fata Morgana [ˈfɑtɑ mɔrˈgɑnɑ] n.
1.) A kind of mirage most frequently seen in the Strait of Messina, attributed in early times to fairy agency. Also fig. (Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition).
Etymology: Italian fata, a fairy; Morgana, sister of the British legendary hero Arthur, apparently located in Calabria by the Norman settlers.
"The truth is, I now see, Coleridge's talk and speculation was the emblem of himself: in it as in him, a ray of heavenly inspiration struggled, in a tragically ineffectual degree, with the weakness of flesh and blood. He says once, he "had skirted the howling deserts of Infidelity;" this was evident enough: but he had not had the courage, in defiance of pain and terror, to press resolutely across said deserts to the new firm lands of Faith beyond; he preferred to create logical fata-morganas for himself on this hither side, and laboriously solace himself with these" (The Life of John Sterling, Thomas Carlyle, 1851).
Hi all, it's time to announce the winner of this week's contest. It's...Lemons Don't Make Lemonade! She wrote:
"Nothing amuses me more than observing tyros go about their studies," William said, a smile playing on his lips. "I would fain disturb the first-years with sophomoric pranks, but I cower at the thought of the master's rod. The master's hand is as heavy as his wife." I couldn't help but giggle at his impertinent remark. "I disagree. The schoolmaster is a formidable man with the vim of people half his age, but my fear of his cruel philippics surpasses that of a sore bottom. He told Frederick that he was an obtuse baboon destined to a life of cuckoldry and shame...and all because Fred pronounced a French verb wrongly." "If we took the matter up to the headmaster, I'm sure he'll put a stop to such abuse." "Keep on dreaming, William. If the marquis couldn't get our schoolmaster to apologize for insulting his son, then, a fortiori, neither can a lowly headmaster."Well done, Lemons. You even used "a fortiori" correctly. I'm starting to fear for my beloved copy of The Iliad already! Okay, so next week's words are oenomel, invidious, panegyric, intransigent, megillah, incipient, and slake. Good luck and thanks for reading!