This was an enervating day for us. We traveled to the east coast of Florida to visit John’s dad who is 91. Between wanting to have everything go well, to dealing with the traffic, to running into a large group of tiny, belligerent elderly women, the day definitely was draining.

enervate – To weaken or destroy the strength or vitality

Sometimes people mistakenly use enervate to mean “to invigorate” or “to excite” by assuming that this word is a close cousin of the verb energize. In fact enervate does not come from the same source as energize (Greek energos, “active”). It comes from Latin nervus, “sinew.” Thus enervate means “to cause to become ‘out of muscle’,” that is, “to weaken or deplete of strength.” (Dictionary.com)


Here’s a funny looking word that John came across when reading “Jacquard’s Web.” It looks like one of those made up words like “spork.”

swarf – Fine metallic filings or shavings removed by a cutting tool. (Dictionary.com)

So kind of like metal sawdust. I have yet to find a way to work it into my daily speech.


Here’s a word I ran across in the Saturday puzzle.

sidereal – Of, relating to, or concerned with the stars or constellations; stellar. (Dictionary.com)

Try using this word during a romantic walk in the evening. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how it’s pronounced.