Today marks the day of a new meme I’ve established in lieu of the occasional “More words I should use more often” post that appears on this blog. I will try to publish, every Wednesday, a new word that I have learned that I think merits dissemination. My inaugural word is:
- adj. Of or pertaining to death as a personification or as a philosophical notion.
Marvel Comics fans among you will remember
Thanatos Thanos [hat tip: Brady], the arch-villain and nemesis of Silver Surfer, a gravelly-faced creature who sought ultimate power over the universe. In actually, Thanatos was the Death (Θάνατος), a minor figure in Greek mythology (not to be confused with Hades, the god of the underworld) who embodied the power of death itself, and was thus the inspiration for a villain of such enormity.
Thanatotic as a word serves a useful purpose in any discussion of death qua abstract, such as my previous notion of skeleton warriors in Cleveland, an oblique reference to the moribund nature of much of that city.