Three Texts

Josh Wallaert


from Noah Webster's Dictionary of the English Language (1828)

Evolution, n.

The unfolding or opening of a curve, and making it describe an evolvent. The equable evolution of the periphery of a circle, or other curve, is such a gradual approach of the circumference to rectitude, as that its parts do all concur, and equally evolve or unbend; so that the same line becomes successively a less arc of a reciprocally greater circle, till at last they change into a straight line.

Shore, n.

The coast or land adjacent to the ocean or sea, or to a large lake or river. The word is applied primarily to the land contiguous to water; but it extends also to the ground near the border of the sea or of a lake, which is covered with water. We also use the word to express the land near the border of the sea or of a great lake, to an indefinite extent; as when we say, a town stands on the shore. We do not apply the word to the land contiguous to a small stream. That we call a bank.

Relay, n.

A supply of horses placed on the road to be in readiness to relieve others, that a traveler may proceed without delay.

Horizon, n.

The line that terminates the view, when extended on the surface of the earth; or a great circle of the sphere, dividing the world into two parts or hemispheres; the upper hemisphere which is visible, and the lower which is hid. The horizon is sensible, and rational or real. This horizon would bound the sight, if the eye could take in the whole hemisphere.

Blink, n.

Blink of ice, is the dazzling whiteness about the horizon, occasioned by the reflection of light from fields of ice at sea.


from Noah Webster's Dictionary of the English Language (1828)

Hunch, v.t.

To push with the elbow; to push or thrust with a sudden jerk.

Cut, v.t.

To separate the parts of any body by any edged instrument, either by striking, as with an ax, or by sawing or rubbing; to make a gash, incision or notch, which separates the external part of a body, as to cut the flesh.

Percussion, n.

The impression one body makes on another by falling on it or striking it.

Elastic, a.

Springing back; having the power of returning to the form from which it is bent, extended, pressed or distorted; having the inherent property of recovering its former figure, after any external pressure, which has altered that figure, is removed; rebounding; flying back. The air is elastic; vapors are elastic; and when the force compressing them is removed, they instantly expand or dilate, and recover their former state.

Dash, n.

Collision; a violent striking of two bodies; as the dash of clouds.


from Noah Webster's Dictionary of the English Language (1828)

Absence, n.

Absence of mind is the attention of the mind to a subject which does not occupy the rest of the company, and which draws the mind from things or objects which are present, to others distant or foreign.

Load, n.

A burden; that which is laid on or put in any thing for conveyance. Thus we lay a load on a beast or on a man's shoulders, or on a cart or wagon; and we say, a light load, heavy load. A load then is indefinite in quantity or weight. But by usage, in some cases, the word has a more definite signification, and expresses a certain quantity or weight, or as much as is usually carried, or as can be well sustained.

Remember, v.t.

To have in the mind an idea which had been in the mind before, and which recurs to the mind without effort.

Loom, v.i.

To appear above the surface either of sea or land, or to appear larger than the real dimensions and indistinctly; as a distant object, a ship at sea, or a mountain. The ship looms large, or the land looms high.

Abyss, n.

That which is immeasurable. That in which any thing is lost.

Josh Wallaert is proprietor of the internet curiosity Webster's Daily. He appears also in Black Warrior Review, Third Coast, New Orleans Review, and AGNI Online, and he co-directed the documentary Arid Lands (Sidelong Films, 2007). He is originally from Oregon and now lives in Vancouver, B.C.