Today's "fervency" comes from a Latin word meaning "to boil, to glow."
Similarly, could you recall an adjective whose roots mean, literally, "to boil out" or "to bubble out"? This adjective describes people with bubbly personalities: eb______.
And how about a closely related verb that means, literally and figuratively, to give off bubbles? This one is ef______.
make your point with...
Fervency is an intense feeling of eagerness or enthusiasm.
("Fervency" used to mean a literal glowing heat, but now it means a figurative glowing heat in your mind or your heart.)
FUR vun see
Part of speech:
(Like "milk," "rice," and "education," uncountable nouns are words for stuff that can’t be broken into exact units. You talk about "some milk," "the rice," and "a lot of education," but you don’t say "a milk," "three rices," or "many educations."
Likewise, talk about "the fervency," "such fervency," "a lot of fervency," "no fervency," and so on, but don’t say "fervencies.")
The adjective is "fervent" or "fervid."
You can say "fervor" instead of "fervency" if you prefer. I just prefer the sound of "fervency."
How to use it:
Talk about doing or saying something with fervency, or talk about the fervency of a feeling, an action, or a statement. You can also talk about a person's fervency ("his fervency," "our fervency") or, like you do with other emotions, just talk about fervency in general ("the performance was well done but lacked fervency").
Reading Poe's stories as a kid, I often got mired down in the heavy-handed word choice. But now that comprehension isn't an issue, I'm totally drawn in by the fervency of the narration.
I can't really get into sitcoms that often. All that shouting and arguing with contrived fervency just grates on me.
study it now:
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "fervency" means when you can explain it without saying "enthusiasm" or "passion."
try it out:
Think of a time someone startled you with their enthusiasm or anger, and fill in the blanks: "I was taken aback by (Person's) fervency when _____."
Example: "I was taken aback by Ivan's fervency when he described how horribly his latest date had gone."
before you review:
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:
We're playing with clichés this month, examining the origins of some colorful ones. I’ll give you a cliché (some of which you might also call a proverb and/or an idiom) and pose a multiple-choice question about its origin. (I used this nifty book as a reference!)
Yesterday's question: If you’re “in the doghouse,” then you’re in trouble: your significant other is really mad at you for something. It’s possible that this cliché came from a particular novel. Was it Peter Pan (1904,) Old Yeller (1956,) or Cujo (1981)?
Answer: The phrase is thought to have come from Peter Pan. The dad locks the dog outside, which ticks off his family, so he literally stays in the doghouse.
Try this one today: A fun yet clichéd way to describe something that barely moves: it’s “as slow as molasses in January.” According to The Dictionary of Cliches, did this one originate in Nova Scotia, Montana, or New Hampshire?
A Point Well Made:
Groucho Marx: “There's one way to find out if a man is honest--ask him. If he says, ‘Yes,’ you know he is a crook.”
review today's word:
1. One opposite of FERVENCY is
2. Seeing as _____, she couldn't match the fervency of the other kids' singing at youth group.
A. she didn't know the choreography B. she wasn't as skilled in picking up harmonies
C. she saw no particular meaning in the words of the songs
Answers are below.
a final word:
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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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