EDUCATION PLUS

How is the word ‘iconoclast' pronounced?



(S. Sundaram, Srirangam)

The ‘i' in the first syllable is pronounced like the letter ‘i'. The second syllable is pronounced like the word ‘con', and the following ‘o' is like the ‘a' in ‘china'. The final ‘a' sounds like the ‘a' in ‘apple', ‘ant', and ‘ass'.

The word is pronounced ‘i-KON-e-klast' with the stress on the second syllable. It comes from the Greek ‘eikonoklastes'; ‘eikon' means ‘image' and ‘klastes' means ‘breaker'. ‘Iconoclast' literally means someone who goes around breaking images.

The term was originally used to refer to people who went about destroying statues and other religious symbols in churches because they opposed idol worship. With the passage of time, the word began to refer to anyone who challenged the traditional beliefs and values that people accepted unquestioningly.

*Ravi is an iconoclast. He will have nothing to do with rituals.

S. UPENDRAN

upendrankye@gmail.com