Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Pyrrhic \ˈpir-ik\ adjective: 1. achieved at excessive cost {a Pyrrhic victory}, 2. costly to the point of negating or outweighing expected benefits {a great but Pyrrhic act of ingenuity}

Etymology: Pyrrhus, king of Epirus who sustained heavy losses in defeating the Romans

I was introduced to this word by a film critic who used it to describe the Quay Brothers’ Institute Benjamenta. He wrote that the filmmakers’ success in capturing a certain mood or atmosphere in that picture came at the expense of narrative flow and character development.

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