Word-Of-the-Week #893: Sublime

September 16, 2021 by  

Sublime – 1) something majestic, impressive, or intellectually valuable. 2) of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe. 

Have you ever wondered how some words have so many meanings?

I had the most exquisite piece of halibut and my first thought was that it was sublime. So then I looked up the word and I am including several quotes that came up on my web search. As you can see there are a multitude of different meanings!

“An example of sublime is a beautifully presented, formal six course meal.” 

“One of the most beautiful things in the world is seeing a mommy with her kids. There’s nothing more beautiful, nothing more sublime.” – Johnny Depp

“The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime, makes the ridiculous; and one step above the ridiculous, makes the sublime again” [Thomas Paine The Age of Reason]

“For sheer majestic geography and sublime scale, nothing beats Alaska and the Yukon. For culture, Japan. And for all-around affection, Australia.” – Sam Abell

“Happiness is the sublime moment when you get out of your corsets at night.” – Joyce Grenfell – Do you think she might have meant it was ahhh inspiring?

“Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is the most sublime noise that has ever penetrated into the ear of man.” – E. M. Forster

“Bradley Nowell, lead singer for the alternative band Sublime, died of an apparent drug overdose in a San Francisco motel just hours before the group was to perform a sold-out concert.

The band’s drummer found Nowell, 28, dead in his room at the Ocean View Motel shortly after noon Saturday following a night of partying, said Jon Phillips, a manager of the group. 

Cause of death had not been determined, pending laboratory results, but when asked if Nowell had died of a heroin overdose as reported, Phillips said it was “probably the most distinct possibility.” Do you think Nowell would have said the heroin was sublime?” Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.

This week’s focus is what you find sublime. Would it be a great gastronomic experience? Would it be marveling majestic geography? Would it be taking in a superb symphony?

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