Daily Archives: May 18, 2009


When you tell me what you think o’ me, um, I’d like it with encomium. I want praise as my income: “Yum!” Let not your apostrophe leave me – or you – in a coma. Ah, encomium. Doesn’t it have a nice, warm feel to it? Like coming home. It also brings to mind a comb, not just in the stressed syllable but in the two m‘s. Perhaps that’s the comb you use on your hair before you go out to greet your adoring fans; perhaps it’s the act of combing, e.g., the net for nice things people have said about you. This word comes by way of Latin, unchanged in form, but they took it from Greek egkómion (the g – gamma, rather – becomes a velar nasal before the k, so the standard modern pronunciation with [n] is farther from the source than an assimilated, more “relaxed” version). There is an alternate version based directly on the Greek, encomion, but who wouldn’t rather receive a “yum” than a “yawn” at the last? For “yum!” is what encomium is all about: it refers to panegyric, also known by a term taken from the Greek for “fine words”: eulogy. Of course, in the spirit of nil nisi bonum, eulogy is typically reserved for those no longer around to hear it. Agh. I’ll take mine while I’m still on the hoof, thanks. Mince no words and make no moue; to make my life eunomic, mm, I need the whole thing, and not just once and then mum: keep it coming in.