Ass and Name
Zola and Zoilus
A few Neos
What's in a Nem?
Pleo III-Two More Pleons
Achron.. and Acroam..
Per IV--Perpotation et al.
Per and Pre--Prevenient
Perpense and Perpend
Epi I--Epiplexis, et al.
The Doric Column
Epi III--Episemon et al.
After having listened to and reflected on hundreds of speeches in my life, I realize that I am most impressed not by people who just repeat the pablum cliches of the culture but who can use vivid, two-word phrases that communicate a thought clearly and do so in elevated language. The two-word phrases I have in mind all contain between seven and ten syllables and, if they are said with aplomb and flowing rhythm, can impress the socks off the interviewers or audience. I will give you seven here, assuming that is, that you are not hostile to the habit of terminological neophily [psst...love of new words]. I think I will arrange several of them in the order of the day, so you can check your watch as you plan to use them.
You may be a person who likes to rise with the dawn and indeed who likes to look at that dawn not just as the start of the day's activities but as having an almost timeless quality to it. You are caught up in the amaranthine splendor of the morning. Amaranth is composed of what is called the "alpha privative" (the original "a" that negates what follows) and the word "marantos," meaning "fading or corruptible." Amaranth is also a color, a purplish hue, that indeed fits the dawn. What do you do when you are taken by the amaranthine splendor of what Homer calls the "early-born rosy-fingered" dawn? I hope you don't down a triple latte from Starbucks, but instead you may want to turn to your matutinal orisons. Matutinal orisons are your morning prayers, but they sound so much more effortless, so much more as if they flow naturally from the soul than would "morning prayers." Matuta is the Roman goddess of the dawn, so your reference to matutinal orisons connects you immediately to the divine realm.
Let's say you want to adopt a German-style of eating and make lunch the big meal of the day. You load your plate with goodies and stuff yourself to excess. Mixing metaphors a bit, you have engaged in Edwardian nimiety. "Nimius" is the Latin word for "excess" or "abundance" and the Edward with whom it connects itself is the son of Queen Victoria, and he reigned over England in its glory days just before World War I. A prime example of Edwardian nimiety was the building of the Titanic in 1912, which went down despite its great size and "unsinkability." Some might suggest that America in the 1990s also engaged in an extended time of Edwardian nimiety, even if it didn't know the term. But, after such a meal, you just have to take a walk. But let's not just call it a walk. Let's call it, imitating the 18th-19th century British Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, a post-prandial vibration. Bentham bequeathed other terms to the Egnlish language that caught on big time, such as "internationalism," but post-prandial vibration never did. I did go to a dinner theater once, in which the director promised post-prandial delights on the stage, but no one has ever taken a post-prandial vibration with me.
The Late Evening
Often the late evening hours are the time for one's most serious thinking. The tumbling noise of the day is over. The kids are abed. No noise comes from outside. Nature seems to encourage an introspection that we often resist. Why not develop a time of nightly mediation, where we either write in a journal or listen to music or just sit in the chair and let our thoughts congeal as they will. The night is playtime for the mind, especially if we engage in epinyctal lucubrations. There isn't enough time to go through epinyctal with any justice at this point; suffice it to say that it means "nightly" and is derived from "epi," meaning "upon" or "in addition" and the Greek word for night, "nyks." There is no English word "nyctal" or "nyctial," but there is "epinyctal." Lucubration is derived from the Latin meaning, literally, "to work by artificial light." It can either suggest noctural study or meditation or simply study in general. By putting the words together as I have done, it lends to the activity a serious tone of sober reflection.
But then you fall asleep, or at least you try to do so. If you are very lucky, your dreams both are vivid and you remember them. You hope that the hypnagogic imagery in your mind as you settle into sleep is memorable. Hypnagogic literally means the process of entering into sleep, but I think by a stretch could include all the mental imagery that is created in the pleasant world of our dreams. I suppose that some of the hypnagogic imagery is not very pleasant, but it all is a window into our souls, an opportunity for knowledge about the self and the world to be created. A 20th century author, Thomson, has said that some of the most creative images of Lewis Carroll were derived from his hypnagogic imagery.
Enough for one day, don't you think?
Copyright © 2004-2010 William R. Long