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Oct 27, 2003
This week's theme
Words derived from Sanskrit

This week's words
karma
avatar
nirvana
pundit
juggernaut

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Namaste (greetings) from India, the last stop in my trip in Asia. This week I've selected words originating in the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit. The word Sanskrit literally means refined or perfected.

When we talk about a software guru or an economics guru, we're invoking a word from this classical language. The word "guru" came to English from Sanskrit via Hindi. It literally means "venerable" or "weighty". Going farther back, it descended from the same Indo-European root that gave us "gravity", "engrave", "grave" and "aggravate" to name a few. Look for more words from Sanskrit this week.

In November, I'll be speaking at Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and New Delhi. If you live in either of these places, you're welcome to attend. See details.

karma

Pronunciation Sound Clip

karma (KAHR-ma) noun
1. In the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions, a person's action (bad or good) that determines his or her destiny.
2. Destiny; fate.
3. An aura or atmosphere generated by someone or something.

[From Sanskrit karma (deed, work). The word Sanskrit comes from the same Indo-European root.]

"Is Edwards messing with the Jets' karma, jeopardizing their already-slim playoff chances?"
Rich Simini; Simms OK With Jet QB Juggle; New York Daily News; Oct 22, 2003.

"In his introduction to the new service last week, Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs said those who give up their illegal download habit and use iTunes will be rewarded with `good karma,' as they are supporting artists."
Katie Dean; PC User Whistles a Happy ITunes; Wired News; Oct 21, 2003.

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