Words I learnt at once

This week I’ve learnt a bunch of new words which filled important voids in my vocabulary:

Antinomianism – the rejection of moral law as absolute, which Jesus preached in order to retrieve the spirit of the law from the letter of the law.

Quiddity – either the essential nature of something or a trifling nicety of subtle distinction in an argument (hairsplitting). As Sonja points out, how can it mean both

Ad hominem – arguments which aim to discredit a person making a point rather than addressing the point itself

Reductio ad Hitlerium – Leo Strauss’s way of describing the easy equivalences drawn between various undesirable people or groups and the Nazis.

Palimpsest – I come across this all over the place at the moment so it must be a voguish word. Even dear old Bill Callaghan has a whole song called Palimpsest on A River Ain’t Too Much To Love. It’s a writing surface that’s been scraped for reuse.

Faience – a style of glazing pottery which Colin Thubron came across in Kazakstan

Thanks to Latin and Greek I approach the ability to say what I mean.

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