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manacle (MAN-uh-kul) noun

1. A shackle for the hand; handcuff.

2. Restraints.

verb tr.

1. To handcuff; fetter.

3. To restrain.

[Middle English, manicle, from Middle French, from Latin, diminutive of manus, hand.]

"Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. ... One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity." Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream, Washington DC, Aug 28, 1963.

My fellow linguaphiles! The eloquence of words combined with the art of oratory has given birth to speeches that have changed the course of history. These are the words that have inspired men and women to excel, moved their hearts, led them to action, provided comfort in times of trouble, guided them, and influenced by example. This week's words are taken from some of the famous speeches from history.

Of course, when reading or listening to many modern-day speakers, we have to be careful not to pay too much attention to empty words, for words don't mean a thing unless accompanied by deeds that match them. With professional speechwriters in tow, it is easy to sing lofty words while acting contrarily. -Anu


Walking is man's best medicine. -Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine (460-377 BCE)

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