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We've had a theme of "Types of hobbyist collectors". We've had a theme of "Specific Collective Nouns".

Think I'm done with "collecting"? Of course not. This week we'll talk about various types of collected writings.

Festschrift – a collection of writings published in honor of a scholar
[German, Fest 'celebration' + Schrift 'writing']
    I wrote an introduction to a collection of short stories by Budd Schulberg, too, and a long salutation for a Festschrift presented to Erskine Caldwell on his eightieth birthday.
    – Kurt Vonnegut, Fates Worse Than Death
 
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gazetteer – a geographical index or dictionary
    Indeed, gazetteers in America, it was said, could not keep up with the "very frequent changes" in the dividing of territories and naming of places "which are almost daily taking place": it was a problem "peculiar to a new, progressive and extensive country." In one generation Americans occupied more territory than they had occupied during the entire 150 years of their colonial existence. "We are a rapidly – I was about to say fearfully – growing country," said John C. Calhoun in 1816. "This is our pride and danger, our weakness and our strength."
    – Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution
Apparently the bible-scholars have a special word meaning "gazetteer" (see first quote), although the dictionaries define it differently. And that word led me to still another.

onomasticon1. a list or collection of proper names 2. a list or collection of specialized terms, as those used in a particular field or subject area
    Eusebius also prepared an Onomasticon, or gazetteer of biblical sites, in which every place named in the Bible is described.
    – Gerald Bray, Biblical Interpretation: Past & Present

    She describes it as "both an onomasticon and a prosopography." It is an onomasticon in as far as it is a collection of all the recorded names used by the Jews of Palestine [in the period 330BCE-200CE] .... It is a prosopography in as far as it collects not just the names but also the people who bore the names. In this respect it bears the character of a modern telephone book.
    – Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony
prosopography – a study that identifies and relates a group of persons or characters within a particular historical or literary context
 
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"Prosopo" is Greek for face, so might we say a prosopography was the original Facebook?


RJA
 
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Today's word has a lovely source. It comes to us from Latin florilegus, gathering flowers.

florilegium (pl. florilegia) – a collection of excerpts from written texts, especially works of literature
    None of Cicero's speeches were [sic] known except indirectly; his philosophical works were familiar to medieval readers only in the form of extracts in florilegia; and no one had even suspected that a large body of Cicero's correspondence to his friends was still extant.
    – Thomas M. Conley, Rhetoric in the European Tradition

    Of all the books I have delivered to the printer, none, I think, is as personal as this unruly jumble, this florilegium, for the simple reason that it is rich in reflections and interpolations.
    – Jorge Luis Borges, The Maker (Epilogue), as collected in Borges and A. Coleman, Selected Poems by Jorge Luis Borges
 
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sottise – a silly remark or saying; a foolish action [from French]
sottisier – a collection of sottises, esp. a list of written stupidities
    Any recorder . of these events must be tempted to compile a vast sottisier of misjudgments made by his compatriots and others in the West.
    – Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: A Reassessment
 
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I am delighted to find that bêtisier (a collection of bêtises, from the French word for 'stupid', bête), at least among the French, is a similar term. Trust the French to come up with a learned-sounding term with which to insult! A search of French books reveals the word is used for everthing from collections of stupid student errors (à la Lederer) to collections of practical jokes and bloopers. For those who read French, here is an article from an economics periodical in which the word is used to call another periodical a collection of drivel.
 
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florilegium

Florilegium is a calque (or loan translation) of Greek ανθολογια (anthologia) 'bunch of flowers'. I also enjoy chrestomathy from χρηστομαθεια (Chrēstomatheia) 'selection of passages from literary works, anthology' (from useful + body of learning) and enchiridion from ενχειριδιον (encheiridion 'handbook, manual' (from in + hand; cf. manual, handbook).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Two words today. The first fits this theme far too well to leave out. But since it has been used as a word-of-the-day before, I just refer you to the previous presentation of chrestomathy. As to today's second word:

analects – selected miscellaneous written passages (often used as a title)

Or in more poetic language of OED: "literary gleanings; collections of fragments or extracts". One smiles to note an older, obsolete meaning in OED: "crumbs that fall from the table; pickings up, gleanings".

