Word of the DayFriday, January 24, 2014
\buh-NAL, -NAHL, BEYN-l\ , adjective;
devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite: a banal and sophomoric treatment of courage on the frontier.
This sounds almost banal, and in fact it has become banal, thanks to the frog-like perspective of Darwin and such like.
-- Henry Miller, The Cosmological Eye, 1939
The banal fact of the existence of time, the confines that social life imposes on continuous time - a frontier around the abstract, a limit on the unknown - brings me back to myself.
-- Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), translated by Richard Zenith, The Book of Disquiet, published in 2010
Banal originally comes from the French word ban which referred to compulsory military service. Since this law applied to everyone, the word came to be associated with what was commonplace.
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