Saturday, May 10, 2008

Word of the Day - Raskolnikovian

Pretension still reigns supreme at The New York Times, and that is where our word of the day comes from. From Dick Cavett's blog, specifically.

"Raskolnikovian" - Perfect. Ask 10 people and I'll bet none can define it.

But look at it closely and it's actually pretty easy to sound out and pronounce. At least for those of us in the age group where we watched The Little Rascals as kids and Nickelodeon as parents.

And this is one that I'll bet the oldsters, with their classical educations, will get faster than our more recently educated youth, whose schooling disdained "dead white men" authors in favor of computer science and other vocational training. You remember, the "relevance" revolution and all that nonsense.

Well, anyway . . .

Mr. Cavett made this word up to describe a kind of secret that would be terrible to confess. Raskolnikov is a fictional character who murders two women, then is driven nearly mad by guilt, until he confesses to a prostitute, and then to the police. It's from Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, a long dead Russian. Russians are not known for their feel good novels and this book is a good example of why not.

The Little Rascals

More words to come.


Bill McC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill McC said...

Dick Cavett is a bullshevik.