Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bizarrerie

This means bizarre quality. You have noticed by now that it is merely French, and not a word ending in y, and although this is true, it is also true that while reading Nicholson Baker's piece in the August 9 issue of The New Yorker and coming across bizarrerie, it struck me that this is (clearly) a y word at its core. For generations--perhaps for all time--it has ended in ie, but somewhere in the capillarian grooves of its etymological family tree (even if it's not on record, even if it's only in utero) there is a y at the end of this word. I have no Ancient French dictionary. Maybe it's in there.

The Kindle 1's design was a retro piece of bizarrerie--an unhandy, asymmetrical Fontina wedge of plastic.

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