A Word About Words From the OED

The Oxford English Dictionary remains THE word bible of the English language.   The OED is available online, with a Word-of-the-Day feature to which one can subscribe without cost.   A full subscription is beyond my budget, and I do respect the OED’s the prohibition against re-posting in its entirety.   Anyone can subscribe to the daily word post  through the OED web site at http://www.oed.com/ to receive the without-cost daily.

Often these selected words grab my attention for various reasons, not only to find out what they mean, but also as discussion topics.

A recent word that intrigued me especially is  —  dis-candy — which means literally liquifying or melting candy (lemon drops, or life savers for example,) from its candied/solid state to the sticky gooey mess that sticks to everything when melted.

Shakespeare used the word to good advantage, with a metaphorical meaning, as taking the overly-sweet or romantic useage of cleaning up “purple prose” or misplaced or just overstated descriptions in a line of poetry or speech.    English teachers often like to “dis-candy” students’ writing.

My wonder isn’t really the word itself, but the prefix (DIS -candy. )    Some substance that starts out as a sticky-sweet solid that  deteriorates into a liquid, or disappears; or a cringe-worthy saccharine sweetness in speech or prose.     Upon consideration I suppose that (DE-candy) would have a different connotation, perhaps meaning some of the  ingredients or adjectives of said substance (i.e. lollypop,) or line of spoken words would be present originally, but removed from the final product never having existed.

Beside the point, neither of my two little desk go-to-dictionaries: The New Oxford Spelling Dictionary, 2014;   nor  The Merriam Webster Dictionary New Edition, 2004 include the word dis-candy.     My criteria for go-to-dictionaries is that they are small paperbacks that sit on a shelf above my computer and can be retrieved with one hand.