Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Word of the Day: dudgeon n [origin unknown]: a fit or state of angry indignation usu. provoked by opposition. (From Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 8th edition, given to me on the occasion of my 17th birthday by an aunt and uncle.)

Sentence in which the word is used:
Even so, his mood does appear to have swung into darker regions since the election. "Crashing the Party" is filled with complaints, reaching its highest dudgeon with a chapter eviscerating the Commission on Presidential Debates for excluding him and other candidates who did not fit the two-party mold.
Source: Book review by John Fund in today's WSJ (paid subscription required) of Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President by Ralph Nader. The review is quite positive regarding the role third parties and their candidates play in American politics.

From the last letter Elizabeth Bishop wrote before her death, on the importance of looking up unfamiliar words. It is written to John Frederick Nims on October 6, 1979, regarding adding footnotes to her poems appearing in a textbook.
I'm going to take issue with you—rather violently—about the idea of footnotes. With one or two exceptions...I don't think there should be ANY footnotes. You say the book is for college students, and I think anyone who gets as far as college should be able to use a dictionary. If a poem catches a student's interest at all, he or she should damned well be able to look up an unfamiliar word in the dictionary....

You can see what a nasty teacher I must be—but I do think students get lazier and lazier & expect to have everything done for them.

(From One Art, letters of Elizabeth Bishop, p. 638.)

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