Sunday, October 4, 2009

-ity Virtues and –ity Vices

After H. David Burton’s talk today about –ity virtues, I became curious about what –ity words were out there and what an examination of their definitions could teach me. I found a lot of –ity words, both virtues and vices. So I decided to list them all, find out their definitions, and group them and order them. Lo and behold, I started to see some patterns. (Definitions are taken from my Oxford American Dictionary widget for Macintosh. (Also, some definitions are adapted and synthesized from root words.)) Note the progressions of word and definitions.

-ity Virtues

maturity – the state, fact, or period of being mature. Fully developed physically, full-grown. Having reached an advanced stage of mental or emotional development characteristic of an adult. Careful and thorough in planning and thought. Implies gaining wisdom, experience, or sophistication as well as adulthood.
nobility – the quality of being noble in character, mind, birth, or rank. Showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals
sanctity – the state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly; ultimate importance and invioluability
sublimity – of much excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration and awe
eternity – infinite or unending time, a state in which time has no application, endless life after death, used euphemistically to refer to death,
divinity – the state or quality of being divine, study of religion

legality – the quality or state of being in accordance with the law
authority – the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience; the right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another
dignity – state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect, composed or serious manner or style, self-respect
inviolability – never to be broken, infringed, or dishonored
solemnity – the state of being serious and dignified
gravity – extreme or alarming importance, seriousness or solemnity of manner
equity – quality of being fair and impartial
docility – ready to accept control and instruction, submissive

morality – principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior, behavior as affected by these principles, a particular system of values or principles of conduct, the extent to which an action is right or wrong, behavior or qualities judged to be good

verity – a true principle or belief especially one of fundamental importance
veracity – conformity to facts, accuracy, habitual truthfulness
integrity – the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness, the state of being whole and undivided, unified, unimpaired, sound in construction, internal consistency or lack of corruption
sincerity – free from pretense or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings of a person saying what they genuinely feel or believe, not dishonest or hypocritical
tenacity – not readily letting go of, giving up, or separated from an object that one holds, a position, or principle; not easily dispelled or discouraged, persisting in existence or a course of action
sedulity – showing dedication and diligence

purity – freedom from adulteration or contamination, freedom from immorality, especially of a sexual nature
chastity – the state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially all sexual intercourse
fidelity – faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support; sexual faithfulness to a spouse; the degree of exactness with which something is copied or reproduced

sagacity – having or showing good judgment
clarity – quality of being clear, in particular, quality of coherence and intelligibility, quality of being certain or definite, quality of transparency or purity
lucidity – expressed clearly; easy to understand; showing ability to think clearly especially in periods of confusion
assiduity – constant or close attention to what one is doing
brevity – concise and exact use of words in writing or speech
curiosity- a strong desire to learn or know something,

vitality – the state of being strong or active, energy; the power to give continuance of life, present in all living things
salubrity – health-giving, healthy
ability – capacity to do something, talent that allows someone to achieve a great deal, a level of mental power
capacity – the ability or power to do, experience, or understand something
activity – the condition in which things are happening or things are being done
agility – able to move quickly and easily
alacrity – brisk and cheerful readiness
celerity - quickness
dexterity – skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands

frugality – sparing or economical with regard to money or food; simple, plain, or costing little
utility – state of being useful, profitable, beneficial. A measure of that which is sought to be maximized in any situation involving a choice, useful, able to perform several functions
ingenuity – the quality of being clever, original, and inventive

diversity – the state of being diverse, variety; a range of different things
unity – a state of being united or joined as a whole, harmony or agreement between people or groups, forming a complete and pleasing whole
community – feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals
amity – a friendly relationship
affinity – a spontaneous liking or sympathy for someone or something, relationship especially by marriage rather than blood ties, degree to which a substance tends to combine with another
joviality – cheerful or friendly
lenity – kindness, gentleness
geniality – friendly and cheerful, pleasantly mild or warm
charity – voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money to those in need, an organization set up to do so, kindness and tolerance in judging others, love of humankind typically in a Christian context

humility – a modest or low view of one’s own importance. A low sense of pride
civility – formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech, polite remarks used in formal conversation. In early use, it denoted good citizenship and orderly behavior
urbanity – showing courteousness and refinement of manner

felicity – intense happiness, ability to find appropriate expression for one’s thoughts, particularly effective feature of a work of literature or art
jollity – lively or cheerful activity or celebration
jocosity – playful or humorous

stability – the state of being stable. Not likely to change or fail; firmly established.
serenity – state of being calm, peaceful, untroubled
placidity – not easily upset or excited

