February 15th, 2010


How Vivid Is Your Writing?

Word of the Day for Monday, February 15, 2010

vivify \VIV-uh-fy\, transitive verb:
1. To endue with life; to make alive; to animate.
2. To make more lively or intense.

Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that most deeply engages our intellects and our hearts?
    -- Annie Dillard, "Write Till You Drop", New York Times, May 28, 1989

Stories not only provide context for statistical statements but can illustrate and vivify them as well.
    -- John Allen Paulos, Once Upon a Number

They collaborated on, and for our benefit specialized in, like paleontologists, the painstaking reconstruction of vanished jokes from extant tag lines. They could vivify old New Yorker cartoons, source of many tag lines.
    -- Annie Dillard, An American Childhood


Vivify comes from French vivifier, from Late Latin vivificare, from Latin vivus, alive.
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