Did You Know?
Gargantua is the name of a giant king in François Rabelais's 16th-century satiric novel Gargantua, the second part of a five-volume series about the giant and his son Pantagruel. All of the details of Gargantua's life befit a giant. He rides a colossal mare whose tail switches so violently that it fells the entire forest of Orleans. He has an enormous appetite: in one memorable incident, he inadvertently swallows five pilgrims while eating a salad. The scale of everything connected with Gargantua gave rise to the adjective gargantuan, which since William Shakespeare's time has been used of anything of tremendous size or volume.
"In 1920, the town council of Chamonix … decided to change the municipality's name to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, thus forging an official link to the mountain … with a summit that soars 12,000 feet above the town center. The council's goal was to prevent their Swiss neighbors from claiming the mountain's glory, but there was really no need: It's impossible when you're in Chamonix to ignore the gargantuan, icy beauty that looms overhead." — Paige McClanahan, The New York Times, 13 Dec. 2018
"Due to our gargantuan scope, Houston is a haven for live music. As the nation's fourth largest city, we have become a destination for touring acts by default—it certainly isn't because of our collective reputation as an audience…." — Matthew Keever, The Houston Press, 17 Dec. 2018
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