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Re: ???ism

Jul 20, 1997 06:02 PM
by kymsmith

Jaqi wrote:

> 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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