Monday, 24 February 2014

Cataclysm - A Floody Disaster

The Deluge of the Biblical Genesis Account
The Deluge
Francis Danby (1793-1861)

CATACLYSM

Noun. Early 17th century.
[French cataclysme from Latin cataclysmos from Greek kataklusmos deluge, formed as CATA- + kluzein to wash.]

A violent geological or meteorological event;
the Flood (in Genesis);
figuratively a political or social upheaval.

Also:
cataclysmal adj. M19
cataclysmic adj. M19
cataclysmically adv. L19

In everyday language, we can have a tendency to overuse cataclysmic language, dramatically describing events as apocalyptic, a disaster, or a calamity, even when they're nowhere near being such - "If I don't put that letter in the post, it'll be an absolute disaster." The origin of cataclysm, however, carrying the connotation of washing away or washing down, has found appropriate applications in violent natural disasters such as the truly cataclysmic tsunamis in Japan and Asia.

Do please leave any comments in the box below. 

10 comments:

  1. I love that painting.
    It's apocalyptically good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm bracing myself for the imminent backlash from the catachrestic police.

      Delete
    2. I rather liked it too, A.N - although I don't know what that red thing is in the background (not that I think anyone in the painting is that concerned about it).

      Delete
    3. It's a very powerful painting.
      I noticed the red thing too as it really stands out, and was curious, so a-searching I went!
      Apparently, it's the Setting Sun

      Delete
    4. Thank you Jingles! Yes, that's makes sense - the sun setting on the old world.

      Delete
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