Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Words, words, words

I subscribe to the word of the day e-mail from Mirriam-Webster. As much as I enjoy receiving their emails, I have to admit I usually forget the word within minutes of reading its definition. Perhaps posting some of them in this forum will help me to better remember them.

The Word of the Day for Jan 06 is:

mantic \MAN-tik\ adjective

: of or relating to the faculty of divination : prophetic


Example sentence:

"You may be skeptical now of my mantic skills," said the fortune-teller, "but you'll soon learn that my prophecies are true."

Did you know?

The adjective "mantic" comes from the Greek word "mantikos," which
itself derives from "mantis," meaning "prophet." (The mantis insect
got its name from this same source, supposedly because its posture --
with the forelimbs extended as though in prayer -- reminded folks of a
prophet.) Not surprisingly, the combining form "-mancy," which means
"divination in a (specified) manner" (as in "necromancy" and
"pyromancy"), is a relative of "mantic." A less expected, and more
distant, relative is "mania," meaning "insanity marked by
uncontrollable emotion or excitement" or "excessive enthusiasm."
"Mania" descends from the Greek "mainesthai" ("to be mad"), a word
akin to "mantis" and its offspring. And indeed, prophesying in ancient
Greece was sometimes believed to be "inspired madness."

mantic indeed.


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