The Mournful Sound of the Dashing Sea
- Having a loud mournful sound.
- Beating, dashing.
‘He despised small game and insignificant personalities, whether in the shape of dukes or bagmen, letting them go by like sea-weed; but show him a refined or powerful face, let him hear a plangent or a penetrating voice, fish for him with a living look in some one’s eye, a passionate gesture, a meaning and ambiguous smile and his mind was instantaneously awakened.’
– The Story of a Lie (1879), Robert Louis Stevenson.
Plangent. Coming from the Latin word for ‘I beat’ or ‘I lament’. It’s a word still with us, remarkably, and a word not heard all too often. A unique word for something rather tragic, or appearing to be rather tragic, at least. A loud mournful sound. A word, perhaps, best demonstrated by example…