|She's thinking of having a cigarette. Or maybe a Bloody Mary. Or perhaps buying another Michael Buble album.|
(photo by Eugenia)
Noun. Mid-16th century.
[Latin from Greek kakoethes, use as noun of adjective kakoethes ill-disposed, formed as CACO- + ETHOS.]
An evil habit; a passion or 'itch' for doing something inadvisable.
|Photo by Oliver Hammond|
An irresistible desire to write.
Cacoethes (pronounced cack-o-ee-thees) is a devilishly alluring word that can be applied to anything one has an urge to do to the point of sickness, be it smoking, drinking, gambling or even something more benign like stamp-collecting. It's also attached to various Latin phrases, including cacoethes carpendi (an uncontrollable urge to find fault) and cacoethes loquendi (an uncontrollable urge to talk compulsively) - no sexist jokes on either of those, please. Perhaps the most attractive of all such vices to bloggers and writers alike, however, is cacoethes scribendi - an uncontrollable urge to write. While this may manifest itself as hypergraphia - an urge to write so compelling that it's pathological - for any of us that have awoken in the middle of night, an idea or passage or even just a sentence bursting from our minds, cacoethes scribendi is a fitting noun for that moment.
Do you have cacoethes scribendi, or any other cacoethes?
Do you have any suggestions for any other Latinesque cacoethes?
Please don't fight the urge to write your most ill-advised comments below.