If you use the word discourse, you are describing a formal and intense discussion or debate.

The noun discourse comes from the Latin discursus to mean "an argument." But luckily, that kind of argument does not mean people fighting or coming to blows. The argument in discourse refers to an exchange of ideas — sometimes heated — that often follows a kind of order and give-and-take between the participants. It's the kind of argument and discussion that teachers love, so discourse away!


If you stipple something, that means you add tiny dots of color or texture, such as using a special painting tool to stipple a plain wall with dots of a different color to make it look more interesting.

The verb stipple came into English from the Dutch word stippelen, meaning "to spot or dot.” Artist stipple paint onto their canvases and from the distance, the dots look like a field of flowers. You can also stipple metal, by poking it with a tool that creates little circular dents — that look like dots — to give it an artistic look.

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Pie Hole Word of the Day


Compound adjectives referring to people's mouths are never flattering in English, and today's word follows the pattern. Mealy-mouthed is opposite to "direct" in several senses and can suggest deviousness, insincerity, timidity, equivocation, or compromising in speech. The connection with meal is not straightforward but the word manages to sound disparaging even without making obvious etymological sense.



As humans we are all fallible, because fallible means likely to make errors or fail. Nobody's perfect, after all.

Fall down on the job and you're fallible. It's a forgiving way to say you screwed up. If a scientific experiment's data is fallible, that means you can't trust the numbers. More than just locking your keys in the car, fallible can allude to a lack of moral strength. If in addition to locking your keys in the car, you kissed your best friend's husband, you might try using "I'm fallible" as your defense.


Well-Rounded Word of the Day:

Three hundred years ago today was the birth day of Denis Diderot, a French philosopher and writer. He devoted a great part of his adult life to writing and editing the Encyclopédie, a monumental reference work which was the model and archetype of encyclopedias today. Encyclopedia is a Greek-derived word from roots that mean "all-round education."



The adjective, congruent fits when two shapes are the same in shape and size. If you lay two congruent triangles on each other, they would match up exactly.

Congruent comes from the Latin verb congruere "to come together, correspond with." Figuratively, the word describes something that is similar in character or type. Are your actions congruent with your values? If a friend says something outrageous that you don't want to agree with but don't want to disagree with either, say that your friend's idea is congruent with what you think. That way you can agree with him but change your mind later if you have to.