more entries in the Devil’s Dictionary: today including glabella, pterydactyly, etc.
See the complete Devil’s Dictionary of Scientific Words and Phrases here.
all entries in the Devil’s Dictionary copyright 2017 by Russ Hodge
glabella the region of a face at the top of the bridge of the nose that separates the eyebrows from each other, on the generic human face. Overall, humans can be divided into two groups: glabella positive (having two distinct eyebrows) and glabella negative (having only one). Polyglabellous refers to those with two or more glabella, and people entirely lacking eyebrows are described as hyperglabellous, unless this is the result of a disease such as glabellitis. The medical literature reports a few cases of paraglabella, in which individuals’ eyebrows have migrated to unusual places on their faces, such as below the eyes (also known as basal glabella), or arranged themselves vertically on either side of the eyes (paranthetical glabella).
directed mutagenesis any method of artificially altering the genes of an organism that involves a musical score and a conductor in a tuxedo.
-dactyly having to do with the fingers. The root has been enhanced to create the following terms:
polydactyly orignally, the ability to play the piano with more than one finger. Nowadays the word is also used for touch typing or the capacity to type text messages with more than just the index finger.
brachydactyly the ability to play the piano or type despite having very short fingers. Performers are permitted to use alternate fingerings, as well as their toes, if the work contains intervals they are unable to reach.
pterodactyly the ability to play the piano while wearing wings, such as when a performer is wearing an angel costume. Also applies to birds that have been taught to play the piano or to send text messages, which happens more often than you think.
aquadactyly moving splayed fingers through a liquid, such as while swimming badly, or stirring your coffee with your fingers when you haven’t been provided with a spoon.
pastadactyly to eat or strain spaghetti without the aid of utensils, using exclusively fingers.
peridactyly pertaining to or residing in the empty space between the fingers. Recent studies indicate that an individual’s peridactylic environment is unique and contains its own microbiome.
psychodachtyly unconscious movements of the fingers which occur while imagining playing the piano, flute, or another instrument.
omnidactylic any process which requires the use of all ten fingers at the same time, such as kneeding dough, washing hair, squeezing breasts, or gestures made upon being startled.
quotadactyliac a person with the annoying habit of using the fingers to form quotation marks in the air when quoting someone or to indicate that a phrase is being used ironically.
autodactyly activities in which the fingers have learned to perform on their own, without the involvement of the brain or consciousness. Scratching an itch, picking lice from a spouse’s hair, or texting on a cell phone are all examples of autodactylic behavior.
single nucleotide polymorphism a case in which a letter generally found at a specific location in the genetic code (or another text) has been replaced by another letter. This can change the phenotype of the organism. In the following text, for example:
“The barn is fallin’ apart”
Replacing the letter “a” with an “e” produces the following text:
“The bern is fellin’ epert”
and changes the speaker from an American to a Scotsman.
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