Tuesday, July 15, 2008

S.O.S. -- Caliber

I always try to expand my word use to include some words that are no longer popular. I also like to learn the social history of their usage. Here are a few more:

primarily denotes the sizer of the bore of a gin or the diameter of a bullet, but has been used figuratively and erroneously to characterize the quality of work, which should not be measured by such means. Caliber, in its figurative sense, is used of intellectual endowments or capacity of mind. We may speak of an intellectual man as one of "high caliber" but in work should be characterized as "good," "bad," or "indifferent," such as the case in mind may be.

Calling down is a vulgarism for censuring or taking to task. As there are many more expressive words to convey the thought, blame, rebuke, reprimand, censure, might be found adequate substitutes.

Cal-li' o-pe, not cal' li-ope. Nuff said there.

calumniate is to cast aspersions on; to charge falsely and knowingly of something disreputable, as in loss of chastity, and differs from malign only in the degree of malevolence that the latter implies.

certain That which his certain is sure, and therefore does not admit of comparison. Do not say the only possibility is more certain to happen than another.

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