Monday, June 02, 2003

Etymology Today from M-W: banausic \buh-NAW-sik\
: relating to or concerned with earning a living -- used pejoratively; also : utilitarian, practical

>Each summer, countless college students set aside their books and turn to more banausic tasks, such as waiting tables, to earn tuition and spending money for the coming year.

The ancient Greeks held intellectual pursuits in the highest esteem, and they considered ideal a leisurely life of contemplation. A large population of slaves enabled many Greek citizens to adopt that preferred lifestyle. Those who had others to do the heavy lifting for them tended to regard professional labor with contempt. Their prejudice against the need to toil to earn a living is reflected in the Greek adjective "banausikos" (the root of "banausic"), which not only means "of an artisan" and "nonintellectual," but also "vulgar."

- Previous E.T.

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