Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Play on Words"

Etymology: Many words come from the names of people, places, and events. The stories behind words is often fascinating, to say the least as well as a valuable inspiration in exploring the rich history of language and words. Let's look at couple of examples:

Nemesis-In today's world, if someone or something is referred to as our nemesis, we are led to believe that he or she will ultimately bring about our downfall or failure. Through ancient myth, however, Nemesis was actually a goddess whose primary function was to find and punish those guility of displaying any form of pride or disrespect to the gods! Apparently, no one escaped her wrath!

Bedlam-In today's world, St. Mary of Bethlehem's hospital located in London, England is renowned for its exemplary care and medical treatment. However, in its earlier days, it was known for its cruelty to patients, including many being in chains! You can only imagine the horror stories coming out of that place! As talk spread, the word "Bethlehem" was often pronounced incorrectly and , in time became known as St. Mary of Bedlam's hospital. Eventually, the word bedlam came to be described as a place of wild disorder!

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