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WOTD      
Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Tuesday 19th September 2017
Archive | Previous word | Today's word | Next word

aphorism (noun) AYF-or-ism



A succinct or concise statement of an opinion or truth, a pithy saying, an adage.

This is all told in a flood of Oprah-ready sunny aphorisms ("Miracles are out there somewhere. You just got to find them"), and most grandly emotional scenes end with the participants collapsing in laughter at something funny the reader's missed.

Patrick Ness, The Guardian, 22 September 2007, Guardian
reviewing Tom Spanbauer's Now Is the Hour . Amazon

Of the many collections of anecdotes, aphorisms and bons mots that litter the bookshops, this is one that is worth picking up.

Campbell Stevenson, The Observer, 1 April 2007, The Observer
reviewing Matthew Engel's Extracts from the Red Notebooks. Amazon

But Churchill’s aphorism that those who do not know history will be doomed to repeat it is, in my opinion, enormously true.

Mr Katter, Australian Hansard, 25 June 2002. Australian Hansard

“We each have an awful bargain in our lives” is one of Greer’s aphorisms, while on the next page another boasts, “It is a brave and stupid thing, a beautiful thing, to waste one’s life for love.”

John Updike, The New Yorker, 26 January 2004, The New Yorker
reviewing Andrew Greer's The Confessions of Max Tivoli (Amazon) and How It Was for Me. Amazon

At a Cape Town news conference in August, she invoked a Quaker aphorism to explain her dismissal, saying that one ''must never be afraid to speak truth to power.''

Michael Wines, The New York Times, 8 September 2007. New York Times




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