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#138459 - 01/31/05 04:43 PM I'm thinking of a word..
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
Here's a question that came to me out of the "aphorisms" thread in Miscellany. I think we may have discussed this is these pages once before; but I'm trying to remember the word for an aphorism or epigram that serves to introduce a chapter or the title page of a book. (it's not epigram, is it?)

here's an example from a book I have in front of me right now, it appears on the page before the title page of The Book of Salt, by Monique Truong.

We had certainly luck in finding good cooks, thourgh they had their weaknesses in other ways. Gertrude Stein liked to remind me that if they did not have such faults, they would not be working for us. - Alice B. Toklas

[The Book of Salt is written from the point of view of one of their cooks when they lived in Paris. Alice and GertrudeStein (it's how she wanted to be nymed by her employees) mostly provide background for the story.]

edit - uncle bill reminds me that the word is epigraph. do'h! maybe one day I'll remember this. to help me, here is a link to the apposite thread; interestingly, in a crossthreading way, Ms. J. uses the word (and I use the word "word" advisedly) dord in this thread. and precisely at that.

http://wordsmith.org/board/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=wordplay&Number=40480&page=&view=&sb=&vc=1

edit[2] - now that I've revisited that thread, I am reminded of how circular these discussions can become; e.g., dord, epigraphs, Meaningless Maxims -- so how come no one has yelled yart! at me?! what a chance at payback y'all have been missing.

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#138460 - 02/02/05 06:00 PM Re: I'm thinking of a word..
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
if anyone was curious at all as to the answer to this, I posted it myself, on behalf of bill. this resulted in 0 replies until, unnecessarily, now.

anyway, here is the def'n of epigraph, per M-W.

epigraph \E-peh-graf\ noun [Gk epigraphe, fr. epigraphein] (1624)
1 : an engraved inscription
2 : a quotation set at the beginning of a literary work or one of its divisions to suggest its theme
1996 Zane Publishing, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Inc.




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