Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vocabulary Vertigo | The Way of All Flesh

It's time again to 'get learned' with some new terms.  I have tons more words from "A Tale of Two Cities" which I may or may not get to, but I figured I should post a couple from the latest project... "The Way of All Flesh" by Samuel Butler.  Here we go!

1. paragon (noun): a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence.

context: "He spoke so wisely and so well that his listening guests considered him a paragon of right-mindedness"

2. wolds (noun): an elevated tract of open country OR an open, hilly district, esp. in England, as in Yorkshire or Lincolnshire.

context: "He may have had an ill-defined sense of ideals that were not his actuals; he might occasionally dream of himself as a soldier or a sailor far away in foreign lands, or even as a farmer’s boy upon the wolds, but there was not enough in him for there to be any chance of his turning his dreams into realities, and he drifted on with his stream, which was a slow, and, I am afraid, a muddy one."

3. catechize (verb):
A) to teach or examine by means of questions and answers

B) to give oral instruction in Christianity, esp by using a catechism
C) to put questions to (someone)

context: "That work was written too exclusively from the parental point of view; the person who composed it did not get a few children to come in and help him; he was clearly not young himself, nor should I say it was the work of one who liked children—in spite of the words “my good child” which, if I remember rightly, are once put into the mouth of the catechist* and, after all, carry a harsh sound with them."
*Note: A person who catechizes is a catechist

4. stentor (noun) – a person having a very loud or powerful voice

context: "Gone is that scarebabe stentor, that bellowing bull of Bashan the village blacksmith, gone is the melodious carpenter, gone the brawny shepherd with the red hair, who roared more lustily than all, until they came to the words, “Shepherds with your flocks abiding,” when modesty covered him with confusion, and compelled him to be silent, as though his own health were being drunk."

5. Canticle (noun)

A) one of the nonmetrical hymns or chants, chiefly from the Bible, used in church services.
B) a song, poem, or hymn esp. of praise.

context: "When I was last in Battersby church there was a harmonium played by a sweet-looking girl with a choir of school children around her, and they chanted the canticles to the most correct of chants, and they sang Hymns Ancient and Modern; the high pews were gone, nay, the very gallery in which the old choir had sung was removed as an accursed thing which might remind the people of the high places, and Theobald was old, and Christina was lying under the yew trees in the churchyard."
I wonder if this last word is where "incantation" came from?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love that you're listing vocabulary words.

I actually write down each word I'm not quite sure of for each of the books I read, and by far, The Way of All Flesh had the largest list, thus far.

Happy reading!