Monday, October 31, 2011

pons asinorum

pons asinorum [pɒnz ˌæsəˈnɔrəm] n.

1.) A humorous name for the fifth proposition of the first book of Euclid, from the difficulty which beginners or dull-witted persons find in 'getting over' or mastering it. Hence allusively (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: New Latin pons asinorum, bridge of fools: Latin pons, bridge + Latin asinrum, genitive plural of asinus, ass, fool.

"Even as regards the Ricardian doctrine of rent, which it was customary to call the pons asinorum of Political Economy, a suspicion has begun to prevail that the part of it which is true is a mere truism; the wage-fund theory has suffered the same process of attenuation, and the "economic man" has been banished to the planet Saturn" ("Introduction to Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations", Joseph Shield Nicholson, 1884).

(Death of Euclid, Barnett Newman, 1947)

Okay, it's time to announce the winner of this week's contest. It's...Lemons Don't Make Lemonade! She wrote:
As I opened the envelope in my hand, I couldn't help but wonder if Lord Wessex's invitation was merely a beau geste. After all, I was the penseroso of his cousins and this could just be a kind attempt to inveigle me into the affections of his more garrulous relatives. Still, the palpitations of my heart told me that I hoped for more and I would continue hoping...even if he made it clear that I was just an ersatz companion to fill the void of heart. Replacing the card in the envelope, I hid it under my pillow and tried to fall asleep. Unfortunately, all I could think about was the scene in the sitting room where Lady Elizabeth had ridiculed me as "old-fashioned." Despite my anger, I had responded with a smile and a polite observation on how Lord Wessex favored her. Reculer pour mieux sauter is often the best action in war, and love IS war.
Good stuff there, LDML. Is this a continuous story by the way? Cause that would be pretty impressive. Also, I like "inveigle". I may have to use that one. Okay, for next week, let's do votary, legerdemain, savoir-faire, quash, and litotes. (Only 5 since I've been lazy and not posting very often.) Thanks for reading!


Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

Well, I tend to use "William" and "Elizabeth" because I'm boring and unoriginal so I guess it sounds like a continuous story. (I'm totally pretending that it is so you'll think I'm impressive.)

Regarding your last comment...ZOMG! YOU'RE SO MEAN. :D

Crisalys said...

As always, great article. And that writing is awesome, congrats to Lemons Don't Make Lemonade.

D4 said...

Muh FUH I keep forgetting. I can do this! This time I will remember!

shari said...

Congratulations, Lemons! You're impressive, regardless of the story's continuity or lack thereof.

I've been lazy, too... probably because it's ridiculously freezing here, and I'm not meant for this colder clime. Brrrr.....

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Me too, I keep intending on making a submission but never remember to.

It'sJodie-Ann,Bro. said...

Congrats, Lemons!!! :D

JayJay said...

Congrats LDML. Your wordsmithery (I think I made that word up?) is awe inspiring.

I needed to learn a new word today and I'm glad I spared a few minutes to read. I have been away from the blog-o-sphere for too long dealing with essays. I really can't look at another essay about "Animal Farm" so thank you for this blog...I can't say thanks enough. :)

jos xx said...

amazing paragraph! love it!

jos xx

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...


I'm sure your profile picture has everything to do with this.

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