Today’s quiz: Attitude can mean: a. Weight b. Height c. Temperature d. Posture

A slew of splashy words start with the letter ‘q.’ A quorum is the number of members required to be present to do business in a legislative body. Quondam means erstwhile, as in he was the quondam chairman, i.e. chairman at the time. Quotidian means daily or diurnal. It can imply a tedious or boring task. A quidnunc is a bothersome person who asks querulous questions. Quintessence is the pervasive nature of something.

Q.E.D. is an engaging nugget. It’s from Latin and means the point has been proven, usually used humorously. If you want to underscore a strong view you’ve just posited, simply add Q.E.D. at the end! It’s vocalized by Gene Lockhart in the 1938 movie version of “A Christmas Carol.”

From the French, ‘on the qui vive’ means to be on the lookout. The phrase is chanted by the crowd in “The Music Man.”

Qua is a gem I’ve seen more of lately. It can mean acting as, or as such…one could say, the qua store manager…although it wouldn’t usually be used so casually. We write more formally than we speak. The president qua commander-in-chief, would be more like it.

The “New York Times” Book Review section is a rich source of fresh words. Words I’ve seen include grotty, meaning not very appealing, like a grotty hotel room. A baggy novel has unneeded verbiage or filler. A lazaretto is an isolation area for the sick, sometimes on a ship. Grandee means a top-dog or grand poobah. Spiky can refer to a cactus. Or high pitched music. It can also mean a touchy person, one who might easily fly off the handle if provoked. A dishy book is filled to the gunwale with gossip. The gunwale is the top plank of a rowboat.

Answer: d. Posture



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