Tuesday, February 26, 2013


styptic [ˈstɪptɪk] a.

1.) Having the power of contracting organic tissue; having an austere or acid taste; harsh or raw to the palate; having a binding effect on the stomach or bowels.
2.) Of a medicament, etc.: That arrests hæmorrhage, e.g. a styptic pencil, a stick of styptic substance used to stem the bleeding of small cuts.
3.) fig.

styptic [ˈstɪptɪk] n.

1.) A substance having the power of contracting organic tissue.
2.) A remedy for hæmorrhage.
3.) fig. (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Edition).

Etymology: adaptation of late Latin stypticus, adopted from Greek στυπτικός, from στύϕειν, to contract, have an astringent effect upon. Cf. French styptique.

"Murphy says he's 'just swung by' to provide the press corps with some context on the strident press release and to give the corps 'advance notice' that the McCain campaign is also preparing a special 'response ad' that will start airing in South Carolina tomorrow. Murphy uses the word 'response' or 'response ad' nine times in two minutes, and when one of the Twelve Monkeys interrupts to ask whether it'd be fair to characterize this new ad as Negative, Murphy gives him a styptic look and spells 'r-e-s-p-o-n-s-e' very slowly" ("Up, Simba", David Foster Wallace, 2000).

(Le citron, Edouard Manet, 1880)

The "Twelve Monkeys" mentioned in the quote are elite reporters from the New York Times, Washington Post, etc., in case anyone was confused. I would highly recommend that essay to anyone interested in American politics, by the way. Also, how's that for a painting? See, you don't need fancy mythological scenes in order to make a great painting. Just get yourself a lemon. Thanks for reading!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I first read about styptic pencils being used by men who would cut themselves shaving.

Evi @ sexta-feira said...

Mount Aenos is the only blog I know where the owner's profile is as intriguing as the actual posts. Nice No Doubt song by the way.

Eddie said...

It's funny - as soon as I read this word, I thought of a lemon and that classic puckered face someone pulls when they've just sucked on one. But I thought "Ah, knowing E, he will have some renaissance masterpiece to illustrate it somehow." But no! I scroll down, and what do you have? A picture of a lemon, and a styptic one at that ... I love it!

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