ZEE nith (or "ZEN ith" outside the U.S.)
Actually, you'll hear some of us in the U.S. say "ZEN ith" too,
maybe because we recognize the word "zen"
or we just read the word phonetically.
Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one zenith or multiple zeniths.)
Meaning: The zenith of something is the highest point, the very best part of something.
If you've been a Make Your Point reader for a few months, you might recall that one of our January words was "nadir," the opposite: the lowest point, the very worst part of something.
You can certainly talk about "zeniths," but we usually see it in the singular.
How to use it:
Talk about something or someone reaching a zenith, approaching a zenith, celebrating a zenith, etc. Something or someone can be at a zenith, at the zenith of something, at its zenith, and so on. You can talk about something's zenith or someone's zenith, as in "The company's zenith occurred just as the dot-com boom was about to end" and "Her zenith as an influential poet came late in life." Finally, although you can talk about "the zenith" alone, you often specify what that zenith is: "the zenith of his career," "the zenith of their popularity," "the zenith of power," and so on.
It's hard to pinpoint the zenith of Elton John's career--some decades he's been more prolific, while in others he's been more in the media spotlight, and he's still going strong.
Do you think blogging is past its zenith as an interactive medium? It seems every blog post I read is followed up by that "Comments: 0" notice that reminds me of crickets chirping.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "zenith” means when you can explain it without saying “high point” or “best part."
Think of a time you most strongly desired something, and fill in the blanks: "My desire to _____ was at its zenith when _____."
Example: "My teenage desire to shatter any falsehoods I'd been taught was at its zenith when I became obsessed with the possibility of the moon landing being a hoax. (I was very silly.)"
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Messages that go through an automated translator into several languages and back into English again often end up sounding funny and garbled-- but still somehow meaningful. We’re having fun with that phenomenon this month as we play our game: Guess the moral from Aesop’s Fables after it has been translated into a few foreign languages and back again by a computer program. Some of the morals may be very familiar to you, others not so much. You don’t need to quote Aesop verbatim but rather just understand the message being conveyed. Try it out each day and see the right answer the following day.
Yesterday’s answer: The translation-babble said, “Bad business judgment the speed, but the ending.” Aesop said, “An enterprise is not to be judged in terms of its speed but its outcome.”
Try this one today: “A orator can subtly directed against him his enemies praise.”
A Point Well Made:
John Steinbeck: "Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments."
1. The opposite of ZENITH isNADIR, as I mentioned above.
Another way to express the opposite of ZENITH isto say
A. FLYING COLORS
B. RECKLESS DISREGARD
C. ROCK BOTTOM
2. For obvious reasons, "zenith" is a _____ choice in naming companies and programs.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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