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composed of a mixture of languages.
Macaronic originally meaning “composed in a mixture of Latin and vernacular languages, or using vernacular words with Latin inflectional endings, typically for burlesque or parody” is not much used nowadays with Latin composition on its way out. But macaronic also includes any combination of languages, such as the John Lennon and Paul McCartney song Michelle (1965) written in a combination of English and French. Macaronic comes from Middle French macaronique and New Latin macarōnicus. The French and Latin adjectives come from Southern dialectal Italian maccaroni (Italian maccheroni) “dumplings, gnocchi,” the source of English macaroni. The original Italian dish was a mixture of pasta, butter, and cheese (pretty close to our macaroni and cheese), and it was originally regarded as coarse food only for peasants. The meaning of macaronic comes from the association of this peasant food with the vernacular language of peasants. Macaronic entered English in the first half of the 17th century.
Perhaps the world’s most difficult “novel,” James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake,” is almost entirely constructed of multilayered puns, often macaronic puns, which draw on two or more languages. A simple example would be calling an elegant frankfurter a “haute dog.”
Indeed, linguistic change—the amazing porousness of English to influence, its macaronic glory—is exactly what gave us all these interesting words in the first place …
verb (used with object),
to induct into office with formal ceremonies; install.
“Well begun is half done” about sums up the verb inaugurate. Inaugurate derives from Latin inaugurātus, the past participle of inaugurāre “to consecrate by augury (as by observing the flight of birds).” The Romans were addicted to religion, law, farming, the military, and the accompanying rituals to ensure the successful beginning and completion of an undertaking. Inaugurāre is a derivative of the noun augurium “soothsaying, divination,” a derivative of augur, an official who observes and interprets the flight of birds. The Romans themselves interpreted augurium to be derived from avis “bird” (pronounced awis and thus resembling the first syllable of augurium). It is more likely that augur and its derivatives derive from the verb augēre “to make grow, increase (crops, cattle),” the source of augment and auction in English. Inaugurate entered English in the early 17th century.
As we prepare to turn the page on 2020, and inaugurate Joe Biden as president on 20 January 2021, the incoming administration has a climate mandate to listen to people across America—and keep fossil fuels in the ground.
In the coming months, after years of ground-laying, controversy, and anticipation, the United States will finally complete an imperfect civic process that, though heavily compromised by geography, logistics, and partisanship, will affect the life of every single American for years to come. Also, the country will inaugurate a new president.
the greedy pursuit of riches.
Mammonism “the greedy pursuit of riches,” derives from the Late Latin mammon (also mammōnas and mammōna) “wealth, personification of wealth,” from Greek mamōnâs, from Aramaic māmōn “riches, wealth, profit.” Mamōnâs occurs only in the Greek New Testament and is left untranslated, a usage that the Latin Vulgate also follows. By medieval times (for instance in the Old English Lindisfarne Gospels of the early 8th century) Mammon was a proper name for the Devil as the instigator of covetousness. In Piers Plowman (late 14th century), Mammon is the proper name for the devil of greed, and John Milton used Mammon as the name of one of the fallen Angels in Paradise Lost. Mammonism entered English in the first half of the 19th century.
It is not so new, after all—this alliance of mammonism with epicurism—the mania for sudden wealth and the passion for a vulgar display of it in twenty-thousand-dollar banquets.
With our present system of individual Mammonism and Government by Laissez-faire, this Nation cannot live.