Friday, September 21, 2007

Here's a great word: hendiadys

Main Entry: hen·di·a·dys
Pronunciation: hen-'dI-&-d&s
Function: noun
Etymology: Late Latin hendiadys, hendiadyoin, modification of Greek hen dia dyoin, literally, one through two
: the expression of an idea by the use of usually two independent words connected by and (as nice and warm) instead of the usual combination of independent word and its modifier (as nicely warm)

I still need to share my trip, but that's going to take a longer post than I currently have energy for. However, one of the things I picked up on my trip was an Edward Gorey book. (It was only $2 at the silent auction held the last night of the workshop.) I used to watch Mystery on PBS almost religiously and of course anyone faimliar with that show (I don't even know if it's still on now) knows Edward Gorey's opening credits. So for $2 I couldn't resist. It really takes a dry and somewhat twisted sense of humor to appreciate, so I'm not sure what that says about me (!), but we had some silly chuckles this evening with parts of it.

The second piece is called "The Nursery Frieze" and features little hippo-like animals running by saying various words that create a nonsensical rhythm, with every fourth word rhyming. I got quite a kick out of it, but my nine-year-old was mystified. The fourteenth word is hendiadys. Now you know that there is a word for this linguistical phenomenon. Go forth and use it in your conversation somewhere today. I dare you!

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