Infinite Jest II

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

More IJ vocab. I’m leaving out the complicated medical and chemical terms.

  • Thrush - (in the case of the story) a contagious disease caused by a fungus, Candida albicans, that occurs most often in infants and children, characterized by small whitish eruptions on the mouth, throat, and tongue, and usually accompanied by fever, colic, and diarrhea.
  • Impaction - the driving of one bone against another so hard that niether can move.
  • Nonpareil - having no equal.
  • Ad Velorem - Latin for “in proportion to the value”
  • Kif - smoking material, such as Indian hemp, used especially in the Maghreb (a region of northwest Morocco). (From the Arabic “kayf” or “kef,” for “condition,” “pleasure,” or “opiate.”)
  • Nystatin - an antibiotic used especially in the treatment of fungal infections.
  • Stiptic - producing contraction; stopping bleeding; having the quality of restraining hemorrhage when applied to the bleeding part; astringent.
  • Dyspeptic - a person suffering from indigestion.
  • Penitent - feeling or expressing remorse for one’s misdeeds or sins.
  • Febrile - feverish.
  • Pique - a feeling of wounded pride (pronounced “peek”).
  • Necrosis - death of cells or tissues through injury or disease. (From the Greek and Latin for “death.”)
  • Attaché - a person officially assigned to the staff of a diplomatic mission.
  • Halal - meat that has been slaughtered in the manner prescribed by the shari?a. (From the Arabic for “legally permissable.”) (I don’t know what that last word means.)
  • Anfractuous - full of twists and turns, tortuous. (From the Latin “ambi-” for “around” and “fractus” for “to break.”)
  • Fantod - outburst of emotion or a fit. (This is one of my favorite new words so far — “howling fantods” is the construction used in the book as in, “she had the howling fantods.” Great word.)
  • Kippers - herring or salmon that has been split, salted, and smoked.
  • Phylactery - an amulet or a reminder. (From the Greek “philakter,” for “guard.”) (There’s also a more complicated definition related to Jewish traditions.)
  • Nubbin - a small, stunted, or projecting part. (From 11th grade Calculus class “I got nubbed by Ed!,” for “My teacher just ground me in the chest with his stump of an arm.)

I almost feel you could follow the drama of the story by just reading the new vocabulary words. Indigestion, remorse, feverish, a feeling of wounded pride. These all go right together.

And yes, some of these definitions are copied right off of while others are paraphrased by me from to fit the context of the story. As such, the definitions here aren’t necessarily the most common (as in Thrush, more commonly used in reference to a particular species of bird). The terms I’ve left out are: Intestinal Flora, Candida Albicans, Monolian Sinusitis, and Actinomycete.

That’s all for now — one page of words out of four that I have right now.