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050419 - WotD: celerity

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Today's Word of the Day is celerity.


Lying here, sick on the couch, I've been watching my Netflix movies as fast as I can. In particular, I'm watching Cold Mountain.

The opening sequence of Cold Mountain is at the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia. In reading about why the town of 18000 was sieged in 1864, I learned,

    Unfortunately, after landing on May 4th, 1864, Butler did not move with sufficient celerity to prevent Confederate reinforcements from being gathered from North Carolina, and mid-May found his army solidly corked up in a defensive posture at Bermuda Hundred, having been defeated by Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff on May 16.

From context, I'm guessing celerity means something like speed, quickness or alacrity (ooooo, big word meaning eagerness).

Let's see. From Merriam Webster's online dictionary, celerity means:

    rapidity of motion or action

The etymology: Middle English celerite, from Middle French, from Latin celeritat-, celeritas, from celer swift

So, cool, got that one!