Wednesday, February 24, 2010

L-O-G-O-M-A-C-H-Y, LOGAMACHY, L-O-G-O-M-A-C-H-Y [Our Terms]

logomachy \loh-GAH-muh-kee\ noun
1 : a dispute over or about words
*2 : a controversy marked by verbiage

Example Sentence:
The surprising election results have opened the floodgates of logomachy in the political media outlets.

Did you know?
It doesn't take much to start people arguing about words, but there's no quarrel about the origin of "logomachy." It comes from the Greek roots "logos," meaning "word" or "speech," and "machesthai," meaning "to fight," and it entered English in the mid-1500s. If you're a word enthusiast, you probably know that "logos" is the root of many English words ("monologue," "neologism," "logic," and most words ending in "-logy," for example), but what about other derivatives of "machesthai"? Actually, this is a tough one even for word whizzes. Only a few very rare English words come from "machesthai." Here are two of them: "heresimach" ("an active opponent of heresy and heretics") and "naumachia" ("an ancient Roman spectacle representing a naval battle").

Jane was so frustrated with the logomachy between herself and Sam that she threw the dictionary and the thesaurus at his head, then stomped out of the room. True story.

Your turn! Try out your new vocab buffness in the comments section with your very own sentence!

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