Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Answer to Yesterday’s Quick Quiz

To make sense of this post, you need to first read the previous one.

In my judgment, the word that begins with the letter m and which the speaker intended to use was “mishmash,” which means hodgepodge.  The fact that miasma is what came out of his mouth was probably because of a synaptic misfire, something I’ve discussed in two previous “quick quiz” posts – the ones dated May 30, 2012, and May 15, 2011.

© Copyright 2014  V. J. Singal

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Quick Quiz: Which Word Did the Speaker Have in Mind When He Misspoke? Case of Synaptic Malfunction

While researching my database for past usage of “miasma,” a word that will be featured in the next edition of “Words of the Month,” I came across the following from a long-ago interview on NPR:

“What they have is a miasma of half-baked ideas and proposals without a central unifying theme.”

Clearly, miasma is not what the speaker meant. [Definition of miasma in the American Heritage dictionary: 1. a noxious atmosphere or influence. 2. a thick vaporous atmosphere or emanation.]

Can you guess which word the interview guest had in mind, assuming that it too began with the letter “m”?  Tune in to this blog tomorrow for the answer.

© Copyright 2014  V. J. Singal