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Apr 21, 2010
This week's theme
Allusions

This week's words
vanity fair
Old Man of the Sea
pygmalionism
sisyphean
achates

Pygmalion by Jean-Baptiste Regnault
Artist: Jean-Baptiste Regnault

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Pygmalionism

PRONUNCIATION:
(pig-MAY-lee-uh-niz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun:
1. The state of being in love with an object of one's own making.
2. The condition of loving an inanimate object such as a statue or image.

ETYMOLOGY:
In Greek mythology, Pygmalion was the king of Cyprus who carved a female figure in ivory so realistic and beautiful that he fell in love with her. The goddess Aphrodite took pity on him and responded by bringing the statue to life as Galatea. Pygmalion married her.

USAGE:
"Sarah Palin has been an exercise in Pygmalionism gone wrong. The most famous female politician in the world today is a vain and sanctimonious woman of boundless ambition and no vision."
Janet Bagnall; Setback for Women; The Gazette (Montreal, Canada); Feb 12, 2010.

"The aim was to show the reverse Pygmalionism of cinema, which takes live bodies and makes cool, untouchable idols of them."
Hold On to Your Popcorn; The Observer (London, UK); May 20, 2007.

See more usage examples of pygmalion in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
One of the primary tests of the mood of a society at any given time is whether its comfortable people tend to identify, psychologically, with the power and achievements of the very successful or with the needs and sufferings of the underprivileged. -Richard Hofstadter, historian (1916-1970)

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