Pestilence is such a juicy word, don't you think?
I mean, how often does one use "pestilence" in daily conversation? I don't think I have ever used it - hence the need to use it now.
Pestilence, pestilence, pestilence.
When I hear that word I think of medieval times, when pestilence was a problem. Is that why we don't use it? It is an "old" or archaic word that has fallen into disuse because it doesn't describe our world today?
Then I got to thinking ... is the word pestilence - what I think it is. What does it exactly mean? Could I use it in a sentence if I had to? or wanted to? or strived to? hmmm... maybe not in the 21st century.
How to know!
Right, get a dictionary - see what Webster says about this word. Luckily, after much searching, I discovered we had a dictionary. It is a behemoth of a dictionary. Lets see how impressed you are with my dictionary. It is the:
Dictionary Definition Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary
2,347 pages, thumb indexed
19 encyclopedic supplements
full color maps of the world
Deluxe Second Edition $79.95
After I dusted it off I was a bit reflective. 1983! That may have been when we got this book - and I am just now using it! I must have known 28 years ago, I was going to need a dictionary sometime - and now is the time. :-)
And the cover price was almost $80 - a lot of money now and more money in the 1980s when we were a struggling young couple with 2 small kids. The book is at least 6 inches thick and you could break a few bones if you dropped it on someone's foot. And I never used until I looked up "pestilence". Do you think I got my money's worth? Well, I think pestilence is at least $80 word, don't you?
I discovered the word has 3 definitions:
1. any virulent or fatal contagious disease (kind of what I thought)
2. an epidemic of such a disease; especially, the bubonic plague. (getting interesting)
3. anything, as a doctrine, regarded as harmful or dangerous (now we are talk'en)
The sentence they provided was:
Power is like a desolating pestilence.
Yes ... this is definitely a 21st century word!
Note: Today is my birthday. Maybe I should have chosen a different topic, like Present or Party for P.
No ... pestilence is so much more interesting!!