Printable Version
Pronunciation: mis-ah-lê-jee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: An aversion and immunity to reason, logic, rational discourse, common sense.

Notes: Here is a topical word for current US politics. It comes with the panoply of lexical relatives accompanying all -ology words. Someone who hates reason is a misologist, and all misologists are misological because they behave misologically.

In Play: Terrorists are usually victims of extreme misology. However, this term applies to less violent organizations: "I consider Winston a misologist because he belongs to a misological political party." Global warming and Holocaust deniers are all victims of severe misology.

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from ancient Greek misologia. It first appears in Phaedo by Plato, where Phaedo claims from personal observation that misology leads to misanthropy, the hatred of mankind. It is a derivation made up of mis- "hate" + logos "word, idea, reason". Mis- is the root of misos "hate". It shares its source with the Germanic prefix mis- "badly, wrongly" as in misjudge and misspeak. Logos we've encountered many times before. It comes from PIE leg-/log- "to gather", which produced classical Greek logos and lexis "diction, speech" but also Latin lex, legis "law". The exact semantic derivation of these two meanings from that of "gather" remains a subject of rampant speculation. (Now let's join in thanking Jeremy Busch, who is never a victim of misology but a Grand Panjandrum in the Alpha Agora for suggesting today's very topical Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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