June 28th, 2005


Word of the Day for Tuesday June 28, 2005

woebegone \WOE-bee-gon\, adjective:
1. Beset or overwhelmed with woe; immersed in grief or sorrow; woeful.
2. Being in a sorry condition; dismal-looking; dilapidated; run-down.

Socrates, condemned to death by the people of Athens, prepares to drink a cup of hemlock, surrounded by woebegone friends.
    --Alain De Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy

This woebegone lot includes Henry, a real-estate developer whose dream project has, like his marriage, slipped into bankruptcy; Henry's sister, Wiloma, who has hurled herself headlong into the arms of a New Age church to survive her own divorce; and Henry and Wiloma's decrepit Uncle Brendan, a former monk whose faith has eroded along with his health, stranding him in a nursing home.
    --Jennifer Howard, review of The Forms of Water, by Andrea Barrett, [New York Times, June 13, 1993

After 40 years as a producer he thinks of himself as a battered, scarred but well-armoured animal, "like an old turtle"; and if such creatures could speak they would probably sound like [him], a bit woebegone but drolly unsurprised by life's vicissitudes.
    --"Time for another Hugo hit," Times (London), May 22, 2000


Woebegone is from Middle English wo begon, from wo (from Old English wa, used to express grief) + begon, past participle of begon, "to go about, to beset," from Old English began, bigan, from bi-, "around, about" + gan, "to go."


1. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0679442766/ref%3Dnosim/lexico
2. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0671795228/ref%3Dnosim/lexico
3. http://www.nytimes.com/
4. http://www.the-times.co.uk/

Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation


A New Batch of Things to Ponder

A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.

How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.

Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?

Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job.

No one has more driving ambition than the boy who wants to buy a car.

There are no new sins....the old ones just get more publicity.

There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 AM. It could be a right number.
No one ever says "It's only a game" when his team is winning.

Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.

If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably don't have any sense at all.

Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.

I've reached the age where the happy hour is a nap. (NOT-it is always 5 o'clock somewhere)

Be careful reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it.

The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket.

Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos?

Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Corvette than in a Yugo.

After a certain age, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you probably ARE dead.

Hauler Called

The hauler called about an hour ago -- Angelina arrived, was admired by everyone, and had settled right in. She would -- She's a trooper and has been around.

While I was talking to him, my neighbor came to the door. The herd had opened the driveway gate, and six or seven went out onto the road. She'd honked her horn, and they'd come home, but she wanted me to count them to be sure they were all there.

Nobody who's around here for very long doubts why I named the place "Pandemonium"...