operose [OP-uh-rohs]: tedious, wearisome
Sophrosyne : a Greek philosophical term etymologically meaning healthy-mindedness and from there self-control or moderation guided by knowledge and balance.
In Greek philosophy Sophrosyne was a Greek goddess. She was the spirit of moderation, self-control, temperance, restraint, and discretion. She was considered to be one of the good spirits that escaped Pandora’s box when the first woman had opened the lid and fled to Olympos. Her Roman goddess equivalents were Continetia, the goddess of continence and moderations, and Sobrietas, the goddess of temperance and sobriety.
The Ancient Greeks upheld the ideal of sophrosyne, which means prudence and moderation but ultimately its complex meaning, so important to the ancients, is very difficult to convey in English. It is perhaps best expressed by the two most famous sayings of the Oracle of Delphi: “Nothing in excess” and “Know thyself.”
idiolect [ID-ee-uh-lekt]: a person’s individual speech pattern
Criticism that the classic doomed love story glorifies immaturity misses the point: Shakespeare was riffing on how people use the young/old binary to manipulate others.
The point of the play isn’t the exhilaration or the dunderheadedness of young love. Rather, the point is the language itself: the dazzling, disturbing rhetorical force of old/young, corrupt/innocent, experienced/naïve.
oneirataxia: the inability to differentiate between dreams and reality
First Coffee Ad, 1652
It forcloseth the Orifice of the Stomack
Why Do We Hate Certain Words?
The curious phenomenon of word aversion.
Jason Riggle, a professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Chicago, says word aversions are similar to phobias. “If there is a single central hallmark to this, it’s probably that it’s a more visceral response,” he says. “The [words] evoke nausea and disgust rather than, say, annoyance or moral outrage. And the disgust response is triggered because the word evokes a highly specific and somewhat unusual association with imagery or a scenario that people would typically find disgusting—but don’t typically associate with the word.” These aversions, Riggle adds, don’t seem to be elicited solely by specific letter combinations or word characteristics. “If we collected enough of [these words], it might be the case that the words that fall in this category have some properties in common,” he says. “But it’s not the case that words with those properties in common always fall in the category.”
banjax [ban-jaks]: to damage, ruin, destroy, smash
gormless [gawrm-lis]: lacking intelligence and vitality