Dictionary.com

Lexical Investigations: Desiderata

'Wish list' written on a spiral padDesiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning “things wanted or needed.”

For many, the word desiderata most often evokes a famous poem by Max Ehrmann, written in 1927 and often referred to simply as Desiderata, without attribution or quotation marks. The poem begins with the oft-quoted lines, “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, / and remember what peace there may be in silence.”

Though the poem has achieved a mythic quality and a near-spiritual significance for some, it wasn’t well known until the 1970s when it was made into hugely popular posters and sound recordings. Even Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame included a spoken-word rendition of Desiderata on his 1968 album Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy in the track “Spock Thoughts.” Listen to “Spock Thoughts” here.

Desiderata can be traced back to the 19th century, when it became fashionable for English-speakers to use little-known Latin words in place of shorter, more common Anglo-Saxon terms. Latin words were thought to be more elegant and more precise than their English counterparts, and the users of these words no doubt hoped to be seen as more intellectual and sophisticated. Desiderata gained popularity in the early 1800s as part of this trend, which had many critics. In 1864, Henry Alford wrote that English “is undergoing a sad and rapid process of deterioration. Its fine manly Saxon is getting diluted into long Latin words not carrying half the meaning.” Many, like Alford, considered Latinate words pretentious, and advocated for what they considered a purer form of English.

Spanish and French also absorbed desiderata from Latin, and the word continues to have the same meaning in both languages today.

Some writers misuse desiderata as a singular noun. The correct singular form is desideratum.

Popular References:

“Desiderata,” The Poems of Max Ehrmann, Max Ehrmann (1927). The text was largely unknown in the author’s lifetime. After its use in a devotional, it was turned into a hugely popular poster.

The Queen’s English: stray notes on speaking and spelling, by Henry Alford. A. Strahan, 1864.

Desiderata, Madder Mortem, CD (2006).

English in nineteenth-century England: an introduction, by Manfred Görlach, 1999.

Relevant Quotations:

“When you arrive at Savannah, I have many desiderata, as usual.”

—Henry Muhlenberg, Reliquiae Baldwinianae: selections from the correspondence of the late William Baldwin (1843)

“When posters of the poemDesiderata’ adorned dormitory walls in the 70s, an entire column was devoted to clearing up its clouded origins.”

—Reference and Adult Services Division of the American Library Association, RQ, Vol 25 (1986)

A motley combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Germanic dialects, the English language (more or less as we know it) coalesced between the 9th and 13th centuries. Since then, it has continued to import and borrow words and expressions from around the world, and the meanings have mutated. (Awesome and awful once meant nearly the same thing.) Some specimens in the English vocabulary have followed unusually circuitous routes to their place in the contemporary lexicon, and this series, Lexical Investigations, unpacks those words hiding in our midst.
Read our previous post in our on-going series Lexical Investigations about the ever-present word awkward.

93 Comments

  1. Mae B. -  September 27, 2013 - 7:23 pm

    Desiderata:
    This term is often found in the catalogues of antiquarian book dealers.

    Reply
  2. Amos Sebothoma -  June 11, 2013 - 9:29 am

    This is a great poem, its a way of life.

    Reply
  3. valeon -  April 6, 2013 - 10:44 am

    “data and desiderata” = 67600 results by Google

    “things given and things wanted”

    Reply
  4. geodancer -  April 3, 2013 - 5:51 pm

    @Krom: A fitting (and thoughtful and humorous) contribution to the site, and I hope one that ends the endless request for a definition.

    Reply
  5. Krom -  April 1, 2013 - 2:17 am

    I will placidly clear up this mess and confusion. Okay for every who does not understand, can’t read, or just thought the definition was incomplete, will have a sense of peace and remain silent. I will break the it down now for the ignorant folks, even though it is dull as your banking history notices. The word desiderata is the plural of desideratum. Hostile remarks towards all of these people are vexing and spiritually frustrating for others, and just make you look vain and make others bitter. Desideratum, is “a need unfulfilled, or a desire”. It is comparable to other words that define a prerequisite or required item, but whoever wrote that really great one word definition was no lesser of a person for it. Here is an example sentence: Enjoyment, achievement, planning and interest in your career or small business, as well as possessing reality, are the desiderata of making a fortune over time. Try this exercise: Cautiously rewrite the sentence replacing the tricky word desiderata blindly with virtually any plural nouns even if they are contrived, like high heals, oven wares, lifeless bulls, or hereafters. Don’t beat yourself, especially when this trick is no effect on you, and don’t be cynical, but try to love the facile absurdity and disenchantment perennially popping up.like weeds in your grass. Okay I am ending this, because it is boring me. I really made a soid effort to paraody, but it is difficult and i am bored now. Just swap words like requirements, needs, and wants in the place of desiderata. Whether can hear it or not the universe is telling joke and your in it.

