October 12th, 2006


I LIKE This Word

I was attracted to this word right from the first, especially definition #1, and example #1. As far as I know, I've never bumped into it before.

Word of the Day for Thursday, October 12, 2006

concinnity \kuhn-SIN-uh-tee\, noun:
1. Internal harmony or fitness in the adaptation of parts to a whole or to each other.
2. Studied elegance of design or arrangement -- said chiefly of literary style.
3. An instance of concinnity.

He has what one character calls "the gifts of concinnity and concision," that deft swipe with a phrase that can be so devastating in children.
    -- Elizabeth Ward

Denis Donoghue is a primary critic of our time, catholic in scope, unique in literary apprehension, crucially gratifying in the clear concinnity of his prose.
    -- Ihab Hassan

Even so, rules are not merely there to be ignored; in fact, they constitute a democratic aristocracy based not on Debrett's Peerage or the Almanach de Gotha but on the user's respect for comprehensibility, consistency, concision and concinnity -- or, simply, elegance.
    -- John Simon, "House Rules", New York Times, October 31, 1999


Concinnity comes from Latin concinnitas, "elegance; harmony of
style," from concinnus, "well put together; pleasing, on account of
harmony and proportion."