Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Jul 12 2012   4:53PM GMT

Panaceas for everything!



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Tags:
commonly misused words
word meanings

What’s wrong with the following sentence?

Hard drive encryption is not a panacea for all data security problems.

 

Well, if it isn’t our old friend, reduncancy. A panacea is a solution for all problems, so we don’t have to say “for all data security problems” because if it’s a panacea for data security problems, it’s a solution for all of them, by definition.

Panacea comes to us through Greek mythology, where she was the goddess of universal remedy. She also had four sisters. From Wikipedia:

Panacea and her four sisters each performed a facet of Apollo’s art: Panacea (the goddess of Universal remedy), Hygieia (“Hygiene” the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation ), Iaso (the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (the goddess of the healing process), and Aglæa/Ægle (the goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, magnificence, and adornment).

I’m thinking Panacea is a nice name, and goddess of universal remedy a good gig… but I’d hold out for “goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, magnificence, and adornment.”

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

 

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