Saturday, December 20, 2008


Word of the Day
Smite (verb)
Pronunciation: [smIt]
Definition: To strike with the hand or something held in the hand; to captivate as if by striking.
Usage: The English verbs "to hit" and "to strike" suffer an odd defect: neither has a correlate noun. You may hit someone but you can't give them a hit; you may strike someone but you cannot deliver them a strike. The nouns "a hit" and "a strike" have meanings all but unrelated to the verb. The noun semantically corresponding to both these highly common verbs is "blow"! If you hit or strike someone, you have delivered a blow. Blow? This verb is far removed from the violence of "hit" or "strike." Only in baseball do the verb and noun "hit" match, but even there the noun "strike" tells another story (swing-and-a-miss = strike). Now, the "smite" family is intact and we can use the same form as the verb for the noun. It is much simpler than the other two families.
Suggested Usage: "Smite" has all but disappeared from the language; hanging by the thin thread of "smitten" which, in most our minds, has nothing to do with striking—it means to be infatuated, "Millard, I think, is smitten with Madelein." Wouldn't it be wonderful to hear the announcer say, "Bonds has sent another over the right field wall with a mighty smite of his bat!" It would bring the sport to a new level while smiting down an awkward problem in the English language.
Etymology: This seems to be a Germanic word by and large. It was smítan in Old English, related to Dutch smijten "to throw, strike," German schmeissen "to throw, bash", Gothic gasmeitan "to smear." Cousins may be found in the Scandinavian languages with various meanings. Not much else is known. –Dr. Language,

Do we smite flies and mosquitos when we swat them with a slyswatter?
I think I do, the smiter of insects TA DA

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