Remember the book Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift? (Or maybe you saw the movie?) In the story, Gulliver visits a place called Laputa, where people are doing ridiculous things like trying to extract sunbeams out of cucumbers and (prepare yourself!) trying to turn poop back into food.
So, anything Laputan is extremely absurd and impractical.
luh PYOO tun
Part of speech:
You always capitalize proper adjectives, like “Korean,” “Shakespearean,” and “Christian." (Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.” They can be used in two ways: 1. Right before a noun, as in “a Laputan vision.” 2. After a linking verb, as in "Their vision is Laputan.”)
"Laputan" is also a noun, meaning the person who's Laputan by nature.
You can use "Laputically" if you need an adverb.
How to use it:
This word always has a negative tone. And, even though Gulliver's Travels is often considered a kids' book, it's also a great work of social satire, meaning that "Laputan" has a literary tone-- be sure that your situation calls for it.
Talk about Laputan dreams, goals, visions, and ideas; Laputan expectations or hopes; Laputan plans; Laputan people (like Laputan philosophers or Laputan politicians,) and so on.
Her head is as far up in the clouds as the floating island of Laputa... and her latest Laputan plan is to rise to fame and wealth by singing karaoke. Somehow.
Do you bring your Laputan student back down to earth when he writes about how he's building a robot that will end crime, hunger, and poverty--or do you simply encourage his intentions?
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "Laputan" means when you can explain it without saying "ridiculous" or "visionary."
Think of something impossible that you wanted to accomplish when you were younger, and fill in the blank: "I still sometimes recall my Laputan (dream to) / (expectation that) _____."
Example: "I still sometimes recall my Laputan expectation from childhood that if I concentrated hard enough, I could make myself invisible."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're sampling questions from Orijinz, an awesome series of games about the origins of words, phrases, and quotes. Click here if you want to check them out. They're compact--perfect for stockings. Just saying. :) Try a question here each day this month, and see the right answer the next day. Have fun!
"Guess the word!
Origin: This process, first popularized in the early 1800s, involved casting solid metal printing plates. The fixed nature of the metal plates eventually influenced a much broader meaning for the word: a simplified and pre-conceived conception or image of a person or group perpetuated over time."
"The word is: Stereotype.
Tidbit: The Greek word stereos means 'solid.'”
"Guess the fictional character [who spoke these lines]!
'Nothing spoils fun like finding out it builds character.'
'I won’t eat any cereal that doesn’t turn the milk purple.'
'I’m thinking of starting my own talk radio show. I’ll spout simplistic opinions for hours on end, ridicule anyone who disagrees with me, and generally foster divisiveness, cynicism, and a lower level of public dialogue!... Imagine getting paid to act like a six-year-old!'
'You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help.'”
A Point Well Made:
T. S. Eliot: “Fortunate the man who, at the right moment meets the right friend; fortunate also the man who at the right moment meets the right enemy.”
1. The opposite of LAPUTAN is
2. They're still working on their latest Laputan _____.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.