My dearest readers, I have been negligent in my duties as a Blogmistress. In my defence, a pile of work topped with a monstrous migraine may have had something to do with it.
In any case, today I’d like to introduce a new feature to my language posts. I’m going to call it my Vocabulary Series. It’s a simple concept. I’m going to work through the alphabet (in, well, alphabetical order), presenting two words from each letter in each post. I will review the etymology of the word, along with its definition, and then I will use it in at least one sentence. That’s it.
I do, however, want to encourage all of you to submit words you would like to see in this series.
Okay, so without further ado, here is the first word of this series:
Etymology: Comes from the Old French agonie or late Latin agonia, which came from the Greek agonia, meaning contest or mental struggle. This likely related to the Olympic games (or other games of competition), as the Greek word agon means to assemble for a contest. Its use to refer to mental anguish first appeared in the 14th century, followed by its use to refer to extreme physical suffering in the 16th century.
Definition: Anguish of the mind; extreme physical or mental suffering; death struggle; the final stages of a difficult or painful death
Example: The agony of trying to choose between a chocolate éclair and a profiterole was nearly too much for the Duchess to bear.
Example 2: Watching the Duchess through the window, the starving vampire’s body was wracked with agony.
And of course, given the title of my blog, it wouldn’t be right to touch on “A” and not look at the following word:
Etymology: Adopted from the French apostrophe, which comes from the late Latin apostrophus, which was in turn adopted from the late Greek apostrophos, meaning turning away to one in particular. This came from the words apo, meaning away, and strephein, meaning turn.
Definition: A punctuation mark (’) used to indicate either possession or the omission of letters or numbers; omission of a sound or letter
Example: Nothing gets my goat more than a misplaced apostrophe.