Google is a fun dictionary

I was reading Bleach the other day (the quality of the manga is going downhill by the week – the dour atmosphere takes away the fun from the storyline) and I looked up the abilities of the quincies in the latest arc, and noticed that the signature skills were described an an epithet.

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Now I was like whoa that’s some chim Greek-sounding word right there, and being my curious self I decided to check out the meaning of the word via our friendly neighbourhood search engine, Google –

And what befell me was a series of English adventures I never expected.

Google search: define epithet

Note: Somehow the flow chart doesn’t show in the desktop version – someone help me out? 😦

Okay, so I was right, this was indeed of Greek origin – but check it out, Google’s dictionary now gives you the history of the word in an organized flow chart! I’m certain most offline (or even online) dictionaries don’t offer this sort of functionality. It’s a captivating feature. 😃

But back to the brilliant word that captures its use in a concise way, if not for its frequent use as a euphemism. I had some trouble understanding a good place to use it, when my eyes focused on the synonym sobriquet.

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Thanks to Google, I now know that sobriquet is a term of French origin that’s relatively more frequently used than epithet. Neat, except in the example which sobriquet is used, Google naughtily used haughty. Not again!

Google search: define haughty

No, I definitely do not want to be associated with such a derogatory designation.. and I realized that my English is awful when I had to look up disdainful:

Google search: define disdainful

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And just to be certain I understand contempt correctly:

Google search: define contempt

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It’s probably a good thing that I don’t encounter terms like disdainful or haughty so often in conversations and thinkpieces, but it would be interesting to see beautiful words like sobriquet appearing more. And thanks to Google, my English improved a little today!

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