looking for definition

The place to talk about the craft of writing.

Moderator: Bmat

Post Reply
User avatar
jerico
Just Registered
Just Registered
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:41 pm
Location: Toronto

looking for definition

Post by jerico »

First off - is there a thread where we can inquire about the availability of literary definitions/terms?

For instance, I'm looking for a term that would descibe names like "teacher, father, mother, guardian, master" etc... So basically a term that defines someone in position of authority...

any takers?

User avatar
aldan
Artisan Wordsmith
Artisan Wordsmith
Posts: 3886
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:46 am
Location: Ohio, right now...
Contact:

Post by aldan »

By saying "position of authority", you automatically made me think, 'authority figure'. I just don't know if you're trying for something a bit more exotic sounding than that, or if that term would even work for you in what you're trying to do with it.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

User avatar
jerico
Just Registered
Just Registered
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:41 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by jerico »

yeah, perhaps "authority figue" isn't the best description to fish for a term. I'm thinking something along the lines of "entitlement" or "endearment", but of course, those don't work. I couldbe looking for a term that doesn't exist.

User avatar
LightBrigade
Site Regular
Site Regular
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Athens, Hellas, where myths live.

Post by LightBrigade »

- This could well be the thread.

- Aldan's suggestion is the best in English for the examples you mentioned in your first post above.

- You are right, 'entitlement' does not exist.

- Of your second post following the first, I understand you seek a term for 'father, teacher etc' to include the concept of 'endearment' and 'power to entitle or position of having been entitled'. Which finds me at a loss to combine what you state in your first and in your second post.

Unless you mean a fatherly figure of authority who is moved by love, in the sense of The Creator as you can perceive it, or the archetypal condition of man in the womb, where the mother-type figure also includes a sense of endearment.
- - -
In any case, the literary terms related could be, on the one hand (as Aldan suggested) authority figure and on the other, if you pinpoint what you seek as one of the original human figures as literature has them from the psychology point of view, the term is archetype. In this case, you can add a definition for the archetype you wish to show.
When people agree with me, I always feel that I must be wrong. -- Oscar Wilde --

User avatar
Neurolanis
Resident Author
Resident Author
Posts: 5268
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:20 pm
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Post by Neurolanis »

Looking up 'leader' in my thesaurus, I get:

bellwether, chieftain, conductor, coryphaesus, counsellor, director, doyen(ne), flagship, guide, kingpin, mahatma, pacesetter, principal, ringleader...

For 'father':

abbot, architect, begetter, confessor, elder, forebear, forefather, founder, governor, originator, padre, pastor, pater, paterfamillias, patriarch, patron, predecessor, procreator, senator, sire...

Is patriarch what you were looking for?

User avatar
LightBrigade
Site Regular
Site Regular
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Athens, Hellas, where myths live.

Post by LightBrigade »

Neurolanis wrote:Is patriarch what you were looking for?
:smt038

User avatar
jerico
Just Registered
Just Registered
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:41 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by jerico »

patriarch won't cut it because I don't want to suggest a male figure.

User avatar
Magus
Writer Extraordinaire
Writer Extraordinaire
Posts: 10536
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Post by Magus »

Female then, or non gender specific?

Matriarch?

Director?

Sensei?

User avatar
Spiderkeg
Site Regular
Site Regular
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:37 am
Location: Southern Maryland, United States
Contact:

Post by Spiderkeg »

I'm thinking that "appellation" would be what you were looking for, but since that is often used more for geography, perhaps "designation" is better suited.

In the broad spectrum of titles given to people, looking beyond gender, I think either of these two terms would be fitting. Otherwise, you'll be trying to use a descriptive phrase to narrow down the definition(s) you have in mind.

Post Reply