anything that foreshadows a future event; omen; sign.
The modern spelling harbinger “an omen, sign, or herald,” has an internal –n– from the Middle English variant spellings herbengar, herbenger, which arose in the second half of the 15th century. This –n– also appears, for example, in messenger (from message) and passenger (from passage). The many Middle English spellings include herbeg(e)our, herberger, herbergio(u)er. The noun originally referred to an officer of a king or nobleman who assigned lodgings to guests or rode ahead to arrange lodgings, or to a military officer who laid out encampments, or to a soldier who was part of the vanguard. Harbinger later came to mean simply “host, hospitable person.” The Middle English forms come from Old French herbergeor, herberg(i)ere “one who offers lodging, host, innkeeper,” from Frankish heriberga “lodging, inn” (in Old Saxon and Old High German “shelter for an army”). The Old English equivalent, herebeorg “quarters, shelter, lodgings,” survives in English as harbor. Harbinger entered English in the second half of the 12th century.
Last Groundhog Day, Phil did not see his shadow, a supposed harbinger of an early spring. Yet, bitter cold and snow affected the eastern U.S. deep into March.
The collapse of MDC Energy’s business turned out to be a harbinger of things to come. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a wave of bankruptcies to the oil and gas industry—even as industry executives first reward themselves with multimillion-dollar bonuses.
happening within or being the created world of a story.
Diegetic, “happening within or being the created world of a story,” is a technical term used in literary criticism, both in ancient Greek and in modern English. Its Greek original is diēgētikόs, a variant of diēgēmatikόs “pertaining to a narrative;” Aristotle uses both variants in the Poetics with the noun poíēsis “poetry” (i.e., “narrative poetry”). Both adjectives are derivatives of the noun diḗgēsis “narration, narrative” and derive from the verb diēgeîsthai “to set out in detail, describe.” Diegetic entered English in the second half of the 20th century.
The choir ceases being underscore and becomes diegetic—that is, part of the movie’s fictional space, hearable by its characters. The emperor’s malignant music has seeped out of the soundtrack and into the world of the film.
Scholars speak of two types of film music: diegetic, in which characters in a movie either perform music or listen to it (“Play it, Sam”), and non-diegetic, which is music that accompanies the film’s action—in other words, music which we hear but which the characters don’t.
a word functioning as a phrase or sentence, as the imperative Go!
A holophrase is “a word functioning as a phrase or sentence”; it comes from the Greek adjective hόlos (combining form holo-) “whole, entire,” and the noun phrásis “speech, way of speaking, expression.” Holophrases are the usual form of speech when children are learning to talk, as when your toddler stands in front of you with raised arms, and says “Up,” meaning “Pick me up.” Holophrase entered English at the end of the 19th century.
In dispensing with parts of speech, and in presenting a total situation in one symbol, the holophrase might be called a ‘word gesture.’
The VC community seems to love its holophrases: “incubate,” “accelerate,” “longtail,” “freemium,” and of course, the mythical “unicorn.” These are all words that serve as shorthand for more involved concepts central to the investment universe.