verb (used with or without object)
to kindle into flame, ardor, activity, etc.
Enkindle “to kindle into flame, ardor, or activity” is a compound of the prefix en-, which serves as a transitive marker, and the verb kindle “to start (a fire); cause to begin burning.” Kindle derives from Old Norse kynda and is related to Old Norse kindill “torch, candle.” Despite the phonetic similarity, however, kindle is not related to candle, the latter of which is of Latin origin and comes from the same source as incandescent and incendiary. It is likely that kindle has been influenced in meaning and/or spelling by the unrelated homonym kindle “to bear (young),” which comes from the Old English noun gecynd “offspring.” Enkindle was first recorded in English in the 1540s.
In the cold courts of justice the dull head demands oaths, and holy writ proofs; but in the warm halls of the heart one single, untestified memory’s spark shall suffice to enkindle such a blaze of evidence, that all the corners of conviction are as suddenly lighted up as a midnight city by a burning building, which on every side whirls its reddened brands.
Scents of Power is illuminating to the benighted, just as it is enlightening to the elite. In it, we identify an ideologue who isn’t a bohemian and one whose trajectory enkindles hope for voices on the fringe and the journalism practice itself. This well written book invites you to take more than a cursory look.
any song of praise, joy, or triumph.
Paean “any song of praise, joy, or triumph” derives via Latin paeān “religious or festive hymn” from Ancient Greek paián, a song addressed to Apollo in gratitude. This term is a common use of the name Paiā́n, which was originally the name of the physician of the gods but later became a nickname for Apollo. While Paiā́n is of uncertain origin, possibly pre-Greek, it has another floral descendant in English: peony, the state flower of Indiana. Paiā́n is not related to Pan, the name of the Greek god of forests, pastures, and shepherds. Paean was first recorded in English circa 1540.
A very different sort of uneasy calm hovers over Puts’s Silent Night, which received a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. After brief paeans to the “glory of the battle” that marks the beginning of the war, the opera picks out the threads of its multiple storylines. A pregnant French woman rebukes her husband for enlisting. A Scottish soldier persuades his brother—fatefully, as it turns out—to join him. Two lovers, both of them opera singers, are separated after singing in Germany.
pensive, especially in a melancholy way.
Wistful “pensive in a melancholy way” is likely a compound of the adjective whist (also wist) “quiet, silent, attentive” and the suffix -ful, perhaps because of the influence of the adjective wishful. As an interjection, whist is used to mean “hush! silence! be still!” Whist is likely of imitative origin and belongs to a class of similar-sounding interjections, along with hist, hush, and sh, that are used to demand silence. The sibilant sounds s and sh appear to be universal sounds indicating silence that appear in disparate languages, from Latin st to Finnish hys and Swahili usu. These widespread, common sounds are not the result of baby talk, as with the recent Word of the Day selection babushka; rather, they are onomatopoeic. Alternatively, wistful could simply be an alteration of the adverb wistly “with close intention.” Wistful was first recorded circa 1610.
On holidays, it’s natural to feel a longing for times gone by—a childhood spent singing carols or meals spent with now departed loved ones. Recently scientists have explored the bittersweet feeling of nostalgia, finding that it serves a positive function, improving mood and possibly mental health …. [W]hen subjects were induced to experience wistful reverie via sentimental song lyrics or memories, they reported greater self-continuity …. [N]ostalgia boosted self-continuity by increasing a sense of social connectedness. Sentimental recollections often include loved ones, which can remind us of a social web that extends across people—and across time.
The novelty of those days, of breaking the routine, of delighting in the outdoors and connecting with nature instead of sitting in a classroom, casts a wistful resonance all these years later. With a few details changed, my kids, now 10 and 12, have roughly mirrored this routine each winter themselves … until their canceled snow day earlier this school year .… Even for the small minority of students who require or prefer remote learning, the value of a surprise snow holiday is still something to be embraced.
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