Quote of the day!


How much does one imagine, how much observe? One can no more separate those functions than divide light from air, or wetness from water.

Elspeth Huxley

Her childhood on a coffee farm in colonial Kenya provided writer Elspeth Huxley (born July 23, 1907) with background for her memoir, The Flame Trees of Thika.

Word of the day!


mot juste


1. French. the exact, appropriate word.


I felt very bad because here was the man I liked and trusted the most as a critic then, the man who believed in the mot juste —the one and only correct word to use—the man who had taught me to distrust adjectives as I would later learn to distrust certain people in certain given situations…
— Ernest Hemingway , A Moveable Feast , 1964

I felt that something might be learned of what I wanted from Flaubert and the mot juste so admired by Ford and Pound.
— A. S. Byatt , “Still Life/nature morte,” Passions of the Mind , 1991


Mot juste is a borrowing from the French word of the same spelling and meaning. It entered English in the late 1800s.

Word of the day!




1. causing fear, apprehension, or dread: a formidable opponent. 

2. of discouraging or awesome strength, size, difficulty, etc.; intimidating: a formidable problem. 

3. arousing feelings of awe or admiration because of grandeur, strength, etc. 

4. of great strength; forceful; powerful: formidable opposition to the proposal. 

Related forms

for·mi·da·ble·ness, for·mi·da·bil·i·ty, noun
for·mi·da·bly, adverb 
non·for·mi·da·bil·i·ty, noun 
non·for·mi·da·ble, adjective 
non·for·mi·da·ble·ness, noun 
non·for·mi·da·bly, adverb 
qua·si-for·mi·da·ble, adjective 
qua·si-for·mi·da·bly, adverb 
su·per·for·mi·da·ble, adjective 
su·per·for·mi·da·ble·ness, noun 
su·per·for·mi·da·bly, adverb 
un·for·mi·da·ble, adjective 
un·for·mi·da·ble·ness, noun 
un·for·mi·da·bly, adverb 

If you describe something or someone as formidable, you mean that you feel slightly frightened by them because they are very great or impressive. We have a formidable task ahead of us.

c.1500, from M.Fr. formidable, from L. formidabilis, from formidare “to fear,” from formido “terror, dread.” Related: Formidably.


•But getting from interest to a viable formula is proving a formidable challenge.

•By the way, these kittens may be cute, but the adult felines are actually quite formidable.

•The difficulties which seemed so formidable have mysteriously vanished.

•The resulting shift of precipitation patterns makes for a formidable weather weapon.

•Instead of being tamed through scientific description, though, the giant squid seemed more formidable than ever.

•At night, the dogs are tied into position to form a living fence around our tents and sleds, a formidable warning system.

•But global graying offers an even more formidable challenge to less wealthy countries.

•Most people may dismiss their fantastic feats-and their formidable foes-as mere fantasy.

•By any name, these fascinating insects are formidable predators.

•It’s the cerebrum that makes the human brain-and therefore humans-so formidable.

Quote of the day for Sunday, July 20th


I don’t think a tough question is disrespectful.

Helen Thomas

A year ago today, groundbreaking American journalist Helen Thomas died at age 92. After a long career covering every president from Eisenhower to Obama, she resigned at age 89, after her comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict caused controversy.