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Wondrous Words Wednesday

August 15, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

My first two words this week came from Rather Outspoken by Dan Rather.

1. libretto – “Ziegler’s job was to go forth and speak from whatever libretto they handed him.”

Rather is using libretto figuratively since it means the text of a work (as an opera) for the musical theater or the book containing a libretto.


2. internecine – “There was surely the “big picture” story – the kind you read in the history books – of sweeping troop offensives, counteroffensives, internecine rivalry within the government and diplomatic maneuvering.”

Internecine means marked by slaughter: deadly.


My third word this week comes from Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook.

3. chiasmus – “Morning, noon, and night, my brother is pretty much a chiasmus machine, a chiasmus machine is pretty much my brother, morning, noon, and night.”

This word was actually defined in the book three pages after it appeared.  “A chiasmus is when the second half of an expression is balanced against the first half, but with the parts reversed.”  A famous example of a chiasmus is credited to Mae West – It’s not the men in my life, it’s the life in my men.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Jayme@Beachreader permalink
    August 15, 2012 6:49 am

    I knew libretto, but the other two had me stumped. Did we ever learn chiasmus in high school English?

  2. talesofwhimsy permalink
    August 15, 2012 7:50 am

    I love the word Libretto.
    Wouldn’t it be a cool name for some cute Italian boy in a book?

  3. Kaye permalink
    August 15, 2012 8:51 am

    I know I’ve read internecine before but wouldn’t know how to use it in a sentence. Good words this week!

  4. August 15, 2012 8:57 am

    I knew libretto. And am familiar with chiasm(a), but haven’t seen it as chiasmus before. Chiasm means crossing over in an X shape, so is similar to the more literary usage here. There is an optic chiasm in the brain for instance.

  5. August 15, 2012 9:01 am

    Terrific words, Kathy. Internecine was new to me.

  6. August 15, 2012 10:50 am

    Hi Kathy,

    I knew the first couple of your words, however chiasmus was new to me.

    We often hear the saying ‘you can take the girl out of Essex, but you can’t take Essex out of the girl’, so I guess this would qualify as a chiasmus. A great word to throw into the conversation, when I hear this saying again!

    Thanks for sharing and hosting,


  7. August 15, 2012 11:03 am

    I like the word chiasmus, could relate to it.

  8. zibilee permalink
    August 15, 2012 11:06 am

    chiasmus is a word that is infinitely interesting to me. I love the way that it was used in West’s quote, but also, its something to ponder in reflective times, to see if I can make up my own! Fantastic words today!

  9. August 15, 2012 12:51 pm

    Libretto I remembered from boring music class

  10. August 15, 2012 1:52 pm

    I knew libretto was a music word but the other two I was clueless about.

  11. August 15, 2012 2:03 pm

    I knew libretto and like Rather’s usage but chiasmus is new to me and very nifty! Like zibilee says, I like the idea of making up a chiasmus of my own. Have a good week!

  12. August 15, 2012 2:34 pm

    I forgot to post my word, now I have dendroglyphs

  13. August 15, 2012 5:32 pm

    Great words. I like chiasmus and it’s interesting meaning.

  14. Patty permalink
    August 15, 2012 6:33 pm

    I got nothing!

  15. August 15, 2012 8:27 pm

    I just finished WALLFLOWER IN BLOOM so I’m now familiar with chiasmus.

  16. August 16, 2012 12:28 am

    The only one I knew already was libretto. I’m going to have to come up with a chiasmus. 🙂

  17. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    August 16, 2012 6:29 am

    So that’s what those are called in #3…very interesting info!!

  18. August 16, 2012 12:48 pm

    Chiasmus is excellent! I always learn from your meme. 🙂

  19. August 16, 2012 10:46 pm

    I knew libretto, but not internecine or chiasmus. Both very interesting!

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