    Reply
    • Netty -  April 17, 2016 - 8:53 pm

      I used the word “substitute”. I had never seen this poem & it inexplicably appeared in a joint text to my brother & sister in between 2 pictures of our deceased mother’s house , a before & after picture . We all get along . No arguments over “things”. She passed in 2011. It appeared in between the 2 photos of her house! Well I take it as a great good thing ! Spiritual a sign from beyond . My brother doesn’t believe me. But it’s true.

      Reply
      • Netty -  April 17, 2016 - 9:00 pm

        The universe has spoken!

        Reply
  6. John Borup -  March 31, 2013 - 11:56 am

    Nicole
    “For those of you who missed the diffination of the word, it is defined in the first paragraph…”
    When in a dictionary context you deliberately write and spell wrongly, you are not trustworthy!

    Reply
  7. John Borup -  March 31, 2013 - 11:23 am

    Dave y
    “How are all of you not seeing the definition? It is in the first sentance!”
    My comment:
    When in a dictionary context you deliberately write and spell wrongly, you are not trustworthy!

    Reply
  8. Desideriani -  March 26, 2013 - 4:36 am

    My name was taken from this word and also the poem. <3

    Reply
  9. Toha -  March 26, 2013 - 3:16 am

    “…the current generation to whom “fat chance” say those of us who are older, wiser and more curmudgeonly.”

    I’m note sure i understand this part of the intro. Is the grammar okay here?

    Reply
  10. Postman -  March 25, 2013 - 11:38 pm

    My dictionary states that desideratum is a plural noun. Also no forms of the word end with the letter a. Desiderate and desiderative. I may need another dictionary.

    Reply
  11. beezeeoink -  March 25, 2013 - 6:47 pm

    “things wanted or needed” is not good enough a definition….?

    Reply
  12. Marie -  March 25, 2013 - 4:28 pm

    yo grace chill u anit all tht brick !!

    Reply
  13. Dave y -  March 25, 2013 - 2:24 pm

    The National Lampoon Version:

    You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here.
    Deteriorata. Deteriorata.

    Go placidly amid the noise and waste,
    And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
    Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep.
    Rotate your tires.
    Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself,
    And heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys.
    Know what to kiss, and when.
    Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do.
    Wherever possible, put people on hold.
    Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment,
    and despite the changing fortunes of time,
    There is always a big future in computer maintenance.

    Remember The Pueblo.
    Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate.
    Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI.
    Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
    Especially with those persons closest to you –
    That lemon on your left, for instance.
    Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
    Would scarcely get your feet wet.
    Fall not in love therefore. It will stick to your face.
    Gracefully surrender the things of youth: birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan.
    And let not the sands of time get in your lunch.
    Hire people with hooks.
    For a good time, call 606-4311. Ask for Ken.
    Take heart in the bedeepening gloom
    That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
    And reflect that whatever fortune may be your lot,
    It could only be worse in Milwaukee.

    You are a fluke of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    And whether you can hear it or not,
    The universe is laughing behind your back.

    Therefore, make peace with your god,
    Whatever you perceive him to be – hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.
    With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal,
    The world continues to deteriorate.
    Give up!

    Reply
  14. I like apples -  March 25, 2013 - 11:16 am

    Dudes Yall Are Epic With The Smartness And You People Need to Read Slower

    Reply
  15. Dude were's me car -  March 25, 2013 - 11:15 am

    Dude this site IS AWESOME ANDYALL cant read but yall r very smart XD

    Reply
  16. SFDex -  March 25, 2013 - 7:47 am

    Yes, many people are complaining that there’s no definition when it appears in the article. When this post first appeared, there was no definition. After a number of complaints, they edited the post and inserted the definition.

    Proper process for this would be to indicate in the edit that it is an edit so that later commentors would not be confused (or disrespectful) of those who pointed out the error.

