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Category: Vocabulary (page 2 of 2)

Vocab: panegyric

The following quote is from a letter to William Wirt (later U.S. Attorney General) on his draft book Sketches of the Life of Patrick Henry:

“It constitutes, perhaps, the distinction between panegyric and history.’”  (emphasis added)
– Thomas Jefferson

[Source: D. Malone, The Sage of Monticello (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1981), p. 228.]

Definition from Dictionary.com:  n. a lofty oration or writing in praise of a person or thing; eulogy.

This post is part of a series, in which I look up words from my reading.  These entries include foreign phrases, archaic and technical terms, and words for which my understanding is too approximate for my liking.

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Vocab: de mortuis nil nisi bonum

The following quote is from a letter to William Wirt (later U.S. Attorney General) on his draft book Sketches of the Life of Patrick Henry:

“You have certainly practiced vigorously the precept of ‘de mortuis nil nisi bonum.’” – Thomas Jefferson (emphasis added)

[Source: D. Malone, The Sage of Monticello (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1981), p. 228.]

Definition from Wikipedia:  The Latin  phrase de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est is usually shortened to de mortuis nil nisi bonum or sometimes just nil nisi bonum. It is variously translated as “Speak no ill of the dead,” “Of the dead, speak no evil,” or, more literally, “Let nothing be said of the dead but what is good.”

This post is part of a series, in which I look up words from my reading.  These entries include foreign phrases, archaic and technical terms, and words for which my understanding is too approximate for my liking.

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