« Floral Dance | Main | Spring Chorus »

An Englishman In New York: Plangent – Word Of The Day

David Thmasesson recalls his amo-amas-amat days.

Reading the newspapers I came across this word "Plangent". Unfortunately I discarded the article. Shame really as I would have liked to reviewed the context again. It’s such a strange word with no obvious suggestion of meaning to it. Anyway, I looked it up, and here are the definitions:

* Resounding loudly, especially with a plaintive sound, as a bell.

* Expressing or suggesting grief or sadness.

Language scholars among you will no doubt recall that it is derived from the Latin “plangere” meaning to “beat”. As in one’s breast, in grief. Apparently one can write about the plangent bells, or the plangent minority. I truly hope that one would only write such a word. In my book, anyone heard using such a word would surely be marked down as a pompous twit! The noun is plangency and the adverb is plangently; even worse. What positively horrid words these are.

Which, does of course, remind me of my Latin days at school. Not many people took Latin, even less took Greek. But I enjoyed it and it certainly is a boon for understanding words, their derivation, and occasionally answering crossword clues. Anyway tempus fugit as we say. Here’s a rhyme you may know.

Latin is a language
As dead as dead can be
First it killed the Romans
Now it’s killing me

Carpe diem et non illegitimus carborundum!


Do visit Daid's Web site http://www.britoninnewyork.com/


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.