    The fault lies with Dictionary.com’s editorial policy, not with the numerous comments asking for the definition.

    Reply
  17. Packratjohn -  March 25, 2013 - 5:54 am

    What is truly funny is that 45% of the posters asked, “Where is the definition?” Another 45% answered the question. So most of you didn’t read either the article or the posts before you posted yours! The other 10% at least had original ideas and interesting things to say. Now, so that you don’t accuse me of not having anything interesting to say, I want to post the text of “Deteriorata”, which, as mentioned in one post, is the National Lampoon parody, and an excellent piece of work it is!

    Deteriorata

    Go placidly amid the noise and waste,
    And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
    Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep.
    Rotate your tires.
    Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself,
    And heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys.
    Know what to kiss, and when.
    Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do.
    Wherever possible, put people on hold.
    Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment,
    and despite the changing fortunes of time,
    There is always a big future in computer maintenance.

    Remember The Pueblo.
    Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate.
    Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI.
    Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
    Especially with those persons closest to you –
    That lemon on your left, for instance.
    Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
    Would scarcely get your feet wet.
    Fall not in love therefore. It will stick to your face.
    Gracefully surrender the things of youth: birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan.
    And let not the sands of time get in your lunch.
    Hire people with hooks.
    For a good time, call 606-4311. Ask for Ken.
    Take heart in the deepening gloom
    That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
    And reflect that whatever fortune may be your lot,
    It could only be worse in Milwaukee.

    You are a fluke of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    And whether you can hear it or not,
    The universe is laughing behind your back.

    Therefore, make peace with your god,
    Whatever you perceive him to be – hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.
    With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal,
    The world continues to deteriorate.
    Give up!

    Reply
  18. Regina Clarke -  March 25, 2013 - 5:26 am

    How beautiful to have “Spock” reading it!

    Reply
  19. Le Toaster -  March 24, 2013 - 7:21 pm

    It was after I posted my previous comment that I saw that many other people said the same thing. Maybe it definition wasn’t there before and they edited the article?

    Reply
  20. Le Toaster -  March 24, 2013 - 5:54 pm

    Why is everybody saying the definition of the word is not in the article? It’s in the first sentence! “Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning ‘things wanted or needed’”.

    Reply
  21. Nicole -  March 24, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    For those of you who missed the diffination of the word, it is defined in the first paragraph…

    Reply
  22. eva -  March 24, 2013 - 7:49 am

    Thank you so much!
    Yesterday morning I briefly saw Spock in my dreams and woke up laughing. To my surprise. My daughter hovered over me, to see what’s going on. 7:25 CET too early. I told some people about it and got no response. Today I open ‘the best dictionary’ and find that link. Desiderata, the title of the poem. And the mention of Spock. These explanations, as rarely as i check them, are never all that.. But your comments got me laughing hard and with tears, as I haven’t in the longest, if ever.
    Desiderata|Blogchi, took it off.
    I loved JP’s comment!
    And the repetition with variations of the majority of comments is hillarious!

    Reply
  23. Chimera -  March 24, 2013 - 1:22 am

    Desiderata is the plural of desideratum and there really isn’t any other way to describe it other than “something wanted or needed”. But a good example that helped me to understand what this word means is – “integrity was a desideratum”.

    Reply
  24. Mogs -  March 23, 2013 - 8:48 pm

    What theheckdoes it mean.

    Reply
  25. Novelist -  March 23, 2013 - 2:02 pm

    Thanks PJ, since I didn’t see the original post (and it seems no one else saw it either) your comment cleared up the mystery of the missing definition.

    Reply
  26. D -  March 23, 2013 - 8:42 am

    Is everyone here lying about the article not defining what the word means? Or did no one even bother to read even the first sentence of this article before commenting?

    I would put the definition here in my comment, but if you people can’t even notice what the article says in the first sentence, you probably won’t be able to notice what my comment says, either.

    Reply
  27. Mathilde -  March 23, 2013 - 8:01 am

    The multitude of comments on March 19 requesting the definition leads me to believe Dictionary.com added it by March 20th when everyone else was easily finding it.

    Reply
  28. lol1! -  March 23, 2013 - 6:49 am

    just jam about the comments :)

    Reply
  29. bob -  March 23, 2013 - 6:34 am

    Btw i dint quite catch the meaning

    Reply
  30. Handsome Jonni -  March 22, 2013 - 12:50 pm

    Some of Leonard Nimoy’s finest work.

