Friday, December 10, 2004

Defining Moment

There is a review of a Pixies show at the In it, the reviewer says, "Tuesday night a bustling blend of college students and aging hipsters danced in the aisles and unleashed myriad standing ovations." First of all, why bash aging hipsters at a Pixies concert? Who else would be there, and what's wrong with getting old? Do I sound defensive enough? But let's take a moment to look at "myriad" just for fun. Here's what the folks at have to say:

Pronunciation: 'mir-E-&d
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek myriad-, myrias, from myrioi countless, ten thousand
1 : ten thousand
2 : a great number (a myriad of ideas)
usage Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.

I have always tried to avoid it myself. I never really could get into Milton or Thoreau. But really the reason for this post is to inform you that I found out today that I am going to see the Pixies on Sunday. Expect a review of the show Monday.

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