Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fun Facts about Poison

The word of the day is:



characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin.

I don't know where I heard this word, but I think it's underused. Maybe that's just what makes a great word.

I originally looked up this word curious of it's origin. It's just a lovely sound.

1630–40; alter. of earlier sardonian (influenced by F sardonique); alluding to a Sardinian plant which when eaten was supposed to produce convulsive laughter ending in death

I then pulled up this National Geographic article: 'Ancient Death-Smile Potion Decoded?' Homer wrote of this plant in the 8th century BC, which has mystified historians: Now we think they've found the sweet tasting, face-paralyzing FATAL ROOT. I don't think I need to summarize it when there's a perfectly good article there for you if you're curious too.

They are thinking it may have potential as an alternative to Botox.

The Greeks on the other hand saw it as a solution to eliminating unproductive members of society:

'Elderly people who could no longer care for themselves and criminals "were intoxicated with the sardonic herb and then killed by dropping from a high rock or by beating to death," '

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