“Antonomasia: [Stress: ‘an-to-no-May-zy-a’]. 1. In rhetoric, the use of an epithet to acknowledge a quality in one person or place by using the name of another person or place already known for that quality: Henry is the local Casanova; Cambridge is England’s Silicon Valley. 2. The use of an epithet instead of the name of a person or thing: the Swan of Avon William Shakespeare.”
Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
“Multiple intelligences: An interpretation of intelligence put forward by the US psychologist Howard (Earl) Gardner (born 1943) in his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983-1993), taking account of abilities of gifted people and virtuosos or experts in various domains, abilities valued in different cultures, and abilities of individuals who have suffered brain damage. In addition to the linguistic, logical-mathematical, and spatial abilities incorporated in conventional interpretations of intelligence, Gardner’s taxonomy includes musical intelligence (used in musical appreciation, composition, and performance), bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (used in sport, dancing, and everyday activities requiring dexterity), interpersonal intelligence (used in relating to others, interpreting social signals, and predicting social outcomes), intrapersonal intelligence (used in understanding and predicting one’s own behavior). In 1997 Gardner added naturalist intelligence (used in discriminating among plants, animals, and other features of the natural world, and in classifying objects in general) as an eighth intelligence and spiritual intelligence and existential intelligence as ‘candidate’ intelligences. Critics have argued that some of these abilities are better interpreted as special talents than as aspects of intelligence.”
Excerpted from: Colman, Andrew M., ed. Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
“Arawak: At the time of Columbus, Arawak speakers inhabited the Greater Antilles and parts of mainland South America. Since languages of the Arawakan family are not found in North or Mesoamerica, it is likely that these people reached the islands from the south. In support of this view, pottery of the Saladoid type is found in a great arc from western Venezuela to the West Indies, and in the northern islands there seems to be a ceramic continuity from Saladoid ware to insular Arawak. Spanish sources describe the island Arawaks as settled farmers with an elaborate religion based on a Zemi cult.”
Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.
“Do * Re * Mi * Fa * So * La * Ti
As early as the seventeenth century, European musicians believed that this mnemonic for teaching musical pitch was derived from a Muslim source, though we now think this may itself lead back to a Sanskrit Bronze Age hymn. There is an equally strong tradition that it came from the first letters of each phrase of an eighth-century hymn to Saint John which goes: ‘So that these your servants can, with all their voice, sing your wonderful feats, clean the blemish of our spotted lips, O Saint John’—or, rather, in Latin, ‘Ut queant laxis resonare fibris, Mira gestorum famuli tuorum, Solve pollute labii reatum, Sancte Ioannes.’
However, for most of us the whole seven-not mnemonic is intrinsically bound up in Julie Andrews’ teaching the Von Trapp children to sing in the film The Sound of Music. This is one of the most beloved propaganda films of all time, creating an emotional case for excluding the inhabitants of the beautiful mountain scenery from any complicity with the war crimes of Nazi Germany. ‘Doe a deer, a female deer, Ray, a drop of golden sun, etc.’”
Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.