Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Word of The Day - Erudition

I came upon erudition when I was researching William F. Buckley, Jr., for a book review that I am working on (Losing Mum and Pup by Christopher Buckley - stay tuned.) Mr. Buckley's writing style was described as " famed for its erudition, wit, and use of uncommon words." Although I've heard erudite and erudition used, and gleaned the meaning though context, I wanted to know what it really, really meant.

Erudition, surprise, surprise, comes from the Latin word, eruditus, which means (according to the gospel of Wickepedia), "when instruction and reading followed by digestion and contemplation have effaced all rudeness ("e- (ex-) + rudis"), that is to say smoothed away all raw, untrained incivility." The big "W" also says that "common usage has blurred the distinction from 'learned'." So consider yourself straightened out on that matter! Unlike Mr. Buckley, I will never be known for my my erudition. But hey, I just used it in a sentence, so there!
Valete! (Latin for Goodbye!)

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