Something Faustian reminds you of Johann Faust, the real guy (and later, the guy from stories) who sold his soul to the devil. (Or, you know, people thought he did.)
In other words, Faustian things involve doing something terrible in exchange for achieving success of some kind (like wealth or fame).
FOUST ee un
Part of speech:
You always capitalize proper adjectives, like “Korean,” “Shakespearean,” and “Christian.”
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a Faustian bargain.”
2. After a linking verb, as in “The bargain was Faustian.”)
How to use it:
We almost always stick to a phrase like "Faustian bargain," "Faustian deal," "Faustian exchange," "Faustian pact," or "Faustian agreement." Of course, they all basically mean the same thing: a bargain in which someone lowered their standards, compromised their morals, turned their back on their beliefs, broke their promises, or did something else equally terrible in order to get something really good, like success, recognition, or money.
But feel free to venture away from these phrases and talk about a Faustian situation or scenario, someone's Faustian journey, a Faustian dilemma or conflict, and so on.
I strongly suspect that a Faustian bargain was struck between this company and the "independent" research team singing the praises of its products.
They finally escaped that Faustian nightmare; they'd been earning huge paychecks but were working themselves to death.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "Faustian" means when you can explain it without saying "selling your soul" or "deal with the devil."
Think of something immoral you would never do, even if it would bring you wealth or some type of success, and fill in the blanks: "I would resist a Faustian urge to get (some type of reward) in exchange for (doing something bad.)"
Example: "I would resist a Faustian urge to earn store credit in exchange for giving out my friends' contact information."
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:
This month, we're playing with some fascinating thematic word lists assembled by Stephen Chrisomalis, an English language expert over at The Phrontistery who kindly gave permission for me to use his work. (Check out his site; you will definitely enjoy it!)
Try a question each day, and see the right answers here the following day--or if you can't wait, follow the link to Stephen's list to dig out the answers yourself. Have fun!
A cabriolet, a dos-a-dos, a timwhisky, and a tum-tum are all examples of what?
These are all types of wheeled, non-motorized vehicles. In other words, they’re carriages. A cabriolet is a two-wheeled carriage; in a dos-a-dos, passengers sit back-to-back; a timwhisky is a type of light carriage; and a tum-tum is pulled by a dog.
Try this one today:
Terms for obscure musical instruments abound. Could you use your knowledge of word roots to match up these instruments with their correct definitions?
- A claviole is _____.
- A metallophone is _____.
- A monochord is _____.
- A tintinnabulum is _____.
- a keyed string instrument
- a musical instrument having only one string
- a percussion instrument of many bells in succession
- an instrument like the xylophone but with metal bars
Can't wait until tomorrow for the right answers? Check out Stephen's full list and discussion at the Phrontistery.
A Point Well Made:
Heinz Pagels: "Perhaps the moral [...] is that you never learn anything unless you are willing to take a risk and tolerate a little randomness in your life."
1. The opposite of FAUSTIAN is
2. The media _____ what they interpreted as a clear Faustian deal.
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.
Today's word takes our recent one, "v____," a step further. That is, v____ people are willing to look the other way while something immoral goes down, or maybe do a little something immoral themselves--for a price. And with today's word, "Faustian," we're describing people who will do something wildly immoral for that price.
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