Thursday, October 20, 2011

penseroso



penseroso [pɛnsəˈroʊsoʊ] a.

1.) Meditative, brooding, melancholy.

penseroso n.

1.) A brooding or melancholy person, or personality (O.E.D. 2nd Edition).

Etymology: From the title of John Milton's poem "Il Penseroso" (1632), adopted from obsolete Italian penseroso, now pensieroso, from pensiere thought.

"— Manly: I unintentionally intruded into this lady's presence this morning, for which she was so good as to promise me her forgiveness.
— Charlotte: Oh! ho! is that the case! Have these two penserosos been together? Were they Henry's eyes that looked so tenderly? [Aside.] And so you promised to pardon him? and could you be so good-natured? have you really forgiven him? I beg you would do it for my sake [whispering loud to Maria]. But, my dear, as you are in such haste, it would be cruel to detain you; I can show you the way through the other room.
— Maria: Spare me, my sprightly friend" (The Contrast, Royall Tyler, 1787).

(Il Penseroso, Thomas Cole, 1845)
_________________________________________________________

I know, I know, two Thomas Cole's in a row. But it was too perfect to pass up. Also, I'm not sure why it's always the French words and phrases that put people up in arms. Maybe it's the pronunciation. But, again, I only include words and phrases from major English dictionaries that have been used in multiple works published in English. If you want to go back to speaking the Wessex dialect of Anglo-Saxon, go right ahead. Finally, it's a big day for us, MA readers: we've found a mistake in the O.E.D. 2nd Edition! It claims that The Contrast was published in 1887, rather than 1787, and that the pertinent line is "How I should like to see that pair of Penserosos together". Needless to say, they'll be getting a stern letter. Thanks for reading!

17 comments:

Melanie said...

Uh-oh...I think this is me...

JayJay said...

Is it wrong to enjoy finding mistakes like the one you've mentioned? I get a weird sense of glee when I find such an error.

I'm pretty sure I have some students who are penseroso.

D4 said...

I was able to figure out what this word meant without all your details this time. Felt smart for half a second.

Mai Yang said...

sort of gloomy right?

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

I hate how you end each of your boring paragraphs with "Thanks for reading."

1. It makes me feel guilty for not actually reading.
2. I feel obligated to thank you for writing and we all know I'm an obnoxious person who avoids thanking people whenever possible.

...If only I awarded myself 60 Awesome points every time I wrote an insulting comment...((sighs)).

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

And yes, I deliberately chose not to mention your genitals or lack of masculinity because you are SUCH a whiny adult.

...Oh wait, I just did.

Yay for not-so-subtle subtlety.

shari said...

Well, today's word is definitely Italian, no? I love the French words, personally. Probably because I took French in high school and college, and got to FINALLY use my learning in Paris last year.

Congratulations on finding an MISTAKE in the O.E.D.! Look at that big brain on E! Let us know if you get a response to your letter!!

Juliette said...

I am most definitely a penseroso.

Shutterbug said...

Are you a penseroso?

Jazz bazooka said...

hm.. odn't know if this is useful but it is really cool

Crisalys said...

Yes it's italian, but I don't understand why it would cause an uproar. Every language evolves and adapts by incorporating useful words from other languages.

Thanks for today's word.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I think this is what Ferrari should name their next car

Henry said...

Meaning no disrespect, but when the word can be defined with three other single English words I think you've found an inkhornism and or, just a foreign word.

Meri said...

Hmmm, like the same root as pensive?

jill said...

Hey, stranger. How is America treating you so far?

those ghosts

Biff Tanner said...

Sweet, glad to see your still here.

HYDRIOTAPHIA said...

Fairly easy to find mistakes in the OED its littered with them !

Post a Comment