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Mar 21, 2019
This week’s theme
Words that violate the i-before-e rule

This week’s words
reveille
facies
mythopoeic
obeisance
conscientious

i before e
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

obeisance

PRONUNCIATION:
(o-BAY/BEE-sans)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A gesture of submission, such as a curtsy.
2. Deference or homage.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old French obeissance, from obeir (to obey), from Latin oboedire (to obey, to listen to), from ob- (toward) + audire (to hear). Ultimately from the Indo-European root au- (to perceive), which also gave us audio, audit, obey, auditorium, anesthesia, aesthetic, synesthesia, and clairaudience. Earliest documented use: 1382.

USAGE:
“It was a squabble over $2.9 million in property-tax breaks -- small change for ExxonMobil, a company that measures its earnings by the billions. But when the East Baton Rouge Parish school board rejected the energy giant’s rather routine request last month, the ‘no’ vote went off like a bomb in a state where obeisance to the oil, gas, and chemical industries is the norm.”
Richard Fausset; Daring to Say No to Big Oil; The New York Times; Feb 5, 2019.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Our shouting is louder than our actions, / Our swords are taller than us, / This is our tragedy. / In short / We wear the cape of civilization / But our souls live in the stone age. -Nizar Qabbani, poet and diplomat (21 Mar 1923-1998)

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