The Antonym Of Serendipity

Zemblanity.

I recently encountered this word I’d not seen or heard before, so I looked it up.

According to the folks at WorldWideWords:

“So what is the opposite of Serendip, a southern land of spice and warmth, lush greenery and hummingbirds, seawashed, sunbasted? Think of another world in the far north, barren, icebound, cold, a world of flint and stone. Call it Zembla. Ergo: zemblanity, the opposite of serendipity, the faculty of making unhappy, unlucky and expected discoveries by design. Serendipity and zemblanity: the twin poles of the axis around which we revolve…

Zemblanity hasn’t achieved mainstream status, though Mr Justice Michael Peart used it in a legal judgment in Ireland in 2012 and it has been borrowed as the title of a bit of madcap physical theatre, which was performed, for example, at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”

Fun With Words

The word “SWIMS” will remain “SWIMS” even after you turn it upside down.

Those type of words are called ambigrams.

Ambigrams can be words, art forms, or other symbolic representations whose elements retain meaning even when viewed or interpreted from different directions, perspectives, or orientations.

Can you think of other word ambigrams?

 

Pow! Onomatopoeia

Ding, ding, ding!

Get ready as we blow the lid off this latest blog post. Boom!

Here it comes: onomatopoeia.

It’s no secret I enjoy history, humor, and writing. The cartoon below encompasses some of each of those interests.

Have you sprinkled onomatopoeia in your writing lately?

Onomano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Onomatopoeia  [on-uh-mat-uhpeeuh]

noun

  1. the formation of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent.
  2. a word so formed.
  3. the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical, dramatic, or poetic effect.

Origin of onomatopoeia:  Late Latin/Greek

< Greek onomatopoiía making of words = onomato- (combining form of ónoma name ) + poi- (stem of poieîn to make; see poet ) + -ia –ia>    (source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/onomatopoeia)

Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Bells is an interesting example of the use of onomatopoeia.