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Sep 13, 2021
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
felix culpa
glossolalia
sinisterity
sympatric
spuddle

The Fall of Man
The Fall of Man, 1592
Art: Cornelis van Haarlem

Previous week’s theme
Eponyms
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

There’s a sequel, there’s a prequel, why not an interquel? Turns out there is. It’s just that dictionaries haven’t picked up on the word yet. An interquel bridges the time gap in a story in two published works (see examples).

And so it goes. If you can think of something, you can think of a word for it.

This week we have rounded up five words that bridge the gaps in the language. Words that may make you say: I didn’t know there was a word for it!

felix culpa

PRONUNCIATION:
(FAY/FEE-liks KOOL/KUHL-pah)
plural felix culpae (KOOL/KUHL-pae/pee)

MEANING:
noun: An error or disaster that has fortunate consequences.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin felix culpa (happy fault). Earliest documented use: 1913. A related word is serendipity.

NOTES:
Felix culpa is also known as a fortunate fall or happy accident. In Christianity, the fall of Adam and Eve is seen as a felix culpa since it resulted in the coming of Christ. What felix culpa have you experienced in your life? Share it below or email us at words@wordsmith.org.

USAGE:
“I’ve watched hundreds of clients turn all sorts of disasters -- getting cancer, losing a loved one, going bankrupt -- into felix culpae.”
Martha Beck; Reversal of Bad Fortune; O, The Oprah Magazine (New York); Jul 2014.

“Seawater had protected us, at least after Duke William, and his invasion was a felix culpa, since it bound Britain into European civilisation and prevented us from becoming part of south Scandinavia.”
Bruce Anderson; The Depths of Tranquillity; The Spectator (London, UK); Sep 15, 2018.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Much of writing might be described as mental pregnancy with successive difficult deliveries. -J.B. Priestley, author (13 Sep 1894-1984)

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