Sunday, February 19, 2006

Yet another word from the Greek

I've been wondering for a while whether to post this bit -- I just wasn't sure what to do. Merriam-Webster's (February 1) Word of the Day:

abulia \ay-BOO-lee-uh\ noun
: abnormal lack of ability to act or to make decisions

Example sentence:

"Since his college graduation, my son seems to be suffering from abulia -- —he just can't decide what he wants to do next," sighed Philip.

Did you know?

"I must have a prodigious quantity of mind," Mark Twain once wrote. "It takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up." The indecision Twain laments is fairly common; only when inability to make decisions reaches an abnormal level does it have an uncommon name: "abulia." The English term we use today comes from a New Latin word that combines the prefix "a-," meaning "without," with the Greek word "boulē," meaning "will." "Abulia" can refer to the kind of generalized indecision that makes it impossible to choose what flavor ice cream you want, though it was created to name a severe medical disorder that can render a person nearly inert.
» Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

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