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Feb 11, 2016
This week’s theme
Eponyms

This week’s words
maecenas
guy
victorian
gongorism
Addisonian

Luis de Góngora y Argote
Luis de Góngora y Argote
Art: Diego Velázquez (1599-1660)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Gongorism

PRONUNCIATION:
(GONG-uh-riz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: An affected literary style marked by intricate language and elaborate figures of speech.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Spanish baroque poet Luis de Góngora y Argote (1561-1627). Earliest documented use: 1813.

NOTES:
Some Gongorisms from Luis de Góngora y Argote:
• La vida es ciervo herido, que las flechas le dan alas. (Life is a wounded stag in whom the fast-stuck arrows function as wings.)
• A batallas de amor, campo de pluma. (Feathers are love’s most fitting battle-ground.)

USAGE:
“And the staggering Gongorisms! Shall the ship be called just ‘ship’? Perish the thought of such banality! Oh eyes, no eyes, but fountains fraught with tears!”
Aldous Huxley; Beyond the Mexique Bay; Chatto & Windus; 1934.

See more usage examples of Gongorism in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I was sixteen years old when the first World War broke out, and I lived at that time in Hungary. From reading the newspapers in Hungary, it would have appeared that, whatever Austria and Germany did was right and whatever England, France, Russia, or America did was wrong. A good case could be made out for this general thesis, in almost every single instance. It would have been difficult for me to prove, in any single instance, that the newspapers were wrong, but somehow, it seemed to me unlikely that the two nations located in the center of Europe should be invariably right, and that all the other nations should be invariably wrong. History, I reasoned, would hardly operate in such a peculiar fashion, and it didn't take long until I began to hold views which were diametrically opposed to those held by the majority of my schoolmates. ... Even in times of war, you can see current events in their historical perspective, provided that your passion for the truth prevails over your bias in favor of your own nation. -Leo Szilard, physicist (11 Feb 1898-1964)

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