elixir

Discussion in 'English Only' started by soul2soul, May 29, 2013.

  1. soul2soul Senior Member

    hindi
    Hello,

    Can elixir be used in the following context-

    The blissful ambience, the holistic therapies are a magical elixir..

    This is in reference to a spa.

    Thank you.
     
  2. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    An elixir is a drink. Except in poetry, you would need to say 'like a magical elixir'.
     
  3. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    I think this use of elixir seems in keeping with the context, actually: 'the holistic therapies are a magical elixir'. An elixir is not just a drink, any more than a tonic is just a drink.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  4. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    This seems to be another case of dictionaries not keeping up with the times.

    Like Wandle, I would not think of "elixir" as anything but a drink - even in mindless bumph.
     
  5. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    For me, an elixir is a magical potion not a drink.
     
  6. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    potion /ˈpəʊʃən/n
    • a drink, esp of medicine, poison, or some supposedly magic beverage
    • a rare word for beverage

    :rolleyes:
     
  7. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    A drink of some magical beverage. Exactly. ;)
    What beverage (drink) are you thinking of that you have called "elixir"? Do you go down to the local bar and down a few mugs of elixir?
     
  8. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Well, you might :D. [h=1]Reed's Elixir Energy Drink, Natural, 12-Ounce (Pack of 24)[/h]
    We certainly don't immerse ourselves in one such as the spa mentioned by the OP :D
     
  9. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    Do you not think they're implying that it has "special" medical/magical properties? Or do you really read that as being a "Reed's Drink Energy Drink". ;)
    You can compare the results of the spa to the effects of drinking a magical potion. It's perfectly normal metaphorical language. The spa is breath of fresh air. That sort of thing.
     
  10. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    elixir: "2. anything that purports to be a sovereign remedy; panacea"
     
  11. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Certainly. I was just having a bit of sport.
    No matter what this or any other dictionary says, I would not suggest that in modern usage, elixir is anything other than a liquid to be swallowed.
     
  12. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    A liquid with magical, medical, or special properties which would produce an effect. The effect can be compared to the effect of something that is not a liquid to be swallowed. Using the name of the thing to imply the effect of the thing is a standard literary device. A drug which produces an inebriating effect like drinking a bottle of whiskey can be compared to whiskey even though it is a pill rather than a beverage.
     
  13. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I agree with Myridon.

    For example, some advertising hyperbole from Facebook about a music group:

    https://www.facebook.com/Nickelback/info
    With almost 45 million sold worldwide, music fans remain thirsty for the vicarious thrills of Nickelback's newest intoxicating elixir.

    Nickelback doesn't sell drinks; they make music.
     
  14. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    It is easier to imagine music as a magical draught than 'holistic therapies' or 'ambience'.
    The latter embrace you or enfold you: the former is something you take in.
     
  15. MikeNewYork

    MikeNewYork Senior Member

    New York, New York, USA
    English-American
    The language with "an elixir' is a metaphor, and it works for me. The proposed language "Like an elixir" is a simile also works for me. The sentence is talking about an effect, not a particular form.
     
  16. soul2soul Senior Member

    hindi
    A great discussion happening there..Interesting to see how a (usage of a) word can evoke such varied and strong responses, which I think contributes to the dynamism of a language.
    Well, I'd go with Myridon. In my sentence the word 'elixir' conveys the notion of magic, something beyond the ordinary, a remedy for all ailments - panacea, and I think in the context, it quite clearly conveys that as opposed to if I had used -
    ' The blissful ambience, the holistic therapies are a magical DRINK.'
    Well now HERE, its not quite what I have in mind to convey, is it? ;)
    ..and thanks everyone for the inputs.. :)
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013

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