Word for Wednesday: Eunoia

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This week’s Word for Wednesday concerns a rather rare word in the English language: namely, the shortest word to use all 5 vowels.

The word eunoia comes from a Greek word meaning: ‘beautiful thinking’. As such, in medicine, eunoia is occasionally used to describe the state of normal mental health.

In his exceptionally clever book entitled ‘Eunoia’, Canadian poet Christian Bok uses exclusively one vowel per chapter and as you’d expect, the book took him a while to write - 7 years in fact!. Aristotle, in his work 'Nichomechean Ethics', describes eunioa as one of the basic requirements for a happy life – here eunoia is synonymous with benevolence.

There are many other words that contain all the vowels – can you name some of them? A clue to get you started: sea-sponges…

Hugh MacDermott

17 Jun 2015
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"I ran the trial with a small group of students over three weeks before the summer holidays," she says. "I quickly saw the benefits, and signed up."

King's Leadership Academy, Warrington