A catholic podcast, not Catholic


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Sorry for not posting any podcasts lately. I have had a very sore throat and it has cut into my talking and podcasting. In addition my girlfriend and I are moving to Ohio so I have had a few distractions as well.

Today’s word is catholic. I am sure many of us know Catholicism is a major world religion that just chose a new leader. But catholic is also an adjective that describes something universal or comprehensive in scope, something that included all of mankind.

Catholic can also describe someone or something that is broad or liberal minded. Although be careful using the definition most people only know a catholic as a member of the Catholic church.

The word catholic has evolved from the Greek katholikos meaning universal to Latin to Old French to Middle English to our current spelling, pronunciation and meanings.

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Podcasting seems like a good tool for a lively fisk


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I came across today’s word, fisking, in a recent post over at Corante. At fist I thought fisking was a typo or a one-time-use, bit of jargon, but in fact fisking is neologism born from the blogosphere.

The eponymous verb describes a detailed point by point refutation of a argument or article. The technique is named after the British journalist Robert risk. In late 2001, while covering the war in Afghanistan, Fisk published an account of a mob beating him and his subsequent rescue from the angry mod. Blogger Andrew Sullivan, suspicious of the credibility of the report wrote a point-by-point refutation of Fisk’s account. Since then the blogosphere has used the term fisking to describe a detailed point-by-point refutation.

I don’t know enough of the story to comment on veracity of Fisk’s or Sullivan’s claims, but I do like the word. I see a lot of fisking on the Internet and I enjoy it. I hope fisking makes it into the wider vernacular.

By the way the Corante.com post is about Grokster’s Supreme Court case and includes links to a few fisks. If you are interested in IP law or the future of innovation in America the fisks are worth the time.

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Podcasting, vocation or avocation?


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I am sorry for the dearth of podcasts last week. Work and life sometimes intrude on the joy of my avocation. But to make up for it I have two words today- dearth and avocation.

A dearth is a shortage or lack of something. Like a dearth of Today’s Podcast last week. It is a noun and it usually spelled D-E-A-R-T-H, but some older dictionaries list D-E-R-T-H as an acceptable spelling. It comes from the old english deore meaning precious or costly. It is related to dear.

An avocation, unlike a vocation, is an extra activity, a distraction or hobby. It is a noun derived from the latin avocatio, “a calling away.”

Fortunatley for all of us listeners there are many out there who hope to make podcasting their vocation. I think that will ensure there is no dearth of podcasts.

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