Delirium

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Dr. Goodword
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Delirium

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:47 pm

• delirium •


Pronunciation: di-li-ri-um • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: 1. A disordered state of mind characterized by confusion, agitation, hallucinations, incoherent speech, and disturbances of thought, memory, and mood. 2. A state of frenzied activity from uncontrollable happiness or enthusiasm, wild emotion or excitement.

Notes: We have all heard of alcoholics suffering the "DTs". This is the abbreviation for 'delirium tremens', a form of delusions and tremors caused by alcohol deprivation in cases of severe alcoholism. We have two adjectives accompanying this noun, the rare deliriant, and the more common delirious. It comes with a verb, too: deliriate "to act in a deluded manner", as if affected by delirium.

In Play: Today's term is an escapee from the medical world: "Certain symptoms and signs help doctors distinguish between the temporary state of delirium and dementia." It may be heard enjoying its freedom in suggestions like this: "The delirium of shoppers on Black Friday this year is expected to be especially intense."

Word History: Today's Good Word IS Latin delirium "madness", from deliriare "be crazy, rave", originally meaning "go off the furrow" (= "off the tracks"), a plowing metaphor from the Latin phrase 'de lira', comprising de "off, (away) from" + lira "furrow, track". Latin inherited this word from PIE leis-/lois- "furrow, plough a furrow, pursue, learn", also found in English last and, with rhotacization, learn. German lehren "to teach" and lernen "to study, learn", from the same PIE word, also show evidence of rhotacization. Serbian leha and Bulgarian lekha "(field) bed" are two other words from the same PIE word. (And now a gracious bow is due Anna Jung, a new but prolific contributor of such as today's beguiling Good Word.)
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Re: Delirium

Postby Slava » Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:47 pm

Deliriant sounds like it should mean 'that which makes one delirious.'
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

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Re: Delirium

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Jun 21, 2021 10:22 pm

Or "chemical agent which causes delirium". It could refer to that but it is used mostly--however rarely--as an adjective.
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Re: Delirium

Postby Slava » Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:01 pm

Or, perhaps, 'the easing of covid-19 restrictions has acted as a deliriant in many parts of the world'.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

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Re: Delirium

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:03 am

I just received a note from a Turkish subscriber (whose "PS" apology was unnecessary). While Latin could not have borrowed this word from Modern Turkish, I thought the lexical coincidence might be of interest to everyone:

First of all, as a subscriber, I would like to thank you for the daily mails.

Just minutes ago, I saw your mail about the word "delirium". Although no etymological links [appear] between English--or, actually, Latin--and Turkish with regard to this word, it strangely enough reminds me deli, the Turkish equivalent of "insane", "crazy" or "mad", which is used in real sense or figuratively for those who have got exaggeratedly cheerful or angry and those who behaves or acts in a heedless manner. This Turkish word originates from old Turkish word telu. In Modern Turkish, t's and u's in the Old Turkish are frequently changed into d and i.

Kind wishes,
Mustafa Suna

PS: Please dismiss my weak language style as I am a Turkish native.
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Slava
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Re: Delirium

Postby Slava » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:22 am

This puts a whole new spin on going to the deli. :D
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.


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