Eleemosynary

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Dr. Goodword
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Eleemosynary

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:35 pm

• eleemosynary •


Pronunciation: e-lê-mah-sê-ne-ree • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Based on charitable contributions, having to do with charity. 2. Altruistic, contributed as charity without expectation of compensation.

Notes: Eleemosynary is an isolated adjective with no corresponding noun or verb. Someone did attempt to launch eleemosynate "to give alms" in the 17th century. That word, however, lived a short, uneventful life. Altruistic and today's word are close in meaning but, while altruistic focuses on doing charitable work freely, eleemosynary implies the transfer of money for charitable work.

In Play: Giving to charitable organizations may be eleemosynary but so can receiving donations: "Joy works for an eleemosynary organization that provides housing for the homeless." Do you need a raise? You might try a suggestion like this: "Although I am devoted to this organization, my work is not intended as an eleemosynary contribution." (If you say "charitable", they won't look up from the desk.)

Word History: Today's Good Word is a world-class lexical traveler. It began its journey as Medieval Latin eleemosynarius "alms", which by Late Latin had been reduced to eleemosyna. This six-syllable word entered Old English, where it was reduced to ælmesse, which was ultimately whittled down to the single syllable, alms! By this time the relationship to eleemosynary was unrecognizable, so we borrowed this word again directly from Latin—the old two-for-the-price-of-one trick practiced so often by English. The Latin word was borrowed from Greek eleemosyne "pity, charity", from eleemon "pitiful", the adjective of eleos "pity".
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Philip Hudson
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Re: Eleemosynary

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:42 pm

My magna cum laude granddaughter is taking time out to earn a little cash before going to the University of Virginia where she plans to earn further degrees. She is working for an institution dedicated to helping eleemosynary institutions raise cash. She is taking the literary approach as she is not savvy with the financial world. She writes beautiful and appealing pleas for the charities to use in their campaigns. I hope they roll in the dough
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.


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