fond of or adapted to luxury or indulgence in sensual pleasures; having luxurious tastes or habits, especially in eating and drinking.
Epicurean “fond of or adapted to luxury or indulgence in sensual pleasures” derives via Middle English from Latin Epicūrēus “of Epicurus.” Epicurus (in the original Ancient Greek, Epíkouros) was a philosopher of Athenian origin who flourished in the late 4th and early 3rd centuries BC, and his school of thought, Epicureanism, had as its foundation the belief that pleasure was most important. The name Epicurus comes from the Ancient Greek adjective epíkouros “assisting,” which also functions as a noun meaning “ally, helper.” Epicurean was first recorded in English in the late 1300s.
Sometimes I have thought it would be an excellent rule to live each day as if we should die tomorrow …. with a gentleness, a vigor, and a keenness of appreciation which are often lost when time stretches before us in the constant panorama of more days and months and years to come. There are those, of course, who would adopt the epicurean motto of ‘Eat, drink, and be merry,’ but most people would be chastened by the certainty of impending death.
The tone of taciturn minimalism that Hemingway seemed to discover only after the Great War—with its roots in newspaper reporting, its deliberate amputation of overt editorializing, its belief that sensual detail is itself sufficient to make all the moral points worth making—is fully achieved in Crane’s work …. The extreme stoicism of Crane’s vision, even without the resigned epicurean sensuality that lit up Hemingway’s, is what made it resonate for the “existential” generation, including [poet John] Berryman.
a long, narrow indentation of the seacoast.
Firth “a long, narrow indentation of the seacoast” is a Middle English adaptation of the Old Norse term fjǫrthr (stem firth-), which became Norwegian fjord and was later borrowed into modern English. In this way, firth and fjord are doublets, which are pairs or groups of words in a language that are derived from the same source but through different routes. Other doublets in English include plant and clan (both from Latin planta “scion, plant,” but the latter via Irish Gaelic) as well as apothecary, bodega, and boutique (all from Ancient Greek apothḗkē “shop”). Recent Word of the Day gramarye, for example, is a doublet of both glamour and grammar; all three words come from Old French gramaire “grammar” but through different routes. Firth was first recorded in English in the early 1400s.
It’s not the open sea we are making for, but a firth, a long inlet off the north sea, where wintering geese, ducks and swans find shelter and food and which is often graced by the presence of dolphins. We go round by the head of the firth and emerge onto the road which runs close to the shore.
Some rivers terminate without passing through any firth or estuary, and are lost in the open ocean almost as soon as they touch the salt water; others only join the ocean through a firth, or through a land-locked valley, where the fresh and salt waters meet.
unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others.
Altruistic “unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others” is formed from the altru- element in the term altruism plus the adjectival suffix -istic. Altruism, based on literary French autrui “others,” ultimately comes from Latin alter “(of two) the other,” which is also the source of English words such as alteration, altercation, and alternation, all of which involve a change into or an exchange with another entity, version, or individual. Altruistic behaviors, such as helping those in need, are often contrasted with egoistic behaviors, which prioritize a person’s own desires over the needs of others. While egoism, also known as egotism, is selfishness, altruism is selflessness. Altruistic was first recorded in English in the early 1850s.
Ethics asks us to critically reflect on our judgments to determine the right thing to do. When Dr. Martin Luther King in his 1963 sermon concluded that to be a good neighbor was to be altruistic, he asked us to be willingly obedient to unenforceable obligations.
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