Monday, April 12, 2004

Word of the day

enthusiasm, noun -- from the Greek: enthousias-mos, from enthousiazein 'to be inspired,' irregular from entheos, inspired, which is in turn from en- + theos, god. This word first entered the English language in 1603. (Thank you Merriam-Webster!)

We usually think of this word as meaning something like "strong excitement or feeling" or "something inspiring zeal or fervor." The religious and/or spiritual (compare the word with inspiration) roots of the word were recently brought to my attention and I found it intriquing. Other dictionary meanings are "belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit" and "religious fanaticism."

Seems appropriate to the season (Easter and Passover) and also to the realities of middle eastern politics. I am also reminded, more benignly, of the enthusiasm of the birders I met last Friday. Inspiration through (or by) the works of nature seems a religion I could be much more comfortable with.

One thing I do know is that I have no enthusiasm for Mondays. Glad it's over with.

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