Category Archives: Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Opprobrium

Book Cover: Al Franken: Giant of the SenateAs in:
“In late 2005, I told a friend that I was very seriously considering running for the Senate.
‘Why would you do that?’ he asked incredulously.
‘Well,’ I said, ‘I think I could accomplish a lot. And what do I really have to risk?’
My friend looked dubious. ‘Um, public opprobrium?’” (Franken, 2017, p.63).

Franken, A. (2017). Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. New York: Twelve, 2017.

Word of the Week: Prescient

As in: “With Young’s prescient book [The Rise of Meritocracy] in mind, the historian Jerome Karabel has summed up the history of selective college admissions as a ‘history of recurrent struggles over the meaning of “merit”‘” (Delbanco, 2012, p.126).

Delbanco, A. (2012). College: What it was, is, and should be. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Word of the Week: Onus

As in: “Harassment from police and guards and anger at the sight of imported BookCoverANeedleABobbinstrikebreakers could have accounted for the growing number of violent clashes. But to ensure the onus of violence plagued the strikers, justified employer demands for peace and order, and brought credit to their antiunion position, the Cloak Manufacturers Association and Burns Detective Agency hired a nonunion cutter as a spy and agent provocateur” (Jensen & Davidson, 1984, p.153).

Jensen, J. M. & Davidon, S. (1984). A Spindle, a bobbin, a strike: Women needleworkers in America. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University press.

March is Women’s History Month. In 2017 we are honoring women’s contributions within the labor movement and the business world. You can read more about this year’s celebrations and honorees at the Women’s History Month Website and the Nation Women’s History Project.

Word of the Week: Historiography

As in: “Green’s The Old Irish World (1912) was significant for its critiques of unionist WoW_Historiographyhistoriography, and because it demonstrated that the older traditions of writing about late medieval and early modern Ireland were being seriously deconstructed and challenged by nationalist historians who had studied the sources” (Smith, 2006, p.51).

Smith, N. R. (2006). A “Manyly study”? Irish women historians, 1868-1949. New York: Palmgrave Macmillan.

  • For definitions of historiography, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrate Irish culture and heritage with films screening for free through Kanopy.

Word of the Week: Corpus

bookcover_learninginaburninghouseAs in:”Even in the corpus of scholarship concerning school desegregation and integration, we see two contrasting perspectives that are strongly correlated to the racial identity of the individuals holding the opinions” (Horsford, 2011, p.77).

Horsford, S.D. (2011). Learning in a burning house: Educational inequality, ideology, and (dis)integration. New York: Teachers College Press.

Word of the Week: Proffer

As in:  “Wilson ingeniously proffers hope in Rose’s views, her words providing a sense of renewal and reconciliation” (Bogumil, 1998, p.50).bookcoverbogumilunderstandin-augustwilsonr

Bogumil, M. L. (1998). Understanding August Wilson. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

Word of the Week: Epistemological

As in: “Augustine explains the Academic position in three steps: first, man is not able tobookcoverhappinessandwisdom have knowledge about those things that pertain to philosophy (quae ad philosophiam pertinent); second, nonetheless, man is able to be wise by seeking (in conquisitone) the truth; the third step and moral implication of the above is that the wise man will not assent to anything—since assenting to what is uncertain, and potentially false, is shameful (nefast est). There is, in other words, both an epistemological and an ethical dimension to the skepticism of the New Academy” (Topping, 2012, p.105).

Topping, R.N.S. (2012). Happiness and wisdom: Augustine’s early theology of education. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press.

As the semester begins, the library staff hopes that you’re on your way to both wisdom and happiness!

Word of the Week: Frieze

bookcover_snowAs in: ”As he gazed at the grand old buildings on either side, admiring their handsome doors, their generously proportioned eaves, their beautiful friezes, and their dignified but timeworn facades, Ka had a strong sense of the people (Armenians who traded in Tiflis? Ottoman pashas who collected taxes from the dairies?) who had once led happy, peaceful, even colorful lives here” (Pamuk, 2005, p.141).

Pamuk, O. (2005). Snow. New York: Vintage Books.

Word of the Week: Recalcitrant

As in: “These incursions into the age-old recalcitrant power structures of science, market, and governance are no small victories for the AIDS movement” (Chan, 2015, p.257).

Chan, J. (2015). Politics in the corridor of dying: AIDS activism and global health governance. Retrieved from

Word of the Week: Desiccated

As in: “But my aunt was a little depressed, and this lemonade-making thing must have seemed like something that would be fun and would maybe hydrate her life a little, filling her desiccated spirit with nice, cool, sweet lemonade” (Lamott, 1994, p.139).birdbybird

Lamott, A. (1994). Bird by bird: Some instructions on writing and life. New York: Pantheon Books.