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Here are stories about five words ending in eric - GENERIC, CHOLERIC, CONGENERIC, NEOTERIC and SUBERIC. They were published in Anu Garg's global newsletter A Word A Day, (July 2000) and are copied with Anu's permission.


X-Bonus: Shall I tell you the secret of the true scholar? It is this: every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

generic (juh-NEHR-ik) adjective

  1. Of or pertaining to a genus.
  2. Sold without a brand name.
  3. Relating to a whole group or class.

[From French generique, from Latin gener-, genus kind, class.]

"The Brennans made a commitment to drastically reduce spending and to begin investing more of their six-figure income for the future. 'I even started buying generic toilet paper that felt like sandpaper to save money,' admits Kathleen."
- Mari McQueen, Making Money Against the Odds, Money (New York) Nov 1998.

[Eric Shackle is this week's guest columnist. He writes:]
Erics may take over the world. We're everywhere... World-famous musician Eric Clapton, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki (he's a living Gen eric!), South Park's Eric Cartman ... and the list goes on and on.

"There is an Eric Conspiracy," declares Eric S. Raymond, an Internet developer and writer, who describes himself as an observer-participant anthropologist in the Internet hacker culture. His research has helped explain the decentralized open-source model of software development. The latest Eric/Erik to hit the headlines is Erik Weihenmayer, the blind mountain climber who scaled Mt. Everest a few weeks ago.

As a guest wordsmith this week, I'll feature five words that end with eric. You can read my free e-book at . This month's edition features a story about AWAD's near half-million wordlovers.
- Eric Shackle (

(This week's Guest Wordsmith, Eric Shackle, is a retired journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Straits Times, among others. He is also the copy editor for AWAD, and lives near Sydney, Australia.
- Anu)


X-Bonus: When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when the tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.
- George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate (1856-1950)

choleric (KOHL-uhr-ik) adjective

Easily irritated or angered: hot-tempered.

[Middle English colerik, from Latin cholericus, from Greek cholerikos.]

"Continually throwing off cuttings from its mown prose, the novel delights in word-play. Umeed is, at times, an angry photographer, 'a choleric snappeur,' who resents playing second fiddle to the brilliant spectacle, and final demise, of Ormus and Vina: 'second-fiddling while Rome burns'."
- James Wood, Books: Review: The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie, The Guardian (London, UK), Apr 3, 1999.

Apologies to Eric Cartman, Kenny, and all South Park fans. Yesterday I erred in spelling Eric Cartman's name, and in suggesting he has more lives than a cat (that applies to Kenny, not Eric). Irate South Park fans as far away as Tokyo have corrected me.
- Eric Shackle (


X-Bonus: Oftentimes excusing of a fault / Doth make the fault the worse by th' excuse.
- William Shakespeare, playwright and poet (1564-1616)

congeneric (kon-juh-NER-ik) adjective, also congenerous

  1. Belonging to the same genus.
  2. Of the same kind or similar in nature.


A company offering closely related services.

[From Latin, con- together + gener- race.]

"Some taxonomists have considered Elephas and Mammuthus to be quite close, even congeneric; thus, an Asian elephant living today in Thailand is more closely related to the extinct mammoths of North America than to its African cousin."
- Paul Martin and David Burney, Bring Back the Elephants, Whole Earth, Spring 2000.

"'Merely putting together a financial services congeneric with all the constituent parts does not guarantee success,' Mr. Cleghorn said in a speech."
- Jeffrey Kutler, First Union Chief's Assertions Rile Skeptics on Benefits of Size Series, American Banker (New York), Dec 10, 1997.


X-Bonus: The man who is denied the opportunity of taking decisions of importance begins to regard as important the decisions he is allowed to take.
- C. Northcote Parkinson, author and historian (1909-1993)

neoteric (nee-uh-TER-ik) adjective

New; recent; modern.

[Late Latin neotericus, from Greek neoterikos, youthful, from neoterios, comparative of neos new.]

"Electronic books, they say, are asking them to make a mental transition -- to veer from their ingrained appreciation for the printed books that fill our nation's more than 120,000 public, academic and special interest libraries -- to depend on a neoteric gizmo that disrupts the sacred union between man and book. Welcome to the changing world of publishing."
- Charlotte Moore, Bedtime for binderies? The Austin American Statesman (Texas), Jul 28, 2000.


X-Bonus: It is as hard for the good to suspect evil, as it is for the bad to suspect good.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman, orator, writer (106-43 BCE)

suberic (soo-BEHR-ik) adjective

Of or pertaining to cork.

[From French suberique, from Latin suber, cork.]

"Chufa de Valencia: Tuber of the species Cyperus esculentus. This comes in various shapes and sizes, has a thin outer skin, suberic tissue and a high fat and sugar content."
- Source: A Report from British Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food.

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See also "When I wrote about Eric Catman, fans hit the wit" by clicking on OOPS.

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