Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Word of the Day: rhathymia

rhathymia (n)

Light-hearted, carefree behavior.

"Corruption and collusion apart, the system discouraged initiative in making decisions. Better to avoid responsibility and stick to the rule book, the diagramma. From this sprang slackness, rhathymia, long delays in reaching decisions or paying out salaries, and downright collousness in ignoring positive distress."
--Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen Edwards, The Cambridge Ancient History

I need more rhathymia. Maybe we all do. The last time I engaged in any rhathymia was... hmm. I guess last Saturday, during the local Artist's Studio Tour, when I visited the studio of a sculptor who makes large Rube Goldberg-style contraptions out of metal pipes, wooden sticks, gears, bicycle chains, small electric motors, and dripping water. Many of them included hand cranks that visitors could turn to make various gadgets perform actions, like opening and closing a fish mouth (some of them were in the form of metallic fish) or make water tip cups over and ring bells. As I turned those cranks, I was five years old again... except... I kept thinking about the word rhathymia.

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