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A Note on Magical Word Structure


While scanning through a lot of magic posts on tumblr, I’ve seen a lot of tags misusing suffixes. In particular “-mancy” gets used as a general term for magic works, I guess because it just sounds mystical in nature. As someone deeply in love with facts and the English language, such misappropriations van be a little off putting. With one simple search, it would be immediately and obviously revealed that -mancy specifically refers to forms of divination; i.e. cartomancy, the use of cards in divination.

The obvious exception is of course, ‘necromancy’. The term actual literally means ‘conferring with the dead as a mean to divine answers’, but modern media has bastardized the word into encompassing a strange hodgepodge of dark arts involving corspes. This is wholey inaccurate, and probably is the single reason for that abuse of -mancy. However, the fact that we study eclectic wisdom not typically included in modern academia, is no excuse to abandon higher study practices and formal education. And so, I present a brief list of suffixes and how they can and are applied to magic.

-Mancy: A form of divination.

(CRYSTALLOMANCY: Divination by crystal gazing.)

-Graphy: Writing or feild of study.

(TASSEOGRAPHY: Study of tea leaves)

-Tion: Action of.

(INCANTATION: Act of chanting.)

-Ology: Study of.

(NUMEROLOGY: Study of numbers.)

-Ism: Practice or system of.

(MYSTICISM: Practising mystic arts.)

-Ry: Occupation of.

(PALMISTRY: Work of reading palms.)

-Ic: Having characteristics of.

-Scopy/Scope: Examination of.

(HOROSCOPE: Examination of a time.)

-Sis: Action, state, condition, or process of.

(TELEKINESIS: Process of long distance psychic interaction.)

-Magy: A form of magic.

The suffix -Magy would be a much more logical end to a custom word describing a practice of magic, and far better than the overused -mancy. For instance, magic with technology would become ‘technomagy’. Magic involving thoughtforns would become ‘tulpamagy’. It’s a slight change in spelling and pronunciation, but a huge shift in meaning.

I hope this will clear up some confusion on not only naming of magic practises, but also understanding the meaning of names of existing practices. As always, I’ll update this post as I find more useful ideas, and I’ll probably also make an extensive list of magic related studies and words for reference purposes.

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