Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Definition, please?

Definition, please?

Um ... reading a book. Came across the word "rebarbarative." Checked the OED online. It isn't there. I think the author meant "rebarbative"? But does anyone know if the former exists? Because I now know what the latter means -- and the author is right that going through the CDF and the Codex Laureshaimensis are pretty deadly. But I'd like to make sure that there isn't some other word out there that means something else. And ... OMG. I know that one can't simply say, "ploughing through these huge piles of documents, even though some nice German scholars have edited them for us, is a huge pain in the ass and quite possibly duller than watching too-thickly applied paint dry on a very humid day when you've a ton of things you'd rather be doing," but damn. I read a good bit. I'm fairly literate. And I've never seen this bloody word before, and can't really think that it increases clarity.

Well, yes, this does mean I'm working on something not directly related to teaching.


Jonathan Jarrett said...

I can't help with the vocabulary, though I suspect that you're right and it's just a typo for `rebarbative'. But I'm looking at going through CDF and CL and most of all Traditiones Wizenburgenses for my Leeds paper in the upcoming two months so in many ways, including papers beating partners in the allocation of time, I feel your pain. I hope K'zoo goes or went well for you.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across rebararative--twice--in Don Akenson's "An Irish History of Civilization". Thus far I've been unable to find any definition of the term, but I came across a review on Amazon.com complaining of Akenson's use of the same word (and other equally obscure and trifling terms) in his "Saint Saul...". Also, Google turns up numerous pages in which which the terms is used. Apparently, some folks wordier than we think the terms signifies enough to make liberal use of it, though not so much that any have labored to make its meaning knowable through the usual avenues.

On the other hand, rebarbative (which word you've just introduced me to, thanks) fits the context perfectly, so perhaps rebarbarative is just a common misspelling, or a variant overlooked by the OEDers.

Anonymous said...

I found "rebarbaratif, -ive" defined in some French dictionary. I don't speak French, but, judging from the cognates, it seems to = rebarbative.