Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Pandemonium – Wordplay Wednesday™ 05/06/2020

Out of Chaos Comes Clarity
Several times over the years that I’ve been feeding you words every Wednesday, I’ve posted some that are not unusual and still in common use. Why? Because I just love to seek ways to creatively skew your perceptions and urge you to take a look at familiar words in new ways …

(pan’de mo’ne em) n. – 1) the capital of Hell in Milton’s Paradise Lost; 2) Hell; 3) a] any place or scene of wild disorder, noise, or confusion; b] wild disorder, noise, or confusion. [WW #267]

Of course, we all are familiar with its #3 definitions … we’re experiencing pandemonium in every aspect of life at the moment. However, did you know where the word originated?
If you weren’t into 17th century classic writers in school (which I was … but, oh, how much we forget as adults!), you may not have known it was hatched in an epic poem.

John Milton, esteemed English poet, coined pandemonium for the capitol of Hell in Paradise Lost (published 1667; Book 1 of 10 with more than 10,000 lines—all one poem!).

Let’s allow that information to settle into your brain for a moment.

Ok. Now that you’ve given the concept some thought, wouldn’t you agree, it’s apropos? Pandemonium is a “$10 word,” as we rural-reared folks like to say, for “chaos.” Is it a fluke that the middle of the word reads, “demon.”? Likely not.

F Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing, Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

And Trumpets sound throughout the Host proclaim
A solemn Councel forthwith to be held
At Pandæmonium, the high Capital
Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call'd
            ~ Excerpt from first and last stanzas of Paradise Lost / Book I (1667), on Wiki

Just as fascinating is its placement in the dictionary … pandemonium follows the word, “pandemic.”* Oh, my. Isn’t that a coinkydink? (Absurdly cute word for coincidence.) For it is a pandemic that has led to our current pandemonium. (*In my version.)

However, from pandemonium often comes clarity and direction. I am optimistic that the next several weeks will bring some peace of mind to our world, as we strive to make sense of a new world order.

For you scribes, think about how pandemonium can influence your writing, as well … She dove into the pandemonium of her thoughts and began clearing her mind of clutter, to organize her day.

Word Challenge: PANDEMONIUM. From pandemic to pandemonium to clarity and peace, consider the course pandemonium can take to lead your protagonist through productive resolutions, in your week of hopeful writings.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books in her Blast from Your Past series (of three) about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday and anytime Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

*Note: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.


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