Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Hagiography ~ WordWayzzz™ MAY 2023

Royal Tattler, Commoner Gossip, & a Wildflower

Is our interest—and in some cases, obsession—of all things British, spawned from their early voyage across the pond? Or simply the fascination of all things royal?

Kings and queens, princes and princesses have been part of our ordinary lives for centuries; though born and bred Americans know of them mostly through European history, legends, and fairy tales.

On the other hand, the Brits’ fascination with our rebellious nature is also legendary. After all, The United States of America became a nation unto its own, unwilling to be ruled by the royals of jolly ol’ England.

Nevertheless, our televisions will hum this month with King Charles III’s lavish coronation and all the pomp, circumstance, and family disputes that go with it.

May ends with our own highly patriotic and revered Memorial Day, a bit more somber but no less celebrated. Yes, May is the perfect time to bring you a word that fits the legends …

hagiography (,ha-gē-ʹä-grɘ-fē; 1821) n. – 1) biography of saints or venerated persons; 2) idealizing or idolizing biography. [WW #329]

A few months back, when news reports swirled and proliferated throughout the world of Queen Elizabeth II’s death (September 8, 2022), one British reporter remarked on the “hagiography and persiflage (frivolous, bantering talk)” that will likely follow, further immortalizing or vilifying the long-reigning queen.

Of course, wordsmiths know that every word ending in “ography” is the study of something. Those of you in religious studies may know this word, but for most others, simply biography works in common language for the story of a life. Hagiography goes beyond the study of saints or perceived saintly people, to include the adoration of biography, itself, which speaks to writers, in general.

A meandering thought: not all royals are regal and not all commoners are ordinary … which brings us to …

MAY’s Song of Note  
An apt song for blooming May flowers and a lightly glowing hagiography, is “Wildflower” by Canadian band, Skylark. It ranked #4 on WCFL/Chicago’s Super CFL Survey May 19, 1973. The tune was a collaborative effort between Skylark’s Doug Edwards, who put music to a poem written by then-police officer, Dave Richardson. Rumor has it, it was for his girlfriend. Obviously, Officer Richardson still found beauty in his life beyond the daily grind
Let her cry | For she's a lady | Let her dream | For she's a child ... 50 Years Ago this Month   

Word Challenge: hagiography. Whether writing of royalty, a person with a noble life, or simply your Mom (May also honors Moms on the 14th), think about what makes them worthy, as you fit hagiography into your month of principled writings and casual conversations.

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

Cheers to learning a new word today! 


WordWayzzzTM is currently created for your literary pleasure every first Wednesday of each month. Thank you for stopping by! Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t harmful to your health! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and WordWayzzz comments.

[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!]

LR Notes: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – Eleventh Edition, unless otherwise noted. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) a] Recent dictionary additions to definitions include a date of first use, if known; b] words in small caps indicate “see also.” 3) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.
      And please note, I do not receive compensation from any company or person for commercial or commodity links I may include in my posts.