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A.Word.A.Day--oneiromancy

Pronunciation RealAudio

oneiromancy (o-NY-ruh-man-see) noun

The practice of predicting the future by interpreting dreams.

[From Greek oneiros (dream) + -mancy (divination).]

See more usage examples of oneiromancy in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

"It's an axiom of fiction that the `dream sequence' is the cheapest, laziest way to tell or resolve a story. Waking Life's oneiromancy will send some viewers screaming." Mark Lepage; What Does It All Mean?; Montreal Gazette (Canada); Oct 26, 2001.

Summer is here. School is out, and my eight-year-old daughter is home. All day she and her friends play their favorite pretend games: puppies, princesses, and more. Some afternoons they barge into my downstairs study looking for suggestions. "What should we play now?" the chorus chimes.

I imagine myself as the court priest charged to divine the next game for my royal clients. But I do not have to look at the direction of wind (aeromancy) or the movements of mice (myomancy), nor employ any other esoteric divination techniques. Often it's simply a matter of asking each girl her favorite game and then picking one of the games at random.

Since ancient times, humans have used various ways to divine their next course of action. From gazing at stars (astromancy) to the animal entrails (haruspicy) they have tried to find an omen that would point them in the right direction. Was there any meaning in those methods? Who knows? But one thing is certain: when we feel propelled by fate, whatever the direction, we devote ourselves fully toward it. And that may be the value of those predictors.

And here is my forecast for this week in AWAD: words related to divination and prediction.

-Anu Garg garg AT wordsmith.org

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Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand. -Emily Kimbrough, author and broadcaster (1899-1989)

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