Monday, June 20, 2011

Word of the Week - Ecstatic

There are times when I use a word, when I remember distinctly seeing it in older books, but when it isn't until I look up its etymology that I remember the subtle differences that have evolved in said word over time.

Ecstatic is one of those.

I remember learning this word back in the day and just loving it because it perfectly captured that excitement of good things. No one bothered telling me that it wasn't always that way.

Ecstatic has been around since the 1590s, but at that point in time it meant "mystically absorbed, stupefied." So one was ecstatic in relation to things beyond one's ken. Over the next 70 years it became "characterized by deep emotion." This is certainly closer to what we know, but there was at that point no connotation of the pleasant. 

This is how I've seen it used in older works of literature. And isn't it funny how realizing that difference can change your understanding of something? If we read an old book, and a distressed character is described as "ecstatic" in her upset, we might be a little confused. And think, "Waaaaiiiiiiiit a minute. If she's upset, how is she ecstatic?"

Well, now we know. She's just deeply upset, very emotional.

Personally, I'd rather be the modern kind, LOL. And on a personal note, I just spend an amazing weekend in Niagara Falls celebrating my 10th anniversary with my hubby. I'll probably share some of our fun experiences on Thursday, along with some pictures. And on Wednesday I'll likely be sharing the arrival of a very fun item that was waiting for me in the mail when we got home. =)

Have a great week everybody! And if you're inclined, say a prayer for me today. I have some major changes on the horizon of my writing career and need the Lord's guidance before any decisions are made.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! who would have guess what 'estatic' really means!

    Glad you had a great anniversary! Can't wait to see pictures and hear about what you got in the mail!

    I'll be praying that God will give the wisdom that you need.