1. MatrixGravity
    Offline

    MatrixGravity Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York

    How do I use this word?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MatrixGravity, Jul 6, 2011.

    Equanimity

    Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, esp. in a difficult situation.

    So how do I apply this word in a sentence?

    "Despite Roger being interrogated by the police, he remained equanimity the whole time."

    Is that right? Doesn't sound correct..
     
  2. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay

    Because there are very few circumstances in writing where usage of such a word will be appropriate. Remember ChickenFreak's wonderful example of wearing a tux to a beach party?

    But yeah, aside from that, sounds like you understand the meaning of the word. :)
     
  3. MatrixGravity
    Offline

    MatrixGravity Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York
    Yeah thanks. But how exactly do I apply it? I still don't quite understand..
     
  4. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    It sounds like a noun. So instead of "he remained" (which would be an adjective, like "calm") I'd go with "he kept," or "he still had."
     
  5. MatrixGravity
    Offline

    MatrixGravity Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York
    This is the thing. Why do they make these stupid fucking synonym's that are so confusing and complicated? Equanimity and Composure are synonymous so why bother creating something like 'Equanimity'.. Utter rubbish.
     
  6. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Dude...there's a reason no one tries to deal with vocab that complex.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    5,473
    Why do both Coke and Pepsi exist? Why do both beige and brown exist? Why do butter and margarine _and_ lard all exist? They all exist because no one is in charge of ensuring that humanity has one and only one option for any given purpose.

    When words were being added to the language, there was no master committee to decide which ones would be permitted:

    "Sir, there's an application from the Latin medievalists for the word 'equanimity'. You'll see the application and definition in your agenda."

    "Nope, it's too similar to the word 'composure'. Application denied."

    "Sir, there's a population of several thousand people that have been using this word for a several centuries."

    "I see. Well, shoot 'em all."

    "Sir?!"

    "If you want to make an omelet, you've got to break some eggs."


    Words happen. Language is formed. There is no plan. The French may use one word, the Germans another, the Italians another, they all enter the English language. And usually, though not always, the different words have different subtle tones of meanings, different flavors. You may be annoyed that Coke and Pepsi and RC Cola and Dr. Pepper and Mr. Pibb all exist and all have more or less the same function; I enjoy the variety.

    On the usage question, equanimity is a noun, not an adjective, so your example should be changed to something like:

    "Despite Roger being interrogated by the police, he maintained his equanimity the whole time."

    Or, really, I'd probably change it to:

    "Roger maintained his equanimity throughout the interrogation."

    Edited to add: And if the existence of these words annoys you so much, _why study them_? Why do you so doggedly pursue something that makes you upset? Why not write using the language that you already have?

    ChickenFreak
     
  8. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    ^ That reminds me of "1984"...."ungood," or if that word is somehow not strong enough, then you've got the fine alternative of "doubleungood." :)
     
  9. Islander
    Offline

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sweden
    Should be, "Despite Roger being interrogated by the police, he remained equanimous the whole time."

    Equanimity is the noun, and equanimous is the adjective.
     
  10. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    ^ There ya go.
     
  11. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    It does sound like a noun. However, the problem does not lie in 'equanimity'. It lies in 'remained'. Change that 'm' to a 't'.
    He retained equanimity.

    Watch that foul mouth. That was unnecessary.

    Language is both our tool and our material, so you should treat it well if you wish to use it. Truth is: equanimity and composure are not synonyms.
    Composure has to do with control. You can be angry and yet remain composed.
    Equanimity has to do with moderation. It involves remaining both composed and calm at the same time, especially while stressed.

    As for why they "make" these synonyms: a) they "make" them because it's easier to say that someone retained equanimity than saying they were calm and composed. Sometimes you need a more formal word, and b) they "make" them because it is in the nature of humanity to do so; to name things, to define, to defile.
     
  12. Cloudless
    Offline

    Cloudless Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Princetown, Devon, England
    •equanimity in the face of the passing of time, love and life.
    It's clearly a noun. This we know.
    Would be as difficult to use as, 'aplomb' or 'ataraxia' which mean the same.
    Being a simple type I would skip the word and use something else, unless of course you are targeting an audience that might use it as a norm? Clever folk and all that.
    The word is almost religious or ecclesiastical in feel.
    Good for a thinking exercise. ;)
     
  13. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    Ah, the English language. :D How many it breaks, sorting the men from the mice... Few stand triumphant upon a heap of words and can proclaim, "I have defeated this language and it pays homage to me now! No more will I bow and scrape to its cruel whims!"
     
  14. elneilio10
    Offline

    elneilio10 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    As stated above, there's no need to swear on these boards. Not that I've discovered yet, anyway! :D


    If synonyms get you down so much, maybe you should target your writing at folks of a lower age?

    I mean, write books for 4 year-olds and you won't NEED many words.

    Write for/to adults, and you really should be trying to stimulate them with your writing skills (which includes a vocabulary element).


    Do you like writing, then? If so, what's the age of your preferred target audience???

    Personally, myself, I'm an adult and prefer to write for adults. I would have few problems "dumbing something down" to write for the young, it's just something that doesn't appeal to me (that much).
     
  15. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    For what it's worth, I've checked those words against a corpus of about 3 million words of written English (the BNC:OU written corpus). "Equanimity" occurs 6 times, so that's 2 times per million words. "Aplomb" occurs twice, which is about 0.7 per million words. "Ataraxia" doesn't occur at all. Apropos of nothing, but I thought it interesting. I'm easily amused. For comparison, "Cloudless" occurs 4 times, so it's less common than "equanimity" but more common than "aplomb" and "ataraxia".
     
  16. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I can see what you mean - YA involves writing in a voice that young people can relate to - and it's not for everyone. But writing for kids shouldn't involve dumbing anything down. Kids are much smarter than we usually give them credit for. They can sense when they're being patronized to, and they hate it.
     
  17. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future

    LOL! I love that! :D:D:D
     
  18. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    If you think 'equanimity' is bad, you should probably never take the GRE.
     
  19. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    I have now read the word equanimity so many times it's lost all meaning to me. It's now a non-word! Problem solved. :D
     
  20. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    should be 'he retained his equanimity' to be correct and make sense...
     
  21. Aeschylus
    Offline

    Aeschylus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Islander is right, equanimous is the correct conjugation of equanimity in this case. But that has nothing to do with the meaning of the word, just the conjugation: equanimity is a noun. Saying "he remained equanimity" is the same (grammatically) as saying "the airplane remained sky," and is incorrect (unless the airplane is actually composed of sky, or the man in your sentence encompasses all equanimity).
     
    1 person likes this.
  22. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    is it possible that 'remained' was just a typo for the correct 'retained'?
     
  23. flipflop
    Offline

    flipflop Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    5
    "what do you think of the colour of our new aircraft its sky blue"

    "Its horrible"

    "It will cost £2 million to repaint"

    "leave it as it is"

    the airplane remained sky
     
  24. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    That. MG's original sentence now stands to me like a work of art. The man's not only equanimous -- that's for sissies -- he is equanimity embodied. On par with Chuck Norris.
     

Share This Page