    But not finer than “In Search Of…”

    That was the best show of all of our lives!

    You’re welcome, smellies.

    Reply
  31. Geo -  March 22, 2013 - 8:47 am

    I seem to recall Lorne Green (“Ben Cartwright of Bonanza Fame) having a popular recording of this poem in the late 60s or early 70s. the Nimoy version was much more obscure.

    Reply
  32. Pete -  March 22, 2013 - 7:35 am

    How about the National Lampoon parody “Detirorata” spoken by famous baritone VO master, Norman Rose? “Know what to kiss, and when.” “You are a fluke of the universe, you have not right to be here, whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back.”

    Reply
  33. Brooke -  March 22, 2013 - 6:35 am

    Are you all out of your minds? Why so many people keeping saying that the definition was never given on the article?????
    The very first line of the article defines what desiderata means!!!!
    Here, I have copied and pasted it for you blind people out there…..

    “Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning “things wanted or needed”:

    Reply
  34. chynna -  March 22, 2013 - 4:46 am

    The meaning is in the very first part of the article:
    Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning “things wanted or needed”

    I understood the meaning clearly in this article~ thanks!

    Reply
  35. Riff Raff -  March 21, 2013 - 4:37 pm

    Why are people having such difficulty finding the definition of the word? It’s in the very first sentence of the article:

    “Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning ‘things wanted or needed.’”

    Unless you for some reason decided to ignore the first sentence, I’m failing to see how this is “not defining the word.”

    Reply
  36. Sonja -  March 21, 2013 - 1:00 pm

    STATED EARLIER BY:
    “jrilett” commented “Live long and prosper, placidly!”

    Well, my dear Jrilett …. omg…You just made my day. Strike that. MY WEEK. that was just too funny! Thank you so much.

    Reply
  37. Grace -  March 21, 2013 - 11:15 am

    Umm… The definition is in the first sentence. XD You guys read to quickly.

    Desiderata~Things wanted or needed.

    XD Yallz just got bested by a 7th grader!

    (Yes, I know “yallz” isn’t a word, I just like saying it.)

    Reply
  38. toot -  March 21, 2013 - 10:58 am

    For chris’sake, here:

    desiderata
    de·sid·er·a·ta
    [dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh, -rah-, -zid-] Show IPA .
    plural noun, singular de·sid·er·a·tum.
    things wanted or needed; the plural of desideratum: “Happily-ever-after” and “eternal love” appear to be the desiderata of the current generation; to whom “fat chance” say those of us who are older, wiser, and more curmudgeonly. Synonyms: essentials, necessities, requisites, sine qua nons.

    Reply
  39. Larame -  March 21, 2013 - 10:10 am

    “Desiderata” is the plural form of the Latin word “desideratum”, meaning a thing to be desired or wanted.

    Desiderata, therefore, are things you desire or wish for.

    Reply
  40. Junia -  March 21, 2013 - 8:57 am

    what is wrong with everyone!? the definition is given in the first line!

    Reply
  41. SFDex -  March 21, 2013 - 8:22 am

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the album that “Spock Thoughts” was originally released on was called “The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy,” Mr. Nimoy’s second album (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Sides_of_Leonard_Nimoy). On one side he performed as Mr. Spock, and on the other, as himself. Clearly enough, “Spock Thoughts” was on the first side. (The famous — or infamous — “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” was the first track on the second side of this album.)

    “Music from Outer Space” was Mr. Nimoy’s first album and included such gems as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Earth” and “Music to Watch Space Girls By.”

    Reply
  42. Elena -  March 21, 2013 - 8:04 am

    Sorry, but how did you guys miss the first sentence: “Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning “things wanted or needed”? It may not be a proper dictionary definition, but it does tell you what desiderata means.

    Reply
  43. PJ -  March 21, 2013 - 7:34 am

    When the article was first posted, it did not include the definition of the word ‘desiderata’. The definition was posted after people complained.

    Reply
  44. jp -  March 21, 2013 - 7:30 am

    What’s the problem? – the article starts “Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning “things wanted or needed”: “

    Reply
  45. Charlene -  March 21, 2013 - 7:18 am

    The definition is in the first sentence: “meaning ‘things wanted or needed.’”

