This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 6 May 2016

Word To Use Today: clerisy.

Clerisy must be one of the loveliest words in the English language, and if I had the naming of a little girl I'd be strongly tempted to use it.

I wouldn't give in to the temptation, though, because clerisy means what we now more commonly call the intelligentsia.

Real waste of a beautiful word, I think.

Ah well.

Word To Use Today: clerisy. This word was made up by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who believed that a group of intellectuals should be formed in order to teach everyone else what and how to think. He called this group the clerisy, from the German Klerisei, which means clergy (in Coleridge's time the word clergy still held a trace of its old meaning of learning or knowledge, as in the proverb 'an ounce of mother wit is worth a pound of clergy'). 

The English having a healthy distrust of anyone who claims to be wise, though, Coleridge's idea never got off the ground.

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