Monday, August 15, 2011


Polemic \puh-LEM-ik\ , noun;
1. A controversial argument, as one against some opinion, doctrine, etc.
2. A person who argues in opposition to another; controversialist

This word dates to the 1630's as "controversial argument or discussion" from Greek polemikos ("warlike, belligerent"), which derives from polemos ("war"). The meaning "one who writes in opposition to another" is attested from the 1670's.

Most people have their language pet peeves, and one of mine just so happens to come up in this post: belligerent. It's not the word's fault here, it's the way people mis-use it. Particularly in college, I would hear people talking about how belligerent someone was the night before, meaning that they were very drunk. While it's true that highly intoxicated individuals can easily become belligerent, which means "warlike" or "aggressively hostile," it is in no way a synonym for drunk. Get it straight, college folks.

Today's word and the first definition were both taken from's 'Word of the Day' for Monday, August 15
Etymologies come from the Oxford English Dictionary and/or

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