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WOD

aphorism


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 9, 2019 is:

aphorism • AF-uh-riz-um  • noun

1 : a concise statement of a principle

2 : a terse formulation of a truth or sentiment : adage

3 : an ingeniously terse style of expression

Examples:

“Michael sighed…. He had known that his mother had told Gina that cryptic aphorism, but he’d long since forgotten and could not think why it had any particular significance, now. No more significance than his father’s cryptic aphorism: What are people for, except to let you down.” — Joyce Carol Oates (as Rosamond Smith), Snake Eyes, 1992

“‘Brevity is the soul of wit,’ Shakespeare’s Polonius says, issuing the greatest unintentional aphorism in literature: at the time, scholars say, the line meant merely that concision is the essence of useful intelligence, and, of course, it was uttered as part of a deliberately long-winded speech. But it now captures … a subtler truth: a joke is improved by compression.” — Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 15 July 2019

Did you know?

Aphorism was originally used in the world of medicine. Credit Hippocrates, the Greek physician regarded as the father of modern medicine, with influencing our use of the word. He used aphorismos (a Greek ancestor of aphorism meaning “definition” or “aphorism”) in titling a book outlining his principles on the diagnosis and treatment of disease. That volume offered many examples that helped to define aphorism, beginning with the statement that starts the book’s introduction: “Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult.” English speakers originally used the term mainly in the realm of the physical sciences but eventually broadened its use to cover principles in other fields.

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Ken Saunders is a freelance writer for hire. He specializes in creating content that will drive traffic, convert readers and make your social media pop. He has been writing since 2012. His professional background is in Information Technology as well as Health and Wellness. His experience has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys researching and writing articles on the topics of Spirituality, Technology, Food, Travel, and the LGBT community. His articles have appeared in a number of e-zine sites, including Lifehack. Media, Andrew Christian, TogetherWeWin.com and Vocal.media. You can learn more about his services at http://www.ken-saunders.info.

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