Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 28, 2020 is:

Cassandra • kuh-SAN-druh  • noun

1 : a daughter of Priam endowed with the gift of prophecy but fated never to be believed

2 : one that predicts misfortune or disaster


“They have rented a huge, nearly empty ‘furnished’ house online and it is here that the story begins to focus. Here, in a remote location everyone’s nightmares get worse. The villagers … are Cassandras, implicitly warning of impending doom.” — Stephen Schaefer, The Boston Herald, 19 June 2020

“My pandemic pantry is full. I come from a long line of Cassandras, and I have a keen (some would say unhealthy) interest in virology, so I’ve been prepping assiduously since mid-January. I’ve been cooking for myself and enjoying it in self-isolation because it’s something I didn’t get to do much in my former life as a restaurant critic.” — Alison Cook, The Houston Chronicle, 27 Mar. 2020

Did you know?

The story of Cassandra comes from Greek mythology and is both tragic and ironic, as such myths tend to be. Cassandra was the daughter of Priam, the king of Troy. She caught the eye of the god Apollo, who was accustomed to getting what he wanted. He was amazed and displeased when she refused his romantic advances, and he became vengeful. He cursed Cassandra with a gift of prophecy with an especially cruel twist: he guaranteed that while she would always be right, no one would ever believe her predictions. Cassandra foretold the fall of Troy and other disastrous happenings, though she was ignored. Now, the label Cassandra is typically reserved for those who claim to see impending doom.

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