This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sunday Rest: cynosure. Word Not To Use Today.

File:Astronomy; a chart of the constellations Great Bear and Litt Wellcome V0024713.jpg
Picture: Wellcome Images.

Now I come to think about it, this post probably isn't needed: I mean, you never do use the word cynosure, do you?

It'd just be making an exhibition of yourself.

Even if you yourself knew what it meant* then, firstly, hardly anyone one who hears it will recognise it (the correct pronunciation starts off sinn and ends with a sneeze); and, secondly, if they do recognise it then they'll probably misunderstand it. Cyno looks much too much like cynic, and sure is too reminiscent of cocksure. The general impression is of something vaguely objectionable - which is a pity because that's pretty much exactly the opposite of it's meaning.

Really the silly thing is much safest avoided. 

It's the only way you can be sure both halves of the room will know you're trying to be nice.

Sunday Rest: cynosure. This word comes from the Latin Cynosūra, the constellation of the Little Bear, from the Greek cyno- which means to do with dogs, and oura, which means tail.

*Something that attracts notice, or is to be imitated, because of its brilliance.

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