Anyhow, the above is what the dictionaries say. But the vast majority of the actual usage is as a title -- mostly a specific title, The Analects of Confucius The few times "analects" is used as a freestanding word (even by such as author as Dos Passos), it seems to mean "short, pithy statements, full of meaning, in the style of an oriental sage's maxim.
    "Your enemies will destroy you while you sit perorating about your high-minded ideals!" Chao interjected. … "Some of those who oppose me are men and women of principle," Liu Ang said, without raising his voice. "When they see that they have been in error, their opposition will subside." … "You mistake a knife fight for an exchange of analects!" Chao countered. "There are powerful men ..."
    – Robert Ludlum, The Ambler Warning

    Dos Passos ... read Steinbeck's analects in the session when he was called on, following an introduction in which he said, "While [Steinbeck] was in what might be called his delirium, he wrote some analects which he thought might be amusing to read:" ...
    . . ."The difference between a congress and a dogfight is that a dogfight has rules."
    . . ."Confusion is the child of speech. Silence has never produced misinformation."
    . . ."Force is the persuasion of failure."
    . . ."... ideas have neither nationality or race."
    – Stephen K. George, John Steinbeck: A Centennial Tribute

This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
 
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We recently saw a word, florilegium, that comes from the Latin for "flower gathering". Today's word comes from the Greek for "flower gathering" (anthos flower + logia collecting). How appropriate to illustrate it with a quote that refers to a garden. But not the sort of garden you are expecting.

anthology – a collection of literary pieces, such as poems, short stories, plays
    From Neil Strauss, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists¹
    I ordered books on body language, flirting, and sexual technique. I read anthologies of women's sexual fantasies, like Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden, in order to internalize the idea that women actually want sex as much as -- if not more than – men;² they just don't want to be pressured, lied to, or made to feel like a slut.
And one more, just for fun:

corpus – a large collection of writings of a particular kind or on a particular subject; esp., the complete works of an author (also other meanings)
[Latin, 'body'; plural is corpora or corpuses]
    Buddha taught for forty-five years, and a staggering corpus has come down to us in one form or another.
    – Huston Smith, The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions


¹Any prude who thinks I hunted for a salacious quote should note that this was the top hit in one of my standard quote-sources.
² Query: Did the author create an interesting ambiguity by saying "than … men;" (rather than "than … men do;")? Wink
P.S.: Have you ever before seen a sentence which, like the last one, has four punctuation marks in a row?
 
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IS "opus" too musically oriented?


RJA
 
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Robert,

Opus really means "work" (singular), not "a collection of works". I suppose we could say opera, but that has taken on the narrower meaning of "drama set to music".


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Any prude who thinks I hunted for a salacious quote should note that this was the top hit in one of my standard quote-sources.


Wordcrafter, we understand that your favorite sources are salacious, but don't worry; it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's a territory of universal appeal.
 
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quote:
.S.: Have you ever before seen a sentence which, like the last one, has four punctuation marks in a row?

Indeed I have (in fact, I have written sentences which [like this one {and similar compositions <or other constructions>}]) - have several consecutive punctuation marks!


Richard English
 
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quote: Indeed I have (in fact, I have written sentences which [like this one {and similar compositions <or other constructions>}]) - have several consecutive punctuation marks!

Yes, but isn't that a bit forced (or artificial [that is, created for the purpose {like this sentence <or shall we say "strained"?>}])? Wink

I don't think your example works. The close-paren should clearly be moved to the end of the sentence, after "marks". The hyphen should not be there. "Indeed I have" should be followed by either a period (as a complete sentence) or by a semicolon, either of which eliminates one of the nested parens. And those nested parens, etc. really shouldn't be parens: they should be commas or unmarked pauses.

Thus: Indeed I have. In fact, I have written sentences which, like this one and similar compositions or other constructions, have several consecutive punctuation marks!
 
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Yes, but isn't that a bit forced (or artificial [that is, created for the purpose {like this sentence <or shall we say "strained"?>}])? Wink

Certainly. I wrote it rapidly to make the point that multiple punctuation marks are not necessarily rare. I'm sure that a better example could be created - as I am equally sure that most sentences using multiple punctuation marks could be recast to read more comfortably.


Richard English
 
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anthology – a collection of literary pieces, such as poems, short stories, plays
While one can have an anthology of poems, one can also have an anthology of other literary pieces. Is there a word for a collection of poems? I don't think so, but others here may know of something. It would seem that there should be.
 
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