Laconic (a.) - IF
Using very few words to get a point across.
Etymology & Vocabulary Building
The story behind laconic really stands out, and describes exactly what the word means.
Laconia is a region in Greece that was the home of Sparta. The Spartans have influenced our language and culture from comic books to movies. We even use the word spartan to describe stark and empty living environments or lifestyles.
Now with that little bit of backstory out of the way, let’s look at the story behind the definition of laconic.
Philip II of Macedonia had already invaded the southern part of Greece and was confident that his invasion would have convinced some of the the city states to the north in Laconia to surrender without a fight. When he sent a message to the Spartans asking menacingly if he should come as friend or foe, the leaders of the Spartans sent back a message one word message.
In losing his patiences and in frustration Philip sent another message:
“You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.”
This message didn’t sit well with the Spartans. Their reply was simple...
You can’t get much more laconic than that. One word that says it all.
After hearing this story for the first time it stuck with me. My brain loves my the imagery of the 300 movie so I just imagine Leonidas responding that way to the messengers of Philip.
Give the word laconic a try throughout the next week whenever you can. The biggest secret to expanding your vocabulary is actually using the new words you learn.