- It's extremely difficult to imagine a realistic dystopia because we're so tempted to create a caricature.
- Orwell's genius was to take the theme of a totalitarian dystopia to the max.
- It is hardly surprising that a century of utopian dreams and coercive social engineering to achieve them should have been a century rich in imaginative dystopias.
utopia from mid 16th century:
The English scholar and statesman Sir Thomas More wrote Utopia in Latin in 1516, depicting an imaginary island enjoying a perfect social, legal, and political system. The name implies that such an ideal place exists ‘nowhere’, as More created it from Greek ou ‘not’, and topos ‘place’ the source of terms such as topography (mid 17th century), the arrangement of the physical features of an area. In the 17th century other writers started using utopia for other imaginary places where everything is perfect. The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia where everything is as bad as possible, a word formed in the late 18th century from Greek dus- ‘bad’, as if More had formed the word from Greek eu- ‘good’. Cacotopia or kakotopia (early 19th century) are less popular alternatives to dystopia. Topia has recently come to be used as a combining form for new words such as ecotopia, an ideal ecological world; motopia, a slightly misleading term as it means an ideal world where the use of cars is limited; pornotopia, the ideal setting for pornography; queuetopia, a far from ideal world of long queues; and subtopia, the ideal suburban world.
Words that rhyme with dystopiacornucopia, Ethiopia, myopia, subtopia, Utopia
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: dys|topia
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