Chimera – beware the illusion

December 27, 2013

___ Chimera definitions include: a she-monster, and a foolish fancy.

Crazy that two such definitions fall under the same dictionary entry. I love exploring how a word’s separate meanings may be related, oft intricately via offshoots of the word origin.

Exploring these “Chimera” definitions:
via Merriam-Webster
1. a  capitalized : a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail
b :an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts
2 : an illusion or fabrication of the mind; especially : an unrealizeable dream

Definitions 1-a and 1-b
While definition 1-a may be scary, ’tis also animated and dramatic. Definition 1-b is animated and dramatic, and scary via incongruous parts that make one creature.

Definition 2
While these creatures may be scary, they’re awesome at first sight, animating that such parts from separate creatures make a powerful one. Definition 2 suggests that a person believes such incongruous parts of circumstances will come together to conquer a lofty aspiration.

Websters New World “chimera” definitions include:
 an impossible or foolish fancy

Definitions do not commit to a “Chimera” aspiration as destined to fail yet suggest that ’tis.

I dig into “Chimera” Greek lore. According to “Gods and Monsters” online, when Chimera appeared, she represented a bad omen like a great flood or volcanic eruption.

Ah! That explains why Definition 2 offers no hope at-all that the crazy aspiration will be realized. It does leave room for a Chimera spectacle to be a mere illusion.

For example:
Mr. Notting cajoled company board members for months, and they finally made appointment for him to present “Five creative ways to inspire our accounts.” He’d originally aspired this presentation as means to job promotion. Yet now as he fleshed it out, he worried he merely entertained a chimera.

Have you had bad dreams of a chimera?

This Jacquée T. Writer in Residence Word of the Day is brought to you by Downtown Craft Brew  in Topeka, Kansas.

*** Jacquée T. selects and schedules each featured Word in the spirit of writing, reading, and of improved expression. “Love for Words” (formerly “Word of the Day”) sponsors support her schedule and selection as a whole, and the and fun spirit of this series. Please check out the links to sponsor web sites, one link provided per word, and see how they may add quality to your day.

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