Monday, June 27, 2011

desuetude



desuetude [ˈdɛswɪˌtud, -ˌtyud] n.

1.) Cessation to be accustomed; discontinuance of practice or habit (A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson, 1755).

Etymology: French désuétude, from Latin desuetudo, from desuetus, past participle of desuescere, to put out of use: de- + suescere, to become accustomed.

"He too returned to his old life at school and all his novel enterprises fell to pieces. The commonwealth fell, the loan bank closed its coffers and its books on a sensible loss, the rules of life which he drawn about himself fell into desuetude" (Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce, 1916).

(Apollo and the Muses Inflicting Penance on Dr Pomposo 'round Parnassus, James Gillray, 1783)
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I decided to give a definition from Johnson's great Dictionary today, hence the picture. Also, today is the first instalment of the new "Climbing the Mountain" weekly challenge (credit to PeaceLoveandSharpies for coming up with the idea). So, your task is to write an intelligible paragraph using 5 out of 7 of last week's words (polysyndeton, scintillation, trope, reify, abstruse, pace, and apotheosis). Just copy and paste them into a comment: I'll just read them without publishing. The winner will be announced next week and the first to 5 wins will receive a book. I'll also publish the winner's paragraph and any amusing ones. Thanks for reading!

28 comments:

Chris Hashemi said...

That's cool artwork along with the word of the day.

DEZMOND said...

does desuetude have a verb too? It seems like a practical word.

AllenTesch said...

oooh, I'm going to use this one for sure.

Jenny Woolf said...

I suppose this is a bit like an intellectual version of that thing they used to have in Readers Digest - "It pays to increase your word power." Except that I don't think these abstruse words will do much for my literary style, so won't pay at all, in my case. Nevertheless, it's interesting to read about them so thanks for posting them. I like "polysyndeton" best.

D4 said...

The game. I'll start later, but I like it.

Salted Plum said...

Thank you for teaching me another new word m(_ _)m

Jennifer Fabulous said...

I like the way this word sounds, so I want to use it soon. :P

And Liz and Richard made 11 films together! Is it sad I know that off the top of my head? Haha.

Bart said...

yep, always hockey.

Zombie said...

that poor guy and his crazy hat! lol.

Byakuya said...

Very interesting blog, I could learn from this =3

Followed.

If you get the chance take a look at my blogs sometime: http://serenityindex.blogspot.com/

Debra She Who Seeks said...

This is one of those words where I always "think" I know what it means, but I never do. And this is the first time I've heard it correctly pronounced (or pronounced at all, quite frankly).

3DS-Games said...

Love that old painting/drawing

JayJay said...

I swear there is another word that is very similar to this one with the same meaning but I can't, for the life of me, think of what it is.

Oh, I'm going to have to use my noggin this week for the comp.

Jim said...

I'll give this some thought and get back to you, great word though

VersionDouble said...

oh now this one... this one i knew! i feel awesome

iNews said...

The Drawing is awesome, thank you!

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

Interesting word. (:

Liz Fichera said...

I love the pictures you include with these words!

A Beer for the Shower said...

I'm gonna get back to you on that paragraph challenge. I like a good challenge.

Banacek said...

No! Not homework!

Mr. Cactus said...

I will have to try and use desuetude in conversation today.

cheshire said...

Will definitely be using this word next semester; doing a Romantic poetry course, so it should come in handy at one time or another.

Harmonica Guy said...

Didn't know this one. Cool.

LasseEA said...

But why did he have to go through all that? :O

MRanthrope said...

whoever wins this competition gets a cyber high five from me as well.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that's an awesome word!

Henry said...

There goes my run, I didn't know this one haha

Jenny Woolf said...

Of course you are right. Words can't be abstruse in themselves, at least I don't think so. But it's a different story when you start putting them together.

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