Special thanks to Rita Willett, MD, Healthcare Studies and Department of Biology, for our word this week. As with our word in the last post, “equanimity” is hard to say and even harder to spell, but it speaks volumes in print.
It provides just the right lexical item for a factious, even frightening time. The OED Online provides These definitions:
“The quality of having an even mind. . . .Fairness of judgement, impartiality, equity.”
Let’s try it in a medical sense, given our source: “Patients went beyond noting how the physician’s advice was medically sound; they emphasized her equanimity in treating the elderly with dignity.”
The term’s history reaches to the 17th Century, with public servant and private diarist Samuel Pepys using our word in much the same way we would today. If the term has fallen out of favor, I wonder if equanimity itself has waned? That virtue, as well as its signifier, deserve better.
Nominate a word by e-mailing me (jessid -at- richmond -dot- edu) or leaving a comment below.
See all of our Words of the Week here.
Image of Samuel Pepys courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.