Word of the Day Archive
Monday April 2, 2001
galvanic \gal-VAN-ik\ , adjective:
1. Of, pertaining to, or producing a direct current of electricity, especially when produced chemically.
2. Affecting or affected as if by an electric shock; startling; shocking.
3. Stimulating; energizing.
Reading the epic known to us as the Iliad is vastly different from the preliterate experience of hearing and seeing it performed. In place of the bard's galvanic flow of sound and image, the reader beholds a mute tome, the size of longish novel.
-- Michael E. Hobart and Zachary S. Schiffman, Information Ages
Hemingway's letters, which often seem to have been dashed off at the end of the day, display little of the galvanic style that animated his early (and finest) fiction.
-- Michiko Kakutani, "Tone It Down, He Urged Hemingway", New York Times, November 19, 1996
What was special -- and at the time, galvanic -- about his early writing was its precision and concision.
-- Michiko Kakutani, "The Hunter Returns, Weary but Still Macho", New York Times, June 22, 1999
Galvanic is derived from Luigi Galvani, a professor of physiology at Bologna, whose experiments established the presence of bioelectric forces in animal tissue.