Word of the Day Archive
Thursday October 12, 2006
concinnity \kuhn-SIN-uh-tee\ , noun:
1. Internal harmony or fitness in the adaptation of parts to a whole or to each other.
2. Studied elegance of design or arrangement -- used chiefly of literary style.
3. An instance of concinnity.
He has what one character calls "the gifts of concinnity and concision," that deft swipe with a phrase that can be so devastating in children.
-- Elizabeth Ward
Denis Donoghue is a primary critic of our time, catholic in scope, unique in literary apprehension, crucially gratifying in the clear concinnity of his prose.
-- Ihab Hassan
Even so, rules are not merely there to be ignored; in fact, they constitute a democratic aristocracy based not on Debrett's Peerage or the Almanach de Gotha but on the user's respect for comprehensibility, consistency, concision and concinnity -- or, simply, elegance.
-- John Simon, "House Rules", New York Times, October 31, 1999
Concinnity comes from Latin concinnitas, "elegance; harmony of style," from concinnus, "well put together; pleasing, on account of harmony and proportion."