Hephaestus's Blog

Hip hip… Hooray!
June 26, 2015, 17:32
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today the Supreme Court announced its decision that marriage is a fundamental right that should not be denied to same-sex couples.

I am glad to see that the Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority around, has finally sealed the fate of the state laws restricting marriage to heterosexual relationships only. Perhaps now we can finally say that the process, begun over ten years ago, of expanding marriage rights in the United States has reached its goal.

Now we as a nation can perhaps accept that marriage is about more than physical, biological procreation: it is about love, a vow to love one another (theoretically) forever, no matter the consequences. Love of this kind is more than a one-track phenomenon; it is a powerful bond that unites people who care deeply for one another.

Three cheers for marriage equality!


Word of the Month: Celerity
June 8, 2015, 11:12
Filed under: Words of the Months

Etymology: From Old French celeritee (14c., Modern French célérité), from Latin celeritatem (nominative celeritas) “swiftness,” from celer swift“.

Definition: Swiftness.

Celerity is one of those words that have, for the most part, disappeared from common usage. However, back in the nineteenth century, it was considerably more common. Jane Austen, who used many words that have since fallen out of favor, used it, among others. It also appears in the (modern) historical novels of Patrick O’Brian, who used words found in documents of the period (Napoleonic Wars) to colour his writing.

Despite appearances, celerity is not related in the least to celery, which is descended, through French, Italian and Latin, from an old Greek word for parsley. Convergent evolution is not confined to biology. Go figure.

Please let me know if there are any words you would like featured by posting a comment on this post.