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Jan 28, 2020
This week’s theme
Words about books

This week’s words
bibliophilia
chrestomathy
biblioclast
feuilleton
bibliophage

A Mencken Chrestomathy
A Mencken Chrestomathy

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

chrestomathy

PRONUNCIATION:
(kres-TOM-uh-thee)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A volume of selected literary passages, usually by one author.
2. A selection of literary passages from a foreign language, especially one assembled for studying a language.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek chrestomatheia, from chrestos (useful) + manthanein (to learn). These two parts of the word ultimately derive from Indo-European gher- (to like or want) which gave us yearn, charisma, greedy, exhort; and mendh- (to learn) that resulted in the terms mathematics and polymath. Earliest documented use: 1832.

USAGE:
“In a word, they think [Ted Cruz] is a supremely self-absorbed show pony. Perhaps relevant: The Ted Cruz 2016 pocket Constitution that his volunteers distribute features a Ted Cruz introduction and a Ted Cruz chrestomathy before the document’s text.”
Joseph Rago; Ted Cruz Likes Being Hated; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Jan 23, 2016.

See more usage examples of chrestomathy in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. -Colette, author (28 Jan 1873-1954)

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