As a noun, respair means “the return of hope after a period of despair.” As a verb, respair means “to have hope again.” Although both forms are rare and obsolete, they seem ripe for reviving. Respair is among dozens of uplifting terms collected in Paul Anthony Jones’s new book The Cabinet of Calm: Soothing Words for Troubled Times. (Bookshop|Amazon) Other heartening words include meliorism, “the belief that the world, or society, may be improved and suffering alleviated through rightly directed human effort,” and cultellation, originally a surveyors’ term, which denotes “the solution of a problem by dealing with it piecemeal,” from Latin cultellus, meaning “knife.” This is part of a complete episode.
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