Thursday, November 13, 2008

A New Word for Me

No--I don't use a "word of the day" calendar. I probably should, because I love words. It's unusual that in daily conversation I encounter a word I don't know. Yesterday I learned a new word: Casuistry. defines Casuistry as follows:

Main Entry: ca·su·ist·ry
Pronunciation: \ˈkazh-wə-strē, ˈka-zhə-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural ca·su·ist·ries
Date: 1723
1 : a resolving of specific cases of conscience, duty, or conduct through interpretation of ethical principles or religious doctrine
2 : specious argument : rationalization

An example of casuistry:

It's okay for me to claim that I'm participating in NaNoWriMo, even though I haven't registered on the nanowrimo website, and even though I'm not keeping the kind of schedule necessary to write 50,000 words in one month. This is okay because I'm non-dogmatic about most things (thus resolving my own specific case with my ethical and religious principles). It's also okay because I started out halfway through. It's okay because I really believe in caring for my church and family, and the way I do that is by caring for myself, as their caretaker, and if I'm going to care for myself then that means I should get proper sleep and not stick to the 50k goal. Casuistry, casuistry, casuistry.

Yes, I'm a casuist. A rationalizer. That said, it's 10 PM and time to plunge in to write. If, four hours from now, I have nothing to show for it, I'll probably employ a bit more casuistry.

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