    Reply
  46. Danielle -  March 21, 2013 - 6:23 am

    The definition is stated in the first sentence. Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning “things wanted or needed”.

    Reply
  47. Pat -  March 21, 2013 - 5:50 am

    Noop is right – the definition is in the very first sentence at the top of the page.

    Reply
  48. cyn -  March 21, 2013 - 5:38 am

    Yes it does.

    Reply
  49. Webranger -  March 21, 2013 - 5:15 am

    meaning “things wanted or needed”:

    How did some readers miss that in the first sentence?

    However, it would have helped if we were given examples of its use in Latin literature, for I suspect that it is in fact a Latin word of fairly obvious meaning but invented in the early 19th century. I would not totally agree with Henry Alford, but this particular word does seem rather pretentious and “over the top.”

    Reply
  50. ColinB -  March 21, 2013 - 3:42 am

    @Ed: I really cannot see what is “perfectly good” about “ongoing”, whether hyphenated or not. Is it perhaps the present participle of “to ongo”? To my mind it is both ugly and superfluous – a crutch for the lazy (or ignorant).

    Reply
  51. Hugh -  March 21, 2013 - 3:13 am

    This IS the Desiderata…..

    Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

    And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

    Strive to be happy.

    Reply
  52. Stephanie Spicer -  March 21, 2013 - 1:07 am

    Yes, the definition is in the very first sentence, within quotation marks: “things wanted or needed.”

    Reply
  53. Brae -  March 20, 2013 - 9:08 pm

    Oops, I meant it’s in the very first sentence.

    (Which is, however, also in the very first paragraph but since it *had* been missed so many times I thought I should be more clear.)

    Reply
  54. Brae -  March 20, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    The meaning is in the very first paragraph! How could so many people miss that?

    Reply
  55. Jenny -  March 20, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    The meaning of the word “desiderata” is stated in the first sentence.

    Reply
  56. Baggins -  March 20, 2013 - 7:11 pm

    This yields an interesting observation. It would seem that about half of the commenters (at least) failed to read the first sentence of the article…there appears to be a definition in it!

    Reply
  57. Joe -  March 20, 2013 - 6:00 pm

    @Noop:
    Did you just say: curmudgeonly? That word ROCKS!

    Thanks too for this thoughtful post!

    Reply
  58. Mychael Darklighter -  March 20, 2013 - 5:06 pm

    i kept waiting for nimoy to say;
    ‘be excellent to each other…
    and…
    PARTY ON, DUDES!’

    Reply
  59. Anon -  March 20, 2013 - 4:48 pm

    For all of those saying that the article doesn’t define the word: read the first sentence CAREFULLY.

    Reply
  60. oddislag -  March 20, 2013 - 3:15 pm

    @Gio: Do no fret, it is always kind of painful for languages that are still very close to its Latin roots. Spanish =/= Portuguese, and we also do have the same words mentioned with the same meaning. XD

    And I believe Spanish for spring is also Primavera as it is for us.

    Reply
  61. eli -  March 20, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    what does this do?

    Reply
  62. Sean Mitchell -  March 20, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    In the dictionary entry for ‘primavera’ it says that ‘prima vera’ literally means springtime. I was under the impression that it literally meant ‘first summer’.

    Reply
  63. Dave y -  March 20, 2013 - 12:17 pm

    How are all of you not seeing the definition? It is in the first sentance!

    “Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning “things wanted or needed”.

    Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what peace there may be in owning a piece thereof….

    Reply
  64. garden.girl -  March 20, 2013 - 12:13 pm

    In the very first line it states…Desiderata is a plural noun meaning “things wanted or needed”.
    I think a better explanation is… from the Latin meaning things desired.

    Reply
  65. Hamid Hameed -  March 20, 2013 - 12:10 pm

    The meanings: Things To Do [in spiritual context]- Shopping List [ abstract articles only].
    Definition: Instructions into morality and wisdom.

    Reply
  66. Joe G -  March 20, 2013 - 10:57 am

    Isn’t the def in the first line?
    Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning “things wanted or needed”:

    Reply
  67. David -  March 20, 2013 - 10:54 am

    For all those who recent commenters who are anxious to find the definition, re-read the first sentence, paying particular attention to the word, “meaning”.

