Today’s quiz: Inform can mean: a. Pervade b. Crimp c. Distort d. Flow

Don’t miss an opportunity to research a word you don’t know. If you postpone, you’ll forget the word. And as they say, that ship has sailed. Many moons went by before I got around to looking into ‘plasticine’ from the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s” album. Plasticine had been a brand name of modeling clay in the U.K., but the word eventually became a generic. It’s been used in numerous cartoon animations, claymation, for years.

Likewise with the Beach Boys. I only recently delved into ‘huarache sandals’ from “Surfin’ USA.” They are leather sandals originally worn by native Mexicans. But if you Google it, you can see the cut is still very much in vogue.

Speaking of music, I appreciate it when musicians reach for an obscure, superannuated word to use for a new CD release. “Manticore” is the name of a CD drop of 2022. And upon research, I’ve found other CDs bore the same sobriquet over the years. A manticore is a lion’s body with the head of a man. They can often be seen billowing wind on ancient maps.

I’m delighted too when a book is released using an archaic word for the title. “Antagony” is the title of a 2022 book, and although the word is obsolete, it’s a snazzy usage that adds pizazz. It means contest or opposition. Nothing amiss in using an archaism for dramatic effect.

Agonistes is a current term meaning an inner struggle, often used sarcastically. Milton penned a tome under the header “Sampson Agonistes.”

I’m still seeing music shop crate diggers — music heads who riffle through musty cases of vintage vinyl — it’s a restorative diversion. And isn’t riffle a calming word? It can mean the shuffling of cards…or the gentle sound of water flowing over rocks in a stream. Let’s see more usage of riffle!

Answer: a. Pervade

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