Today’s quiz: Currency can mean: a. Fear b. Flux c. Modernity d.Prevalence

How about the cannon, a battlefield standby for centuries, although they are now more commonly called howitzers. I was reading an article in a respected national magazine and the author spelled it “canon.” Note the single ‘n.’ Duh? Where was the copy editor? The weapon of war is always spelled with a double ‘n.’ They clearly confused cannon with canon!

Canon is a charming bauble with several senses. It represents the most authoritative works of say, Shakespeare or the Bible. The canon is the most important part of the Catholic mass. A priest who works at a cathedral is a canon. A canon is a musical piece that repeats the same melody as an overlay, as in the chorale Christmas Canon by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Canon is a criterion for judgement, as the canons of good taste. The Western Canon is the cream of Western Civilization.

A related pearl is canorous, a richly melodious tune.

Here’s a trefoil to get straight. Factious, factitious and fractious. Factious is used as in causing divisions, forming splinter groups. Factitious is something artificial or ersatz, not coming close to the real thing. Fractious is something enervating, like a fractious week at work.

Now for the aging silverback gorilla. This senior’s gray hairline along his spine gives him authority over his troop. Additionally, silverback can be used with humorous effect to describe the elder member of a group of humans, especially if he has an overbearing presence on the neophytes.

Another curio used for a light effect include caravansary, a desert stopover for a caravan; It can humorously refer to a hotel catering to the noblesse.

Lucubration demonstrates a thought process, but it’s such a funky rarity it should only be used sarcastically or humorously.

A cairn points out an outdoor monument made of a pile of stones

Answer: d. Prevalence



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