Of The Day
a faraway haven or hideaway of idyllic beauty and tranquility.
The placename Shangri-La was coined by the English novelist James Hilton (1900-54), but the name has a firm Tibetan etymology. Shangri-La in Tibetan means “Shang Mountain Pass,” from Shang, the name of a region in Tibet; ri means “mountain,” and la means “pass.” Beyond the name itself, everything associated with Shangri-La is pure speculation and fantasy. Shangri-La entered English in 1933.
A small settlement wedged between fjord-like Lake Chelan and the jagged eastern slopes of the Cascades, Stehekin has several comfortable lodges, an excellent bakery and, best of all, relatively few visitors. … First, of course, we had to get to this little Shangri-La.
With its youth and isolation and spectacular scenery, there was a tendency to think of Los Alamos as a Shangri-La.
a destroyer or debunker of myths.
English mythoclast comes from two familiar Greek words. The Greek noun mŷthos has many meanings: “speech, word, public speech, unspoken word, matter, fact,” as in mythology, “a set of stories, traditions, or beliefs.” The Greek combining form -klastēs “breaker” is most familiar in iconoclast “one who breaks images or statues” (literally and figuratively). A mythoclast is one who breaks or destroys a myth or myths in general. Mythoclast entered English in the late 19th century.
Tommy Moore, a life-long friend, an insatiable consumer of history, and a fellow mythoclast by constitution, accompanied me to the field on several occasions, and read sections of the working manuscript.
… right now I reckon him a mythoclast, the sort of man you wouldn’t trust with the Glastonbury Thorn, the Devil’s Arrows at Boroughbridge, or Father Christmas.
anecdotal evidence based on personal observations or opinions, random investigations, etc., but presented as fact: biased arguments supported by anecdata.
Anecdata is a reworking of anecdotal data. Anecdotal comes from the Greek adjective anékdotos “unpublished,” formed from the negative prefix an-, a-, the preposition and prefix ex-, ek- “out of,” and the past participle dotós “given, granted.” Each of the three Greek elements corresponds in form, origin, and meaning to Latin inēditus “unpublished” (the negative prefix in-, the preposition and prefix ex-, ē-, and the past participle datus “given.” Data is the neuter plural of datus used as a noun, “things given.” Anecdata entered English in the late 20th century.
Please. Stop letting yourself get carried away based on random anecdata from the Internet.
Again, industry stats support the anecdata. Publishers are reporting declining ebook sales but growing audiobook revenues, with audio filling the digital revenue gap that ebooks left.
the unique essence or inner nature of a person, place, thing, or event, especially depicted in poetry or a work of art.
It is likely that the English poet and Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) coined the noun inscape. The obsolete noun inshape (i.e., internal form or inward shape) was a probable model. Hopkins also coined sprung rhythm and instress (i.e., the force sustaining an inscape). Inscape entered English in 1868.
Spanish chestnuts: their inscape here bold, jutty, somewhat oaklike, attractive, the branching visible and the leaved peaks spotted so as to make crests of eyes.
What we wanted to do was to marry the meaning with the “inscape” of the poem.
Scot. a trick or prank.
Shavie is a rare word used in Scottish poetry, first appearing in English in the 18th century and current for just a little more than a century after that.
But urchin Cupid shot a shaft / That play’d a dame a shavie …
‘Twas then that Love played him a shavie, / And strak his dart in donsie Davie.
Informal. a. proper; legitimate. b. genuine; authentic.
Kosher is one of the most common words of Yiddish origin in American English. Yiddish kosher comes from Hebrew kosher (Ashkenazi pronunciation), from Hebrew kāshēr “right, fit, proper.” Kosher as an adjective “pertaining to foods prepared according to Jewish dietary law” dates from the mid-19th century; the sense “proper, legitimate” dates from the late 19th century. Kosher as a noun “kosher food, kosher store” dates from the late 19th century.
This is kosher. I’m an officer of the court requesting assistance from a citizen.
Forsyth knew that was all a cover story. He knew the whole setup wasn’t kosher.
a tomb, grave, or burial place.
Sepulcher comes via French from Latin sepulcrum “grave, tomb,” a derivative of the verb sepelīre “to perform the funeral rites, bury, inter.” The Latin verb comes from the Proto-Indo-European root sep- “to honor,” extended to sep-el- “sorrow, care, awe.” The same root appears in Sanskrit sapati “(he) worships, tends.” The Greek derivative of sep- is the root hep-, which usually occurs in compound verbs, e.g., amphiépein “to look after, tend to,” as in the last line of the Iliad, “Thus they tended to (amphíepon) the funeral of horse-taming Hector.” Sepulcher entered English in the 13th century.
The stale suffocating room felt like a sepulcher …
A clattering-rattling sound. A bony sound. Like the skeletons of long-dead men clawing their way out of a sepulcher.