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wTuesday, September 30, 2003

WURD: Merriam-Webster Online has a Word of the Day feature. The entry for September 30 is near and dear to my cold black heart. Drumroll please:

The Word of the Day for September 30 is:

jeremiad • \jeh-ruh-MY-ud\ • noun
: a prolonged lamentation or complaint; also : a cautionary or angry harangue

Example sentence:
Mrs. Whinge waggled a finger at us and launched into a doleful jeremiad about how we would come to no good end.

Did you know?
Jeremiah was a naysayer. That Jewish prophet, who lived from about 650 to 570 B.C., spent his days lambasting the Hebrews for their false worship and social injustice and denouncing the king for his selfishness, materialism, and inequities. When not calling on his people to quit their wicked ways, he was lamenting his own lot; a portion of the Old Testament's Book of Jeremiah is devoted to his "confessions," a series of lamentations on the hardships endured by a prophet with an unpopular message. Nowadays, English speakers use "Jeremiah" for a pessimistic person and "jeremiad" for the way these Jeremiahs carry on. The word "jeremiad" was actually borrowed from the French, who coined it as "jérémiade."

posted by Jeremy at 7:05 PM