gnomic: M-W's Word of the Day
- From: Tim Ney <ten gnome org>
- To: miguel ximian com
- Cc: foundation-list gnome org, foundation-announce gnome org
- Subject: gnomic: M-W's Word of the Day
- Date: 19 Dec 2001 17:53:30 -0500
The Word of the Day for December 19 is:
gnomic * \NOH-mik\ * (adjective)
*1 : characterized by aphorism
2 : given to the composition of aphoristic writing
The poet Emily Dickinson, who wrote "Tell all the Truth but tell it
slant," is known for her highly individualistic, gnomic style.
Did you know?
A "gnome" is an aphorism-that is, an observation or sentiment reduced to
the form of a saying. Gnomes are sometimes couched in metaphorical or
figurative language, and they are always concise. We borrowed the word
"gnome" in the 16th century from the Greeks, who based their "gnome" on
the verb "gignoskein," meaning "to know." (That other "gnome"-the
dwarf of fairy tales-comes from New Latin and is unrelated to today's
word.) We began using "gnomic," the adjective form of "gnome," in the
early 19th century. It describes a style of writing (or sometimes
speech) characterized by pithy phrases, which are often terse to
the point of mysteriousness.
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.
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