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WOTD      
Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Monday 23rd April 2018
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

chasten (verb) CHAY-sen



Discipline, punish, purify, moderate, temper, subdue, restrain.

For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To
chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused ...
... A motion and a spirit , that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought
And rolls through all things.

William Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey. Amazon

From the moment it begins its life, as various integrants of wood, cloth, metal and (sigh) plastic ivory-substitute cohere under myriad hands, until the first outside player plinks a freshly polished key and listens to the sweet response, the piano is a product of the human body, designed to return to the body as music, with ample power to chasten and subdue.

Edmund Morris, The New York Times, 1 October 2006, New York Times
reviewing James Barron's The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand. Amazon

So affected was he by the excesses and idiocies of the world of journalism, to which he belonged, that the effect was to stimulate the production of a series of scathing "definitions" which still have the power to chasten while causing us to smile.

Ian Mayes, Guardian, 24 July 1999, Guardian
reviewing Ambrose Bierce's The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary. Amazon




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