Monday, July 4, 2011


hermetic [hɜrˈmɛtɪk] a.

1.) (With capital initial.) Pertaining to Hermes Trismegistus, and the philosophical, theosophical, and other writings ascribed to him.
2.) transf. and fig. Hence, relating to or dealing with occult science, especially alchemy; magical; alchemical. Also, unaffected by external influences, recondite. Hermetic seal, hermetic sealing: air tight closure of a vessel, especially a glass vessel, by fusion, soldering, or welding; also applied in Surgery to a method of dressing wounds. Hence hermetic for ‘hermetically sealed’.
3.) Pertaining to the god Hermes.
4.) Of or pertaining to a Herma: as hermetic column (O.E.D. 2nd Edition).

Etymology: New Latin hermeticus, alchemical, from Medieval Latin Hermes (Trismegistus).

"Bewitch hermetic men to run
Stark staring mad with manicon;
Believe mechanic virtuosi
Can raise 'em mountains in Potosi;
And sillier than the antic fools,
Take treasure for a heap of coals;
Seek out for plants with signatures,
To quack of universal cures."
(Hudibras, Samuel Butler, 1684)

(The Alchemist in Search of the Philosophers Stone, Joseph Wright, 1771)

Hi readers, the winner of this week's "Climbing the Mountain" challenge is Intraman, of Daily Korean Stuff fame. His entry looked like:

"His prose tried to conceal his attempts at reifying women behind abstruse words and odd tropes. This, however, fooled no one and the scintillation of his latent misogyny could easily be perceived behind the veil of his convoluted logorrhea. That he dared entitle his essay "In Defense of Women" was truly the apotheosis of bad faith."

Well done Intraman. My only criticism would be that "reify" is not the same as "objectify", which is what I think you meant: women are already all-too-real, so it's impossible to reify them! So, Intraman actually gets two points because I accidentally deleted his entry and he had to redo it (see the new scoreboard on the right). The first person to five points gets a free book.

This week's words are "germane", "finical", "effete", "desuetude", "obloquy", "largess", and "nous". You only have to use 5 out of those 7. So, good luck and, as always, thanks for reading!


Bibi said...

When I read your posts, I always wish I was a native English speaker. Now I just do whatever it is I'm doing and try to write something that doesn't sound completely childish. My basic vocabulary and even more basic knowledge of the English grammar is enough to let people know what I want and think, but I miss how I can't even sound intellectual, let alone use words that are more complicated than what the average grade schooler is using. Dutch is so much easier....

Anyhow, as a reply to your comment on my post about the cartoon-project, I was thinking about four, maybe five minutes. I think that'll be the best I can do, at least for my first try. If I'm better at animating than I think I am, there's a possibility of maybe making a longer cartoon in the future, or do a series. We'll see.

Dave said...

I don't think I've ever heard "largess" "desuetude" or "obloquy" before in my life. Big fan of language and really digging what I am reading on your blog

Ioana Liliana said...

Great 'word-of-the-day', and S.Butler is always a favourite!


Mr. Cactus said...

I didn't know the definition but I guessed correctly.

DEZMOND said...

we have this word in my language too!

And totally loving your new profile pic, Edmund :)

Jesse Crows said...

cool word haha

Z said...

This word is very interesting!

BTW-- I really liked your new profile picture. Very handsome!

Henry said...

nice one.

Byakuya said...

Loving this word of the day, Hermes is a boss =3

Wintermute said...

ooo a new picture, looking smexy, and i think that bibi girl writes better then most native English speakers.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I first learned this word via the name of the famous British occult society from the turn of the 20th century, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. And hey, -E-, great new photo -- much nicer to see you smiling than looking morose.

Liz Fichera said...

Hermetic is a cool word. I think it's because I like the expression "hermetically sealed."

P.S. How was PATTON? (Remind me to tell you the story sometime of when my Dad met him during WWII in the South Pacific. Patton was every bit as colorful as portrayed in the movie.)

JayJay said...

I knew this one. Maybe because I watch far too many bad tele-movies.

I just wanted to say that I appreaciate the lengths that you've gone to for each word. You give all the possible meanings. :)

Bibi said...

I'm open to any suggestions. But I'm guessing tragedy would look better with characters with a more outspoken profile, instead of my flat drawings. I'll probably be able to do that too, but it would take longer, of course (mind you, I'm not in animation or anything, just curious if I could do it). Time's not really much of a problem though, I have time. If it takes me a year to do this, so be it. :p
Why? Do you have anything in mind?

Sorry I keep spamming your inbox, but I choose to reply on people's blogs instead of on mine, because I've noticed they don't always check back. Oh, and thanks for following! And for complimenting on my English! Made my day :)

LasseEA said...

Nice mountain and stuff :)

Banacek said...

My English is getting gooder.

Funny Picture of the Day said...

A good read. Thanks.

Bibi said...

Only slightly more ambitious. Maybe Pixar would be interested.

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