Wednesday, January 05, 2005

English Practice

You know a word is a tough one when the first Google result containing the word is the dictionary entry. I wonder if one could assemble a complete list of such words, used primarily in sentences defining or discussing the meaning of the word itself... Some English practice for us all: irenic: Promoting peace; conciliatory.
Among the more irenic critics [of Burnet's flood geology] was Robert Hooke... - The Biblical Flood p69
palistrophe: synonym for chiasmus; A rhetorical inversion of the second of two parallel structures.
British evangelical scholar Gordon Wenham has made a case for the coherence and unity of the flood narrative on the basis of a perceived extended palistrophic or chiastic structure in which the first item matches the final item, the second item corresponds to the penultimate item, and so on, so that the second half of the story is a mirror image of the first half. - The Biblical Flood p238
raiment: Clothing; garments.
The national raiment, in [Vladimir Jabotinsky]'s formulation, had to be unsullied by foreign admixtures and universalistic notions such as socialism. - The Legacy of Dissent p138
tribune: A protector or champion of the people (from Latin tribuna, raised speaking platform)
...since even [Tom Wolfe's character from Bonfire of the Vanities] Kramer's father "had no interest in left-wing politics," a reader might suppose that father's socialism, too, was merely half-remembered and that, in the Kramer family, grandfather, the oppressed immigrant garment worker, was socialism's truest tribune. - The Legacy of Dissent p212


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