Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 5142
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA


Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:35 pm

• rhapsody •

Pronunciation: ræp-sê-di • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. An epic poem or major part of one; 2. A work of art composed of miscellaneous pieces strung together. 3. An exalted expression of feeling lacking logic or structure, such as a piece of music or literature.

Notes: Today's melodious word comes from a musical family: the adjective is rhapsodical and the verb is rhapsodize. The wanderers who recited the odes of Homer and Hesiod by heart, preserving them for posterity, are generally referred to as rhapsodists. Charles Swinburne, however, in one of his essays published in 1867, wrote, "There has been since Chaucer no second teller of tales, no second rhapsode, comparable to the first."

In Play: Today our word refers most frequently to an effusive panegyric as opposed to a reasoned exposition: "Our presentation should be a rhapsody of New Monia as the perfect location for a medical center rather than a detailed economic analysis of the town." Rhapsodies run more on enthusiasm than organized thought: "Patsy spun such a rhapsody of her family life that no one believed her."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin rhapsodia "a section of an epic poem" from Greek noun rhapsoidia, based on the verb rhapsoidein "to recite poems". This word is a compound containing the stems of rhaptein, rhaps- "to sew" + oide "song", ancestor of English ode. So, the original notion was one of sewing songs together into larger epics, not too far removed from our notion of stringing verses together. (No, today's word is not even remotely related to rap. Rap is a matter of chanting words on the same musical note.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 4124
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Rhapsody

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:18 pm

well I guess I can appreciate that definition of rap. I had no idea
that one existed, and could have cared less, actually.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

User avatar
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: Rhapsody

Postby call_copse » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:18 pm

'could have cared less'

I must admit that is one Americanism I don't care for - it's becoming a little popular over here. I prefer the more standard in the UK 'couldn't care less'. The American version clearly indicates an unspecified level of caring. This is generally not what is intended to be conveyed. Perhaps I am just too logical. :roll:

George Kovac
Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:54 am
Location: Miami

Re: Rhapsody

Postby George Kovac » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:57 am


I couldn't agree with you more. :lol:
“The messy layers of human experience get pulled together, and sometimes ordered, by words.” Colum McCann “But Always Meeting Ourselves” New York Times, June 15, 2009

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 5542
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Rhapsody

Postby Slava » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:08 pm

As my father liked to put it, "I could not fail to disagree with you less."

"Could care less" means you do care, at least somewhat. "Couldn't care less" means what ever it is, it is at the bottom of the caring ladder.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests