Monday, January 16, 2012

Word of the Week - Sensation(al)

As usual, my word of the week comes from last week's writing experience. =) My heroine has just spent weeks preparing a performance, which went off without a hitch. Her father comes up and says, "You were a . . ." Sensation is what I want to say. But that sounds a bit too modern, doesn't it?

So I look it up. As expected, I discover that "sensation" in its physical sense--a reaction to stimulation of the senses, so sensation of cold, hunger, etc.--is old. From 1610. I knew it would be. But what about the secondary sense? I was expecting mid-1800s, I'll be honest. 

Nope. That one, the definition of "state of shock or surprise within a community" is from 1779! Definitely safe to use in my story, which was good. So out of curiosity, I looked to the next entry, sensational. As in, aiming at producing said shock within a community. That one was more what I expected, dating from 1863. And sensationalism in literature is recorded two years after that.

Hope everyone has a sensational Monday!


  1. Praying your day is sensational as well!

  2. Who knew it was so old? Thanks for the fun info!
    Have a great day:)

  3. i don't play trivia...but that would be a good answer. Now the question