By RANDY KENNEDY
Perhaps not since John F. Kennedy has a presidency so fanned the flames of painterly ardor among artists.
In “Only Goodness” Sudha, who is working on her second master’s degree at the London School of Economics, wonders at the bizarre “lack of emotion” in her parents’ marriage, which was “neither happy nor unhappy” and seemingly devoid of both bitterness and ardor, but she finds her own marriage to an Englishman foundering upon her failure to tell him a family secret.
- Fiery intensity of feeling. See synonyms at passion.
- Strong enthusiasm or devotion; zeal: “The dazzling conquest of Mexico gave a new impulse to the ardor of discovery” (William Hickling Prescott).
- Intense heat or glow, as of fire.
[Middle English ardour, from Old French, from Latin ārdor, from ārdēre, to burn.]
founder Show phonetics
1 (especially of a boat) to fill with water and sink:
The ferry foundered in a heavy storm, taking many of the passengers and crew with it.
2 to be unsuccessful:
Teaching computers to read and write has always foundered on the unpredictable human element in language.
flounder (HAVE DIFFICULTY) Show phonetics
to experience great difficulties or be completely unable to decide what to do or say next:
He lost the next page of his speech and floundered (about/around) for a few seconds.
Although his business was a success, his marriage was floundering.
In 1986 Richardson resigned as chairman, leaving the company floundering.
(from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
v., -dered, -der·ing, -ders. v.intr.
- To sink below the surface of the water: The ship struck a reef and foundered.
- To cave in; sink: The platform swayed and then foundered.
- To fail utterly; collapse: a marriage that soon foundered.
- To stumble, especially to stumble and go lame. Used of horses.
- To become ill from overeating. Used of livestock.
- To be afflicted with laminitis. Used of horses.
To cause to founder.n.
[Middle English foundren, to sink to the ground, from Old French fondrer, from Vulgar Latin *funderāre, from *fundus, *funder-, bottom, from Latin fundus, fund-.]
USAGE NOTE The verbs founder and flounder are often confused. Founder comes from a Latin word meaning “bottom” (as in foundation) and originally referred to knocking enemies down; it is now also used to mean “to fail utterly, collapse.” Flounder means “to move clumsily, thrash about,” and hence “to proceed in confusion.” If John is foundering in Chemistry 1, he had better drop the course; if he is floundering, he may yet pull through.