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Sociology. folkways of central importance accepted without question and embodying the fundamental moral views of a group.
The Latin noun mōrēs is the plural of mōs “custom, habit, usage, wont.” The Latin noun, whether singular or plural, has a wider range of usage than English mores has. Mōs may be good, bad, or indifferent: in Cicero’s usage the phrase mōs mājōrum “custom of our ancestors” is roughly equivalent to “constitution”; mōs sinister means “perverted custom,” literally “left-handed”; and Horace used to walk along the Via Sacra as was his habit (mōs). Mores entered English in the late 19th century.
… as Lincoln now feared, with the passing of this noble generation, “if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence.” To fortify against this, Lincoln essentially proposed that the national mores of America—taught in every classroom, preached in every church, proclaimed in every legislative hall—must revolve around “reverence” to the laws …
… the artist has always considered himself beyond the mores of the community in which he lived.
Music. all; all the voices or instruments together.
The Italian word tutti means “all,” i.e., all the instruments or voices of an orchestra together. Tutti is the masculine plural of tutto “all,” from Vulgar Latin tottus (unattested), from Latin tōtus. Tutti entered English in the 18th century.
He used to say that music could be either about almost nothing, one tiny strand of sound plucked like a silver hair from the head of the Muse, or about everything there was, all of it, tutti tutti, life, marriage, otherworlds, earthquakes, uncertainties, warnings, rebukes, journeys, dreams, love, the whole ball of wax, the full nine yards, the whole catastrophe.
You will hear the very obvious difference in volume between the tutti notes and the immediately following music, which is still forte but is played by fewer instruments.
any person who exercises great but insidious influence.
Grigori Efimovich Rasputin (c1871-1916) was a Russian peasant and self-proclaimed mystic and holy man (he had no official position in the Russian Orthodox Church). By 1904 Rasputin was popular among the high society of St. Petersburg, and in 1906 he became the healer of Alexei Nikolaevich Romanov, heir to the Russian throne and the hemophiliac son of Czar Nicholas II and his wife, Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and a carrier of hemophilia). In December 1916 Rasputin was murdered by Russian noblemen because of his influence over Czar Nicholas and the czarina.
… the dynamics of the situation do not permit him to be a Rasputin, whispering in Nixon’s ear.
Others have described Isaacs as “a Rasputin or Svengali-like character in Kerner’s life who exploited his undue influence over the governor and led him astray.”
to make or render fantastic.
Fantasticate was first recorded in 1590-1600.
Parallel universes are another trope borrowed from the repertory of science fiction. They are a marvelous convenience for authors who want to fantasticate at a high rpm without having to offer a rational explanation for the wonders they evoke.
She also fantasticates about food, and her Catholicism surfaces in her lingering on the cannibalism at the heart of the eucharist.
terse and ingenious in expression; of or like an epigram.
In Greek epígramma means “inscription, commemorative or memorial inscription, short poem, written estimate of or demand for damages.” Probably the most famous epigram is that attributed to Simonides of Ceos (c566 b.c.–c468 b.c.) for the Spartans who fell at Thermoplylae (480 b.c.): “Stranger, report to the Spartans that we lie here in obedience to their orders,” which is spartan in its terseness. Epigrammatic entered English in the early 18th century.
… the dialogue is sanded and sharpened to an epigrammatic elegance …
His is the sort of epigrammatic utterance to which there can be no rejoinder, the clean hit and quick-killing witticism: once over lightly and leave.
lacking in mental or moral vigor; weak, spiritless, or timid.
First recorded in 1300-50, thewless is from the Middle English word theweles.
For indeed they were but thewless creatures, pallid with the damp caves of the moors, and so starved that they seemed to have eaten grass like Nebuchadnezzar.
Here I stand amid my clan / Spoiled of my fame a thewless man.
the status, influence, or power of a boss, especially a political boss.
Bossdom has a crude, graceless sound. It is originally an Americanism referring to the bosses of political machines at the municipal and state level. Bossdom first entered English in the late 19th century.
Señor So-and-so is the most powerful boss in the province of Tarragona, and even at that there are those who dispute his bossdom.
This was Lepke’s first bid for bossdom. He was ready to try his theories.