    Reply
  68. Noop -  March 20, 2013 - 10:36 am

    Desiderata is a plural noun, with the singular form desideratum, meaning “things wanted or needed”: “Happily-ever-after” and “eternal love” appear to be the desiderata of the current generation to whom “fat chance” say those of us who are older, wiser and more curmudgeonly.
    It says it…

    Reply
  69. Bubba -  March 20, 2013 - 9:04 am

    An interesting article and though I read it twice, could not find a definition of the word. I guess I’ll have to find a dictionary somewhere.

    Reply
  70. Ed -  March 20, 2013 - 7:23 am

    Why is the perfectly-good word “ongoing” hyphenated in the final line of your text?

    Reply
  71. Keith Future -  March 20, 2013 - 6:34 am

    Interesting… but what does Desiderata mean? :)

    Reply
  72. Malavika -  March 20, 2013 - 6:17 am

    I hope I can use this word in my later essays

    Reply
  73. Malavika -  March 20, 2013 - 6:16 am

    Best online dictionary ever…

    Reply
  74. John Ingle -  March 20, 2013 - 5:01 am

    Interesting little discussion. It would have been better if you had told the reader what “desiderata” means. Yep, the reader can look it up. But isn’t defining the word under discussion — or at least giving some hint as to its meaning — one of the “desiderata” of writings of this kind?

    Reply
  75. Eliezer -  March 20, 2013 - 3:30 am

    Did they forget to *define* the word in the article? :-)

    Reply
  76. leonorgrace -  March 19, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    you did not mention in here the definition of desiderata. :-)

    Reply
  77. sdf -  March 19, 2013 - 5:30 pm

    asdrgtgtdfgrr= pie

    Reply
  78. Max Wellton -  March 19, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    I believe National Lampoon’s parody of Desiderata (“Detiorata”) surpassed the original in popularity, at least after the novelty of the original waned and it became something of a cliché:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCGRDnTySCI

    Reply
  79. bookbeater -  March 19, 2013 - 2:31 pm

    isnt a defination needed? or is a question desired? perhaps i missed the point?

    Reply
  80. Girz -  March 19, 2013 - 1:46 pm

    This post didn’t actually mention the definition for desiderata, which according to this very site is: “things needed or wanted.”

    I thought maybe that should be added for a post entitled on the main page as ‘What does desiderata mean?”

    Reply
  81. jrilett -  March 19, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Live long and prosper, placidly!

    Reply
  82. Amy -  March 19, 2013 - 10:14 am

    But…what does it MEAN?

    Reply
  83. Marilyn Welton -  March 19, 2013 - 9:52 am

    I framed this poem for all the tenants in a group home for the mentally ill several years ago, for family members, and myself. I love this poem. It is so calming.

    Reply
  84. Tom Borden -  March 19, 2013 - 7:39 am

    And I too have been remiss, by omitting the word “to” in my prior comment.

    Reply
  85. Tom Borden -  March 19, 2013 - 7:37 am

    Perhaps I’ve read the article too quickly, but you never actually bother say what the word means.

    Reply
  86. Silvie -  March 19, 2013 - 7:24 am

    So, what English word did it replace?

    Reply
  87. DESIDERATA | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  March 19, 2013 - 6:43 am

    [...] ‘Desiderata’ — Pan seared Alien sonata — A poem — A Posted toasted cantata — Essential lexical gotta — To be or not persona non grata — Stoned warrior Terra Cotta. — Have some Cola and a Cigarette Lotta — An evening with Jake Lamotta. –>>L.T.Rhyme This entry was posted in DICTCOMHOTWORD, L.T.Rhyme and tagged LT, LTRhyme, the HOT WORD on March 19, 2013 by LTRhyme. [...]

    Reply
  88. ryler -  March 19, 2013 - 6:38 am

    Am I mistaken? I did not come across the meaning of the word in the above article.

    Reply
  89. Ron Walashek -  March 19, 2013 - 6:32 am

    Great article but you failed to define the word’s meaning.

    Reply
  90. Gio -  March 19, 2013 - 4:17 am

    It’s also an Italian word with the same meaning (since you said that it is French and Spanish).

    btw instead of pointing out that primaveral (in your spring slideshow today) shares the same root of an Italian dish, you should say that Primavera is Spring in Italian.

    Often your etymology section is painful for an Italian XD but apart from that I really enjoy this website.

    Reply

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