Germany and France became founding members of the European Coal and Steel Community, and later the Common Market, the predecessor of the European Union.

In 1963, President Charles De Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer took the first steps towards a French-German "axis" in Europe, signing the Elysee Treaty, the anniversary of which was celebrated last year with much pomp and circumstance.

The relationship has depended to a certain extent on the personal chemistry between the countries' leaders. Mr Kohl and Mr Mitterrand got on well, Mr Schroeder and Mr Chirac less so, at least in the beginning.

But the alliance is driven by a strong dynamic: Germany's enduring need for atonement and acceptance, and France's fear of Germany becoming too powerful. Close ties serve both purposes admirably.

Is it idiomatic to say pomp and circumstance? I have heard pomp and glory. The word circumstance is a noun which means conditon or fact; You might find some other words to describe circumstance.

For example, we say under the present circumstances one can or cannot go ahead with some event.

What is pomp and circumstance?
Full Member387
it just means a great deal of ceremony - but it isn't used like that in any other case - only in this one phrase ...

your question made me wonder about the history of this usage, and I found this precise reference to your question on an etymology site:

circumstance - 12c., from L. circumstantia "surrounding condition," derived from circumstare "stand around," from circum "around" + stare "to stand."

Obsolete sense of "formality about an important event" (c.1386) lingers in Shakespeare's phrase pomp and circumstance ("Othello" III, iii).

so now we know - it is a phrase from over 600 years ago, subsequently immortalised by Shakespeare adn presumably still in use because it serves a purpose.
Full Member465
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
I believe that it is idiomatic to use POMP and circumstance to refer to a ceremonial formality surrounding an event. The phrase does have a respectable pedigree. For instance, It is the title given by Elgar (quoting Act 3 of Shakespeare's Othello) to a set of 5 marches that are now completely identified with the style of event they served.
Full Member252
Live chat
Registered users can join here