Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kindle Surprise

The best thing I've noticed about the Kindle since getting it last week, is the superb dictionary integration. It works better than it does on the iPad version. This is a feature I have wanted to have for years; almost instant look-up of the meaning of a word. Not only that, but if you read in another language, you can install a new dictionary and use that instead. You can also select the definition and save it for later revision.

This is a feature that every operating system should have built-in. One should be able to instantly look-up the meaning of any work at the click of a button. Why OSX and Windows fail to do this, I do not know.

Some new words:

reave v. (past and past participle reft ) [no obj.] ARCHAIC carry out raids in order to plunder. [with obj.] rob (a person or place) of something by force: reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast. [with obj.] steal (something). reaver n.

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hummock n. a hillock or knoll. a hump or ridge in an ice field. NORTH AMERICAN a piece of forested ground rising above a marsh. hummocky adj. mid 16th century (originally in nautical use denoting a small hillock on the coast): of unknown origin.

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broil1 v. [with obj.] NORTH AMERICAN cook (meat or fish) by exposure to direct heat. [no obj.] become very hot, especially from the sun: the countryside lay broiling in the sun. late Middle English (also in the sense ‘burn, char’): from Old French bruler ‘to burn’, of unknown origin.

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expostulate v. [no obj.] express strong disapproval or disagreement: he found Fox expostulating with a young man. expostulation n. expostulator n. expostulatory adj. mid 16th century (in the sense ‘demand how or why, state a complaint’): from Latin expostulat- ‘demanded’, from the verb expostulare, from ex- ‘out’ + postulare ‘demand’.

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arabesque n. 1 [BALLET] a posture in which one leg is extended backwards at right angles, the torso bent forwards, and the arms outstretched, one forwards and one backwards. 2 an ornamental design consisting of intertwined flowing lines, originally found in ancient Islamic art: [as modifier] arabesque scrolls. 3 [MUSIC] a passage or composition with fanciful ornamentation of the melody. mid 17th century: from French, from Italian arabesco ‘in the Arabic style’, from arabo ‘Arab’.

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capon n. a castrated domestic cock fattened for eating. caponize (also caponise) v. late Old English: from Old French, based on Latin capo, capon-.

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faugh exclam. expressing disgust: ‘Faugh! This place stinks!’. natural exclamation: first recorded in English in the mid 16th cent.

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embrasure n. an opening in a wall or parapet which is bevelled or splayed out on the inside, typically one around a window or door. embrasured adj. early 18th century: from French, from obsolete embraser (earlier form of ├ębraser) ‘widen a door or window opening’, of unknown ultimate origin.

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