Wednesday, June 29, 2011

word: concinnitous

I've been working my way through Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age. ("working" because science fiction is a bit challenging for me)

Last night I came upon an interesting unfamiliar word, presented here in context:
"Pardon me, Your Honor, the concept is not easy to explain--there is an ineffable quality to some technology, described by its creators as concinnitous, or technically sweet, or a nice hack--signs that it was made with great care by one who was not merely motivated but inspired." (102)
Obviously Stephenson, in the voice of Miss Pao, provides a nice explanation, but I felt the need to dig a little deeper.

Apparently concinnitous (adjective) is an anglicized version of the Latin concinnitas (root concinnus). The noun concinnity seems to be more widely used (though mostly with regard to language or rhetoric).

I really do need to learn Latin.


  1. One thing that the Kindle does have over real books is it's handy dictionary look-up. I don't know why science fiction writers are the most guilty of needing this feature though!

  2. I've never ever heard that word before!

    That book does sound like hard work! Is it a good read?

  3. Ellie - I wonder if the Nook has a similar feature.

    Hannah - I am enjoying it so far. I just feel like I need my full brainpower to read it.