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Monday, February 18th, 2008
10:06p - Word of the Day


sine qua non \sin-ih-kwah-NON; -NOHN; sy-nih-kway-\, noun:

An essential condition or element; an indispensable thing.

Women's enfranchisement was crucial to them -- indeed, a sine qua non, since all other progress for which they worked, such as higher education and entrance into the professions, would be meaningless if women continued to be second-class citizens.



Of the various attributes we fiction-writers require, he said, "one of the most important is detachment. Of course tenacity of purpose is the sine qua non, otherwise we'd never keep on with it for the year or two years or longer that it takes to finish the work."


However we choose to define a classic, a sine qua non is that the material lend itself to reinterpretation in the light of changing circumstances.


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Sine qua non is from the Late Latin, literally "without which not."

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10:14p - Word of the Day #2


virago \vuh-RAH-go; vuh-RAY-go\, noun:

1. A woman of extraordinary stature, strength, and courage.
2. A woman regarded as loud, scolding, ill-tempered, quarrelsome, or overbearing.

The intrepid heroines range from Unn the Deep Minded, the Viking virago who colonized Iceland, to Sue Hendrikson, a school dropout who became one of the great experts on amber, fossils and shipwrecks.



This virago, this madwoman, finally got to me, and I was subjected to the most rude, the most shocking violence I can remember.


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Virago comes from Latin virago, "a man-like woman, a female warrior, a heroine" from vir, "a man."

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