This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Nuts and Bolts: hubris.

Hubris is the pride that goes before a fall. You know the sort of thing: when the villain stops stroking his white cat just long enough to laugh manaically and say nothing can stop me now!

Now, when the villain says, nothing will stop me now you sit on the edge of your seat because you know jolly well that any moment now the helicopters will be homing in on his volcano hideout.

But what if it's the hero who's doing the nothing will stop me now bit?

Well, (according to Aristotle at any rate) then you have the makings of a tragedy.


 Because when the hero says, hubristically, nothing will stop me now, you wince and say to yourself poor mutt: because, of course, we all know that despite his looks, ambition, and noble birth he's quite, quite doomed.

Well, there's tragedy for you.


Word To Use Today: hubris. I think you can just about get away with using this one as long as it's about someone everyone's really annoyed with. Like bankers.

The word hubris an ancient Greek legal term which covered disrespect to a defeated enemy, or to a corpse, and then, later, to crimes by powerful people which humiliate the victim.

1 comment:

  1. I'm still waiting for the bankers' hubris to be punished by a suitable NEMESIS but it hasn't happened yet! I live in hope....

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