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A.Word.A.Day--enormity

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: words often used in a sense different from their established definitions.

enormity (i-NOR-mi-tee) noun

1. The quality of passing all moral bounds; excessive wickedness or outrageousness.

2. A monstrous offense or evil; an outrage.

3. (Usage Problem) Great size; immensity.

[French enormite, from Old French, from Latin enormitas, from enormis, unusual, enormous.]

"Whereby these our cities, nations, countries, and kingdoms may take example to amend their faults, enormities, and errors."
Sir Thomas More; Utopia; 1516.

"The reason is not simply a matter of Freedom's proposed 4320-ft. length, which is nearly five times that of the currently largest cruise ship, Carnival Cruise Line's 900-ft. Destiny, but the enormity of its mass."
Jim Wilson; City At Sea (building of the 'Freedom' cruise ship); Popular Mechanics; Feb 1998.

X-Bonus

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. -Derek Bok


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