Word of the Week

acyrology, n.‘ Incorrect use of language.’
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌasᵻˈrɒlədʒi/, U.S. /ˌæsəˈrɑlədʒi/
Forms: 16 acurologie, 16 acyrologie, 16 18– acyrology.
Etymology: < post-classical Latin acyrologia incorrect use of language (from 4th cent. in grammarians) < Hellenistic Greek ἀκυρολογία< ancient Greek ἀ- a- prefix6 + κῦρος authority (see kyrine n.) + -λογία -logy comb. form. Compare acyrological adj. rare after 17th cent. Incorrect use of language.[1550 R. Sherry Treat. Schemes & Tropes sig. B8v, Acyrologia. Improprietas, when a worde nothynge at all in hys proper significacion is broughte into a sentence as a cloude.]

1577 H. Peacham Garden of Eloquence sig Dj, This vice or fault is called, Acyrologia: which is an vnproper speaking in forme and sense.
1609 Bp. W. Barlow Answer Catholike English-man 266 This Antilogie the Antapologer..would salue by a figure in Grammar called Acyrologie, and would scarre vp the wound by an improprietie of speech.

1645 J. Goodwin Innocency & Truth Triumphing 92 Not to impose any tax upon an acyrologie.

1659 R. Smith in R. Chilswell Let. R. Smith to H. Hammond conc. Creed (1684) 10 There is no Tautologie, or twice re-iteration of the self same thing, no acurologie or impropriety, contradiction or absurdity, no hysteron-proteron, no disorder in the position of it in the Creed.

1839 Lady Lytton Cheveley (ed. 2) I. x. 221 His work..was meant to be..a condensation of all the ‘logics’ and all the ‘ology’s’; but, unfortunately, tautology and acyrology were the only ones thoroughly exemplified.

1844 Lady Lytton Mem. Muscovite II. xi. 313, I wished..to bring my mother to a more specific declaration of her thoughts, freed from this species of acyrology which rendered them at least doubtful.

1994 Internat. Jrnl. Classical Trad. 1 42 Óláfr’s adaptation of Donatus’s treatise is particularly significant in two of these cases, acyrology and amphibology.


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