1. to fashion an object out of thin air, or to improve the general quality of a pre-existing object, using the vague powers that have seemingly been placed within you by a pair of horny experimenting teens: I’m starving; it’d be great if someone could weird-science me a pizza | Huh, this sweater must have gotten weird-scienced in the dryer because it totally fits now.
2. to influence or affect something far beyond any expectations or senses of logic and reason: I think eight days without sunshine has weird-scienced my brain. | Gee, thanks, Massachusetts, now the right is totally going to weird-science health-care reform.
Use with caution.
There’s a new book I want. Well, it’s two books, the two-volume Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary. I like very much my Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, which has smart little editorials on words and their usage from Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, Stephin Merritt, and other smart people whose opinions I don’t just trust but more like place the entirety of my faith in. (And I know, having read thoroughly my DFW, that the late grammarian would have no problems with the preposition hanging out at the end of that there sentence up there.) The other great thing about the OAWT is its superlative tables for certain groups of adjectives. Like the one that ties “kind” to “cruel” through words like “humane” and “inoffensive” and “pitiless”. Also the tables of specifics for those writers like this one who tend always to satisfy themselves with dull generics. A whole table of terms involved with knitting and crocheting! A list of oaths and curses inclusive of both “fuck it” and “jeez Louise”!
Continue reading The Value(s) of Books