Friday, April 18, 2008

Word for Today

abulia \uh-BOO-lee-uh; uh-BYOO-\, noun:

Loss or impairment of the ability to act or to make decisions.

I was suffering from an aboulia, you know. I couldn't seem to make decisions.
-- Anatole Broyard, "Reading and Writing; (Enter Pound and Eliot)", New York Times, May 30, 1982
There's little escape from her black hole of abulia.
-- James Saynor, "Woman in the Midst of a Nervous Breakdown", New York Times, June 12, 1994

Abulia derives from Greek a-, "without" + boule, "will." The adjective form is abulic.

1 comment:

  1. I am being an abouliac myself, but not on all things. In the last two weeks, I have bought many things, big things, costing many thousands of dollars. In all cases I have made my decision fairly easily. But for the life of me, I can't decide on a pair of shoes to get. In fact I need several pairs of new shoes. I have spent hours shopping for shoes, and nothing I have found is right. Or, more likely, many things I have found are right, I just can't actually buy them.

    Boola Boola, Boola Boola