Thursday, February 11, 2010

Merriam-Webster Word-of-the-Day: Panglossian

Panglossian \pan-GLAH-see-un\



: marked by the view that all is for the best in this best of possible worlds : excessively optimistic

Example Sentence

Even the most Panglossian temperament would have had trouble finding the good in this situation.

Dr. Pangloss was the pedantic old tutor in Voltaire's satirical novel Candide. Pangloss was an incurable, albeit misguided, optimist who claimed that "all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds." So persistent was he in his optimism that he kept it even after witnessing and experiencing great cruelty and suffering. The name "Pangloss" comes from Greek "pan," meaning "all," and "glossa," meaning "tongue," suggesting glibness and talkativeness.

1 comment:

wallowinsqualor said...

Good call! I'm actually in the middle of reading Candide.