: of or relating to the dog days (the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere)
mirriam-webster flaked today and didn't send me a word. my first thought was that they somehow discovered my blog and were punishing me for using them as a pawn in my writing endeavors. but it was probably just a technical mix-up. luckily, i have an email folder of words-of-the-days past where i save words i think are particularly interesting. i chose CANICULAR at random. it was sent to me on August 18, 2009.
when i'm confronted with the term "dog days" i think of radio advertising. i remember a lot of commercials beginning with, "dog days of summer getting you down? well, come on down to..." it was usually some local restaurant advertising its air conditioning. i remember those terribly hot and humid days of hanging out at the grocery store because it was the closest place to be where my entire body didn't stick to itself.
it doesn't get humid during the summer in portland, and this is good, except i miss thunderstorms. there was something so naturally relieving about the sky darkening and a storm breaking a three to five day stretch of living in air as thick as molasses. it was an almost sexual progression of tension and release, tension and release that occurred over and over and over during late summers in connecticut.
i try to imagine radio advertising using the less colloquial approach: "CANICULAR months getting you down?" it probably wouldn't work as well, but i might be more interested.