary.com/jocular

Girder & Panel

Towers--click to enlargeIt struck me yesterday that my favorite building in New York has a lot in common with my favorite building in Hong Kong.

I don’t mention it much in this space, but I’m a huge architecture buff. The Bank of China Tower, at left in the image shown here, is one of my all-time favorite modern constructions, despite I.M. Pei’s apparent affront to feng shui. And for the past few months I’ve been extolling the bold virtues of the Hearst Tower to anyone who will listen.

A toast, then, to diagonal support beams.

Bank of China Tower

Hearst Tower

(The title of this post refers to the classic Girder and Panel toy of days past, which I may still have stashed away in my parents’ basement, and which is once again available. I wonder if I’m too old to get one.)

Cruise. Tom Cruise.

This week’s New York Magazine Approval Matrix (which is a don’t-miss treat every week) includes this approving nugget on “Mission: Impossible III”: “The kidnapping in ‘M:I:III,’ involving spilled wine, body doubles, voice modulation, and an exploding Lamborghini—just the kind of awesome Bond-movie scene that doesn’t appear in Bond movies anymore.”

Not only is this completely true, it also gave me a realization: Tom Cruise wants to be—nay, in “M:I:III” he has become—the next James Bond.

Compare these basic facts about Bond movies (pre-Timothy Dalton, anyway) with Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt in “M:I:III.”

Bond: Tall, dark, handsome, dapper, well-versed in etiquette and perfect comportment. Hunt: Dark, handsome (not tall), dapper, well-versed in etiquette and perfect comportment. Hunt is not British, although Cruise could work on an accent.

Bond: Operates as a secret agent on confidential assignments revealed to no one, including the woman in his life. Hunt: Operates as a secret agent on confidential assignments revealed to no one, including the woman in his life.

Bond: Has an incredible arsenal of gadgets and clever methods of getting into and out of difficult situations. Hunt: Has an incredible arsenal of gadgets and clever methods of getting into and out of difficult situations. Instead of geeky Q, Hunt has sidekick Luther.

Bond: Really knows how to wear a tux. Hunt: Really knows how to wear a million-dollar rappelling contraption.

Bond: Often goes into missions with a second agent or to finish another 00’s work. Hunt: Goes into his first mission to rescue a kidnapped agent, then finishes her work. “Mission: Impossible” used to be about a team of experts, but the latest sequel makes Hunt the main executor.

Bond: Drives fantastic cars and visits exotic international locations. Hunt: Is seen in fantastic cars (such as a Lamborghini) and visits exotic international locations (including Rome and Shanghai).

Bond: Knows how to shoot a gun and isn’t afraid to kill those who stand in his way. Hunt: Knows how to shoot a gun and isn’t afraid to kill those who stand in his way.

Bond: Performs mysteriously dextrous stunts for a man in a tuxedo. Hunt: Regularly performs dextrous stunts for a man in a million-dollar rappelling contraption.

Bond: After saving the world from near-distruction, his superiors want him to immediately get back to work, although he chooses to kick back instead. Hunt: After saving America from near-distruction, his superiors want him to immediately get back to work, although he chooses to kick back instead.

Bond: Gets the girl. And sometimes several. Hunt: Saves the girl, in this case his new bride. Which is very un-Bond, but still.

If Cruise could nail a British accent he’d have it made. Except, of course, that being James Bond doesn’t pay nearly as well as simply being Tom Cruise.

Mobilized troops, eh?

“The president has laid out a carrot-and-stick approach for controlling illegal immigration, and that includes using up to 6,000 National Guard troops to beef up border security.”

Not quite the same as this, is it:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”


One of the more challenging aspects of keeping a blog is keeping it fresh and interesting. A general more-is-more property applies: the more frequently one posts, the easier it is to find subjects worth writing about, primarily because the point of reference is more immediate.

Right now I could very easily post about the dog-sitting I’m doing this weekend, or the NHL playoffs, which I’m following more alertly this season than I have in years. But as they haven’t previously been covered in this space, so tidbits like “the dogs are passed out now, Rudy pressed against my leg, Charley across the bed as always, but a little jealous nonetheless” will have no frame of reference. Ever notice how you have less to say to your best friend that you haven’t spoken to in a year than you do your neighbor that you see every morning? That’s the topicality problem facing the Ideapad of late.

My aim, as noted here a good five years ago, is simple: keep writing. But my once-every-two-weeks items have a necessarily different angle than the typical 10-times-a-day personal blog seen online. We’ll see if I can’t work on this site’s focus in the coming months.


Five years ago today on the Ideapad: “It is enough for you to know that I am dizzily happy these days.”

Today? More on the side of contented than vertiginous, to be accurate, but no less happy. Owning a dog will do that to you.

I am also drawn to post right above that one: “One cannot understate the elation of shopping for pants after a successful diet and discovering that all the pants at one’s usual size are, suddenly, too big in the waist.” Apparently the first week of May 2001 was a good time to be me. (Note to self: keep dieting!)