Three Roads

Because I have spent my life teaching English and English vocabulary, the derivation of words is of great interest to me. I recently came across this information regarding the word “trivia.”

“Trivia” derives from “trivium,” a Latin word meaning “three roads” or, colloquially, “crossroads.” The derivative “trivialis” carried the sense of “common, ordinary, of the crossroads,” the sort of thing found anywhere, which influenced the modern meaning of “trivial” as “of no importance.” But “trivium” played an important role in Medieval education that led more directly to our modern sense of “trivia.” The “trivium” (the “three ways” or “three roads”) was the first stage of a classical education at the university level, composed of rhetoric, grammar and logic. This was followed by the more advanced postgraduate “quadrivium” (“four ways”) of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. Since the “trivium” was considered “the basics,” the derivative “trivia” eventually came to mean “less important matters.”

Now we know. Have you ever played “Trivial Pursuit?” You’ll enjoy the game more now that you know from whence the name derives.

About bobosbest

I am a 79-year-old retired English teacher whose writing goals are fulfilled by publishing these blogs. I have a wonderful married partner, Dimitris Tsitsiras, who is from Greece. Life is good and still an adventure.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Three Roads

  1. Bob says:

    I suppose I shouldn’t wonder why I am thrashed so badly in our Scrabble games. I’ve brought a club to a gunfight…

  2. Issa says:

    I love to play trivial pursuit. Years ago we always made it part of our fun parties. Went to my doctor’s appointment yesterday and not a minute too soon. Yesterday he saw me at my worst crying in pain. Wes took me since he didn’t want me driving.. He took a chest X-ray, I have been on Lipitor for over 20 years and he thinks that could be the cause of all these horific pains ( I am not so sure) but quit taking it for a week and see how I do. He took a gallon of blood to check a bunch of stuff including Fibromyalgia and Arthritis in the muscles? Never heard of it. I have it everywhere. He put me on Cymbalta and Iswear I woke up this morning with no pain. I have not eaten since sunday and I am not hungry. He also put me on some antibiotics for the cough. He was very concerned and told me to see him in a month instead of 3 months, at that time he will decide if I should start back on the Lipitor or start me on a different Statin drug.. I am glad I am having a good day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s