Who, us?

25 Apr

primogenitures – n.  the first-born child

Classical Usage: Ahab deemed his leg untrustworthy in Chapter 106, he is filled with anguish, grief, and  despair, and Melville traces back the origins of this gloom, “To trail the genealogies of these high mortal miseries, carries us at last among the primogenitures of the gods; so that, in the face of all the glad, hay-making suns, and sof-cymballing, round harvest-moons, we must needs give in to this:  that the gods themselves are not for ever glad.  The ineffaceable, sad birth-mark in the brow of man, is but the stamp of sorrow in the signers.

Classically Mad Usage:  You know that all three of us here at the blog are primogenitures, right?  Surely you didn’t guess as much based on our need to follow SWB’s book list to a tee, or our compulsion to finish each book even though we might be bored to tears, or our propensity to give you hebdomadal assignments.


Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Moby-Dick


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7 responses to “Who, us?

  1. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    April 25, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I’m (a) primogeniture too, so I totally get it. (Do I need an article in front of primogeniture?)

  2. Jeannette

    April 25, 2012 at 8:27 am

    As primogenitures, we are concerned about articles, so in that usage, I’d say, yes, Adriana. 🙂

    • Adriana @ Classical Quest

      April 25, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Thank you so much Jeannette. You have made my whole day by clearing that up:)

  3. Christina Joy

    April 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I just did a bunch of primgenituresque research and the only sentences I can find using the word use it’s more legal connotation (you know, The Bennett house was up for grabs because of primogeniture) and none of them have an article. The actual definition that I should have written was “the state of being the first-born child.” so does that mean it doesn’t need an article? Sorry, my grammar is still at a second grade level – as my primogeniture learns so do I.


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