Word of the Day – pleonastic – August 24, 2014

pleonastic, adj.

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌplɪəˈnastɪk/ , U.S. /ˌpliəˈnæstɪk/

Etymology: < Hellenistic Greek πλεοναστικός < πλεοναστός (see pleonaste n.) + -ικός -ic suffix. Compare earlier pleonastical adj., and also pleonasmic adj., pleonasmical adj.

1. Grammar and Rhetoric. Of a sentence, speaker, or writer: characterized by pleonasm; using more words than are necessary. Of a syllable, word, or phrase: superfluous or redundant.

2. gen. Excessive, superfluous.

2003 Daily Tel. 21 Feb. 27/2 The film’s overfiltered greenish gloom is more headachey than unsettling, its use of black-and-white flash cuts rote and pleonastic.


Minos – The Judge

Stavvi Minòs orribilmente, e ringhia:
essamina le colpe ne l’intrata;
giudica e manda secondo ch’avvinghia.

Dico che quando l’anima mal nata
li vien dinanzi, tutta si confessa;
e quel conoscitor de le peccata

vede qual loco d’inferno è da essa;
cignesi con la coda tante volte
quantunque gradi vuol che giù sia messa.


Word of the Day – Qui Vive – August 23, 2014


qui vive, n.

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌkiː ˈviːv/ , U.S. /ˌki ˈviv/

Forms: 17– qui vive, 19– key veev (Irish English).

Etymology: < French qui vive, qui-vive, noun (1626) < qui vive? , lit. ‘who should live?’, i.e. ‘(long) live who?’ (1470 in Middle French) a sentinel’s challenge, intended to discover to which party the person challenged belongs (with an expected answer of the form vive le roi (long) live the king, vive la France (long) live France, etc.) < qui who (see who pron.) + vive , 3rd singular present subjunctive of vivre (see vivers n.). Compare post-classical Latin qui vivat? (1419 in a French source, or earlier).

1. on (also upon) the qui vive : on the alert; on the lookout.

2. Chiefly in France or in French-speaking contexts: a cry of ‘qui vive’, typically used as a challenge by a sentry. Cf. go v.. Now rare.


Quote of the Day – August 23, 2014


When, without the bitterness of impotent rebellion, we have learned both to resign ourselves to the outward rule of Fate and to recognize that the nonhuman world is unworthy of our worship, it becomes possible at last to transform and refashion the unconscious universe, so to transmute it in the crucible of imagination, that a new image of shining gold replaces the old idol of clay.  In all the multiform facts of the world–in the visual shapes of trees and mountains and clouds, in the events of the life of man, even in the very omnipotence of death–the insight of creative idealism can find the reflection of a beauty which is its own thoughts first made.  In this way mind asserts its subtle mastery over the thoughtless forces of nature.


-Bertrand Russell