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Featured Image: Goya La Maja Desnuda 1797-1800, Oil on Canvas, 97 x 190 cm, Prado, Madrid
Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 1 December 2019
Sensual Words in English
A Thought Experiment
The idea came on me suddenly. I thought of words as visual entities and wondered what a beautiful word would look like. From that it was a small leap to imagine sensual words.
A list came to mind and for some reason the first three were words beginning with ‘l’. In a couple of minutes I had a list of eight ‘l’ words, one of which I wasn’t sure about:
I thought I was being objective. But, then I wondered whether I was merely being subjective. I needed to treat the subject more seriously somehow. I came up with an experiment. But I would restrict my investigations to ‘l’ words only. Else, things might quickly spiral out of control.
Sensual and Sensuous
Sensual and sensuous are two words that in modern English have converged. I was interested in sensual words and not sensuous ones, but I felt a need to clarify.
John Milton (1608-1674) was an English poet and intellectual. Milton created more new words than Shakespeare or anyone, with Geoffrey Chaucer, Ben Jonson, Jon Donne and Sir Thomas Moore up there as well.
Milton is thought to have invented sensuous in 1641 to avoid the sexual overtones of sensual. Sensuous is the more neutral term meaning: relating to the senses as opposed to the intellect. Sensual relates to the gratification of the senses, especially sexually. Sensuous in Milton’s sense is becoming rare in modern English. Continue reading “Sensual Words”