• mogigraphia •
Part of Speech: Noun, mass
Meaning: Writer's cramp, difficulty writing.
Notes: Today's Good Word has crawled out of the medical textbooks recently and spread rapidly across the Web. It has been taken as the medical term for "writer's cramp" but it may refer to any difficulty in writing, including writer's block. Its family hasn't fully congealed yet but it already includes an adjective, mogigraphic and an adverb mogigraphically. A shorter form has also been used a few times: mogigraphy. Remember that the G is soft, pronounced like J.
In Play: OK, kids, this just may convince your parents that you have studied enough: "Mom, I have mogigraphia from all the homework I've done; can I take a break?" Writers should have a more elevated term for their worst problem than the mundane phrase writer's block: "The book isn't going so well—I seem to have come down with mental mogigraphia."
Word History: Today's Good Word is a relatively new one, first appearing in 1857. It is modeled after an older word, mogilalia "difficulty speaking", which has been around since 1688. Today's word contains the root of the Greek adverb mogis "with difficulty" + graphia "writing". Mogis is related to many words in the Indo-European languages, including English might in all its senses, may, and Russian mogu "I can". The meaning has to do with required power or strength. Graphia is all over the English language, always referring to depiction, whether writing or drawing (its meaning in Greek): photograph, phonograph, graphic. It comes from a word that originally meant "to scratch", a word that devolved directly (unborrowed) to English as crab and carve.
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