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Sep 23, 2015
This week’s theme
Words about words

This week’s words
kenning
mot juste
holophrasm
pochismo
antonomasia

holophrasm
Residents of the village of Harmondsworth, on expansion of Heathrow airport
Photo: hacan2009

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

holophrasm

PRONUNCIATION:
(HOL-uh-fraz-um)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A one-word sentence, for example, “Go.”
2. A complex idea conveyed in a single word, for example, “Howdy” for “How do you do?”

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek holos (whole) + phrasis (speech). Earliest documented use: 1862.

USAGE:
“Holophrasms aren’t common in English, but any verb in command form can be holophrastic -- Go, Help, Run.”
Kathryn Schulz; What Part of ‘No, Totally’ Don’t You Understand?; The New Yorker; Apr 7, 2015.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience. -Walter Lippmann, journalist (23 Sep 1889-1974)

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