[Milton-L] This made me laugh
nbcharlton at comcast.net
Thu Nov 3 16:46:36 EDT 2011
On Hallowe'en (a holiday I ignore as much as possible) the OED
newsletter came in, showing the word of the day to be
"pumpkinification." I thought this was likely one of the new
words they've been featuring since their supplement came out, and
I skipped it. Just now I did open it, and found that it wasn't a
new word at all.
It has a respectable Greek origin,/???????????????/,
(apokolokuvtosis) being turned into a pumpkin. The reference is
not to Cinderella's coach, however, but to the elevation of
emperor Claudius to the status of a divinity, "hence,
/allusively/, extravagant or absurdly uncritical glorification".
But what cracked me up was this example of usage:
1943 /Classical Q./ *37* 104 As well might Milton have called
/Paradise Lost/ 'The Pumpkinification of Satan'.
I had a fleeting vision of Satan as a huge jack o'lantern,
shrieking "Oh hell, what do mine eyes with grief behold!" Or he
might think he had at last received his just due; who he then
call himself the Great Pumpkin?
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