Jul 20, 1997 06:02 PM
> Oh poo.
> I would like to take this opportunity to waste others' time by asking
> this, for I could probably find the answer by looking for a dictionary.
> What is the literal meaning of the suffix, "ism". IMO, Buddhism and
> racism seemingly have nothing in common, with regards to their literal
> definitions. Is "ism" simply "a defined set of values"?
Well, since I did have time to waste, I looked up "ism." However, the
definition of "ism" will probably ADD to the confusion of what an "ism"
is. I love words like that.
"ism:" A noun-forming suffix meaning -
a) the act, practice, or result of, as in terrorism;
b) the condition of being, as in barbarism [nothing personal, Tom] and
c) action, conduct, or qualities characteristic of, as in scoundrelism
[nothing personal, Bart], patriotism, Americanism;
d) the doctrine, theory, or principle of, as in atomism, socialism
[nothing personal, Kym];
e) devotion to, as in nationalism [nothing personal, Patrick];
f) an instance, example or peculiarity of, as in Gallicism, witticism
[nothing personal, Alan];
g) an abnormal condition caused by, as in alcoholism.
also - a doctrine, system, theory, etc. whose name ends in -ism;
generally used contemptuously; as, "away with your isms and ologies."
Now, see how much one can learn on theos?
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