Laconic


Laconic
   Laconia, that ancient Greek country of which Lacedaemon or Sparta was the capital, was the land of the Spartans. Sparta was also known as Laconia, and Spartans as Laconians. These people were noted for their parsimonious speech. The name of their country, Laconia, has given English the adjective laconic, which means brief, concise, pithy. On one occasion Philip of Macedon threatened to invade their land. He announced: "If I enter Laconia, I will level it to the ground." The response he received was a single word: "If." That's laconic at its best. An equally famous classic example of a laconic message is: "Veni, vidi, vici" — Caesar's concise report ("1 came, I saw, I conquered"). Sir Charles Napier, British soldier and administrator, served in India. In 1842, Napier seized Sind and noted that he had no right to do so. His dispatch of the news of his conquest was one Latin word: "Peccavi" ("I have sinned"). The historical accuracy of this pun has not been substantiated. A lady sitting next to President Coolidge tried to coax him into talking with her. "I made a bet, Mr. Coolidge, that I could get more than two words out of you." Said Coolidge, "You lose." On a more contemporary note, General McAuliffe's reply to the German demand during World War II that he surrender was a single word: "Nuts!"

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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