-ity Vices

vanity – excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements. The quality of being worthless or futile
pomposity – affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important
uppity – self-important, arrogant
indignity – treatment or circumstances that cause one to feel shame or to lose one’s dignity
disunity – disagreement or conflict within a group
enmity – the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something
hostility – unfriendliness or opposition
animosity – strong hostility
malignity – evil in nature or effect: malevolent; speaking about someone in a spiteful and critical manner
acidity – the bitterness or sharpness of a person’s remarks or tone
severity – (of something bad or undesirable) very great, intense; strict or harsh
asperity – harshness of tone or manner
pugnacity – eager or quick to quarrel
lividity – furiously angry
morbidity – characterized by or appealing to an abnormal and unhealthy interest in disturbing and unpleasant subjects especially death and disease.
brutality – savagely violent, without any attempt to disguise unpleasantness
ferocity – the state of being savagely fierce, cruel, or violent
barbarity – extreme cruelty or brutality, absence of culture or civilization

laxity – not sufficiently strict or severe, careless, relaxed, loose, involving laziness or indifference
ambiguity – uncertainty or inexactness of meaning, lack of decisiveness or commitment resulting from a failure to make a choice between alternatives
velleity – having a wish not strong enough to lead to action
passivity – accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance, made unreactive, containing no force
futility – incapable of producing any useful result, pointless

vacuity – having or showing a lack of thought or intelligence, mindless
stupidity – lacking intelligence or common sense, unable to think clearly
vapidity – offering nothing that is stimulating and challenging
banality – so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring
inanity – silly, stupid
fatuity – silly, pointless
puerility – childishly silly or trivial
frivolity – not having any serious purpose or value
tenuity – lack of solidity or substance, thinness
levity – humor or frivolity, especially the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking of respect
salacity – manner of treating sexual matters indecently, indicating undue interest or enjoyment in the subject
profanity – blasphemous or obscene language, oaths, irreligious or irreverent behavior. Not sacred.
vulgarity – lacking in sophistication and good taste, unrefined. Making explicit and offensive reference to sex or bodily functions: coarse and rude.
obscenity – an extremely offensive word or expression, (of the portrayal or description of sexual matters) offensively or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency. Offensive to moral principles. Repugnant.
impurity – condition of being mixed with foreign matter, adulterated, dirty, morally wrong especially in sexual matters, defiled or contaminated according to ritual perscriptions
crudity – in a natural or raw state, not yet processed or refined, not adjusted or corrected, constructed in a rudimentary or makeshift way. (of an action) showing little finesse or subtlety and as a result unlikely to succeed. (of language, behavior, or a person) offensively coarse or rude especially in relation to sexual matters
carnality – relating to especially sexual, needs and activities
iniquity – immoral or grossly unfair behavior
depravity – moral corruption, wickedness

cupidity – greed for money or possessions
rapacity – marked by greed, grasping
inequity – lack of fairness or justice
disparity – a great difference (economic)
paucity – scarcity of something

falsity – not according with truth or fact; incorrect. Not according with rules or law. Appearing to be the thing denoted: deliberately made or meant to deceive. Artificial, feigned, illusory, not actually so. Treacherous, unfaithful
rascality – a mischievous person or cheeky person or child, a dishonest person
mendacity – untruthful
duplicity – deceitfulness, double-dealing
venality – susceptible to bribery
dacoity – an act of armed robbery commited by a gang in India or Burma

This shows me that there is progression in virtues and regression in vices.


Tony said...

Thank you for this! I too was touched and impressed upon by Bishop Burton's talk. Looks like I have my work cut out for me :)

If you wouldn't mind checking out my blog, I just recently updated it today with some of my own conference experiences. :D

Jennifer O. said...

WOW - thanks for taking the time to do this. It's fabulous, and I think there is great meaning in arranging them the way you did.

Unknown said...

I loved Bishop Burton's talk especially with all the 'ity's. My name is Felicity so this is very special for me. He often talks at Conference so I look forward to seeing him. Thanks for all the other words. I am going to download and keep them - they are valuable and we can all learn from them.