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Vocabulary Shout-Out: Azam Ahmed for "Aphorism"

Writing about Afghan poet Matiullah Turab, Azam Ahmed of The New York Times used the word aphorism in describing the importance of poetic language in Afghan culture:

Mr. Turab is the latest in a long roll call of poets cherished in Afghanistan, among the most famous of them Rumi, the Sufi mystic whose works of love and faith remain popular across the world. In this country, poetic aphorisms are woven into everyday talk, embraced by Afghans from all walks of life. 

An aphorism is "a short pithy instructive saying," such as "a stitch in time saves nine." Its synonym apothegm was once referred to by 19th century author and Unitarian minister William R. Alger as "portable wisdom," and that quick aphoristic nugget is a great way to remember either word.


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