Word of the Day

Friday, January 24, 2014

banal

\buh-NAL, -NAHL, BEYN-l\ , adjective;
1.
devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite: a banal and sophomoric treatment of courage on the frontier.
Quotes:
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
Origin:
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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