We get it, David Foster Wallace, you knew (/made up) big words.
Okay, status update: I'm at page 154. According to my official Infinite Summer bookmark, I should be on page 210 by now. Sheesh. I kinda slowed down when I got to the extended crappy faux-ebonics-ish dialect passages that made me want to throw the book down or skip ahead. But no, gotta power through. For some reason. Overall, I'm digging Infinite Jest because it's funny and weird (see stampeding hamsters, below). I've accepted that by the last page I may think back and decide that little to nothing has happened.
And now, DFW decoded by M-W.com (when possible).
|I'm a lamprey.
See my circumoral teeth?
circumoral (adj) surrounding the mouth
synclinal (adj) inclined down from opposite directions so as to meet
uremia (adj) accumulation in the blood of constituents normally eliminated in the urine that produces a severe toxic condition and usually occurs in severe kidney disease
plosive (adj) relating to, or being a speech sound produced by complete closure of the oral passage and subsequent release accompanied by a burst of air, as in the sound (p) in pit or (d) in dog
tympana (adj) a thin tense membrane covering an organ of hearing of an insect
aleatory (adj) depending on an uncertain event or contingency as to both profit and loss
candidiactic (adj) definition unfound, original context lost, no Google hits, maybe I wrote it down wrong?
pedalferrous (adj) not in the dictionary, Google reveals a lot of other people are curious about this word too. This site suggests the word could mean 'iron-foot.' I don't know about that.
Here's the context:
The noise of the herd is tornadic, locamotival. The expression on the hamsters' whiskered faces is businesslike and implacable ' it's that implacable-herd expression. They thunder eastward across pedalferrous terrain that today is fallow, denuded. To the east, dimmed by the fulvous cloud the hamsters send up, is the vivid verdant ragged outline of the annularly overfertilized forests of what used to be central Maine.
fulvous (adj) of a dull brownish yellow
peratogenic (adj) well, according to this book, peratogene rocks are those altered by metamophism
atavism (n) recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of an ancestral form and usually due to genetic recombination
semion (n) Greek for "sign." The DFW wiki (of course there's a DFW wiki) has more to say.
|Agh. Clown skull.|
zygomatic (adj) of, relating to, constituting, or situated in the region of the zygomatic bone or zygomatic arch (in the face, btw)
carminative (adj) expelling gas from the stomach or intestines so as to relieve flatulence or abdominal pain or distension
sangfroid (n) self-possession or imperturbability especially under strain
mythopoeia (n) a creating of myth : a giving rise to myths
trivalent (adj) conferring immunity to three different pathogenic strains or species
erumpet (n) I dunno, but Google reveals some Harry Potter connections, like a piece of fan fiction entitled 'Taking the Erumpet by the Horns.' So.
Anybody else doing the Infinite Summer thing? If so, what page are you on?
|Where's my Singles soundtrack?|
I'm going to read something this summer.
I'm only 70-something pages into my season-long Infinite Jest mission. Thoughts so far? Oh boy, it's gonna be a long summer. One sentence was longer than a page. Another contained five footnotes. One footnote spanned eight and a half pages, and read like a tiny type imdb. That said, I'm enjoying the way David Foster Wallace mixed casual humor with an impressive vocabulary and way too many details. Early on, I decided to write down words whose meaning I was not clear on, and words I had never seen before. Every so often I'll compile them here, with definitions provided by m-w.com ' except for the last one; I had to go to medterms.com for that. Next time I'll write down the parts of speech when I come across the word, for context.
wen (noun) an abnormal growth or a cyst protruding from a surface especially of the skin
lapidary (adj) having the elegance and precision associated with inscriptions on monumental stone
espadrille (noun) a sandal usually having a fabric upper and a flexible sole
martinet (noun) a strict disciplinarian
intercostal (adjective) situated or extending between the ribs
|I'm a grackle!|
grackle (noun) any of a genus (Quiscalus of the family Icteridae) of large American blackbirds having iridescent black plumage
apocopes (noun) the loss of one or more sounds or letters at the end of a word
festschrift (noun) a volume of writings by different authors presented as a tribute or memorial especially to a scholar
hypertrophy (noun) excessive development of an organ or part
titration (noun) a method or process of determining the concentration of a dissolved substance in terms of the smallest amount of reagent of known concentration required to bring about a given effect in reaction with a known volume of the test solution
deliquesce (verb) to dissolve or melt away
ideation (noun) the capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas
hypocapnia (noun) Less than the normal level of carbon dioxide in the blood.
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