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BOGO Words

02 Mar

torpid – adj. lethargic or inactive, dormant
torpor – n. state of lethargy and inactivity

Classical Usage:  Brontë likes these words.  She uses them several times when Jane arrives at the Moor House.  She also uses it to describe the intellect of the girls at the village school.  And she uses it to describe The Event (hearing Rochester call for her across the miles, kinda preternatural, don’t you think?)  Here’s what she says, “The feeling was startling:  it acted on my senses as if their utmost activity hitherto had been but torpor, from which they were now summoned and forced to wake.”

Classically Mad Usage:  I had better wake up from my intellectual torpor, because this word gets used a lot.  Hawthorne put it in his Custom-House introduction to The Scarlet Letter.   You want to talk about something torpid?  Have you read that thing?

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