Classical Usage: While trying to convince us that Ahab could, in fact, relocate Moby-Dick to exact his revenge, Ishmael tells us of a man who harpooned a whale, then set about on an exhibition to Africa where he encountered, “serpents, savages, tigers, poisonous miasmas, with all the other common perils incident to wandering in the heart of unknown regions” before returning to vanquish his whale.
Classically Mad Usage: Oh, the miasmas in my home! Have you ever walked first thing in the morning into a room shared by 19-month-old twins after feeding them burritos the previous evening? I might be willing to take my chances in the heart of the African jungle.*
*I acknowledge this breaking of my own ban, and sincerely apologize. But for goodness sake, the word was miasma, what was I suppose to do?