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Jan 4, 2010
This week's theme
Covering the extremities

This week's words
cothurnal
gauntlet
buskin
sock
discalced

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

In this part of the world, this time of the year means cold: rain, snow, and ice. Covering extremities is essential. In A.Word.A.Day this week we'll cover extremities. We'll feature five words, often used metaphorically, about gloves, socks, and shoes.

Philosopher John Locke once said, "Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip." In the new year, may your incomes be like a nice pair of shoes, not too small, but large enough to slip into and be comfortable.

cothurnal

PRONUNCIATION:
(koh-THUR-nuhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Of or related to tragedy or tragic acting.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin, from Greek kothornos (a thick-soled laced boot worn by tragic actors in ancient Athenian tragedies).

USAGE:
"The first thing that strikes the listeners is the grotesque and parodic transformation of the habitual musical idioms, ... devoid of any shade of elevation and enthusiasm inherent in oratorical declarations, as if an imaginary hero, invisibly assuming a cothurnal pose, is just going to make faces and put out his tongue at the public."
V. Tsenova; Underground Music from the Former USSR; Routledge; 1998.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
When I go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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