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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Words to the Wise?

Caveat Lector: Boring Vocab Post - feel free to skip!

Since I'm not ready to post on the myriad things going on in my head and heart at the moment, I thought I'd get pedantic and do a little vocab. Since I make language and literature my work, I am always delighted to learn new words. This week, I ran into two which I'd never encountered and one which I 'kinda knew' but had not bothered to look up though I constantly run into it (shame on me!) :

Guignol, n. 1. a French puppet show, similar to Punch and Judy;
2. an entertainment with sensational or horrifying dramatic intent; also called Grand Guignol. Etymology: French 'punch'.
(Webster's 2006 pre-view dictionary)

We aim to thicken the air with the sinuous and muscular poetry of Coriolanus; with the macabre humour and Grand Guignol of Titus Andronicus; with the relentless on-rushing sublimity of Antony & Cleopatra, and with the delirious farcical mayhem of The Comedy of Errors.

D. Dromgoole, on the 2006 Shakespeare's Globe Season

Sodality, n. 1. A society or an association, especially a devotional or charitable society for the laity in the Roman Catholic Church.
2. Fellowship.
(American Heritage Dictionary, 2000)

Anne's world was the diametrical opposite of the dangerous world to which he may have been exposed: the powerful all-male bonds formed by Simon Hunt, the schoolmaster who had gone off to the seminary with his student Robert Debdale; the conspiracy to protect Campion, Parsons, Cottam, and the other Jesuit missionaries; the secret sodality of pious, suicidal young men.

Greenblatt, S. Will in the World. Norton, 2005. 118.

Obstreperous, adj. (-ly, adv.) 1. Noisily and stubbornly defiant.
2. Aggressively boisterous.
(American Heritage Dictionary, 2000)

Americans are obstreperously anti-intellectual, and chose a president with whom they can identify.

Blog entry by Prairie Weather, Nov. 2005

Here are my feelings at the present time on these three:

Guignol; I found Dromgoole's description of the 2006 Globe season snootily pretentious - he's trying too hard to appear the intellectual.

Sodality; Okay, doubt I'll run into it very often, but good to know.

Obstreperous; It is becoming the hot word in the media, so we're likely to be sick of it by the end of the year - at which time we can complain obstreperously :P

Ciao beloveds!


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