Monday, August 25, 2008

A new entry for the dictionary

An interesting piece of trivia.

con·tra·cep·trix /ˌkɒntrəˈsɛptrɪks/ [kon-truh-sep-triks]

–noun, f.
1. a female person who approves of the use of devices or methods serving to inhibit conception or impregnation.
2. one who uses such devices or methods herself for the purpose of inhibiting conception or impregnation.
3. a female opponent of the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on contraception, esp. such teaching contained in the 1968 encyclical letter Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI.

[Origin: the blogger Melancholicus at Infelix Ego, 2008; from contracept + fem. Lat. ending -trix]

In a recent post related to Humanae Vitae, Melancholicus referred to Mrs. Cherie Blair, wife of the former British prime minister, as a ‘contraceptrix’ owing to her opposition to the teaching of the Church despite the fact that she claims to be a Catholic.

For unrelated reasons Melancholicus subsequently googled the term and found to his immense surprise—and satisfaction—that Infelix Ego is the only page on the entire internet on which this term occurs.

Therefore he must have coined it himself!

At the time of this writing he is still the only known user of the word ‘contraceptrix’, but he graciously extends full permission to all of his readers and referrers to use the term themselves in their discourse, both in speech and in writing, and especially on their blogs. Let’s see if we can get it into the dictionary!

If anyone wishes to suggest additions or amendments to the definitions proposed above, I’m all ears.

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