Words new and invented

My new word for the week is ‘chiasmus.’ It means, according to the trusty though ragged Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate I got when I went to college, “an inverted relationship between the syntactic elements of parallel phrases (as in Goldsmith’s to stop too fearful, and too faint to go).” Or, as it was used this week in my American Novel course, to describe how “Tender Is the Night’s” Dick Diver loses his mental stability as his wife Nicole regains hers.

My invented word is “applaudience,” and came from my son Aedan. He wanted appreciation for having finished a piece. “No applaudience?” he said, plaintively.

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