Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I was going to write one thing, but instead I wrote this

So I decided to look up "necromancy" in the dictionary:

1. The practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future.


Alteration of Middle English nigromancie, from Old French nigremancie, from Medieval Latin nigromantia, alteration (influenced by Latin niger, black), of Late Latin necromantia from Greek nekromanteia: nekros, corpse; see nek-1 in
Indo-European Roots + manteia, divination; see -mancy.

Having grown up on D&D and similar genres of entertainment, this came as bit of a surprise to me. Necromancy always was more like this: a (generally reviled) branch of magic dedicated to working with death and creating undead. And from there you have people come up with "pyromancy" for fire mages, etc.

Having learned what the word actually means, I am now loathe to use it as I used to, and have been trying to come up with a suitable replacement. So I looked up a few Greek words, and I think I have settled on the word "exousia", meaning "authorities, lordship, power". So then I'd have something like "necrousy" or "necrousia" (for "power over death") as my new favorite branch of magic.

Is it weird that I insist on etymologically-correct fantasies?

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