Mantra

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Dr. Goodword
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Mantra

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:31 am

• mantra •


Pronunciation: mæn-trê • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A sacred phrase of Hinduism, repeated in prayer or meditation as an invocation to the gods. 2. Any phrase or position on an issue that is monotonously repeated over and over.

Notes: Today's word comes straight from Sanskrit but, like all the words that English helps itself to in other languages, it has taken on its own English sense. It is a lexical orphan; it has no verb or adjective relatives.

In Play: Although Hindus still consider mantras sacred, in the English language the word has taken on a distinctly pejorative sense: "Every time I ask Mr. Welch for a raise, he repeats his mantra about cutting costs." Keep this word away from your children. You don't want to hear things like, "Mom! I'm sick and tired of your mantra about cleaning up my room!"

Word History: Today's Good Word was originally Sanskrit, meaning "a (sacred) thought, counsel" from manyate "he thinks". This same verb also underlies Spanish mandarin "high-ranking government official", borrowed from Malay menteri, which got it from Sanskrit mantri(n) "counselor", mantr with the suffix -i(n). If this word reminds you of mental, you are right on track. This English word comes from the related Latin word mens, mentis "mind", which later became a suffix meaning "the idea of", found in borrowed words like statement and agreement. Though a praying mantra is quite different from a praying mantis, their names spring from the same stock: Greek mantis "prophet, seer", a word also connected with minds and thinking. English mind? This is our legitimate heir to the same ancient original root (men- "to think"), passed down through English's Germanic ancestors.
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Philip Hudson
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Re: Mantra

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:01 pm

I muffle my mantra with my mantel.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

damoge
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Re: Mantra

Postby damoge » Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:15 am

Philip, try your mantilla. You might find it more comfortable.
Everything works out, one way or another

Philip Hudson
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Re: Mantra

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:21 pm

Or, I could correct my spelling from mantel to mantle. Thanks for the heads up damoge.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

David Myer
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Re: Mantra

Postby David Myer » Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:39 am

Of course, if we were to be strictly correct, perhaps persontra would be sweeter.

I know, I know, it's not that sort of man.

Didn't we have a discussion somewhere in the Agora on the death of the word 'niggardly', which for political (although not semantic) correctness has been banished from the language?


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