Our transition to our new theme repeats the ana- and cata- prefixes we saw yesterday. Anadromous is used far more often than catadromous, perhaps for the reason given in our first quote. Our final quote is a pretty metaphor, but did the author confuse the two words?
anadromous – migrating 'up', from the sea to fresh water, to spawn (e.g., salmon)
. . .[grilse – a salmon that has returned to fresh water after a single winter at sea]
catadromous – migrating 'down', from fresh water to the sea, to spawn (e.g., most eels)
– Longview (WA) Daily News, Feb. 9, 2007
As everyone saw last summer, this resulted in low water conditions and a run of pathetically small and thin grilse returning to most of our rivers.
– Glasgow Daily Record, Jan. 19, 2007
Whether caused by global warming or galloping affluence, Alberta’s fly fishermen are becoming increasingly anadromous: after a summer in fresh water, schools of them are drawn down to the salt water.
– Brooks Bulletin (Canada), Jan. 16, 2007
phreatic – of or relating to groundwater
[Greek phrear well, spring. Related words are brew; ferment; fervor, from the sense of 'to bubble; to boil'.]
– Arab Times, Oct. 5, 2006
Here, a phreatic passage, formed ages before by water under great pressure, cut laterally through thehlimestone cavern he was following.
– Lincoln Child, Douglas Preston, Still Life With Crows
[Akin to wade. Of particular concern as to water pollution.]
– Encyclopedia Britannica
What a great theme!
Lek isn't exactly a water-word, but it's similar. At the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago a female red bird of paradise is nesting on 2 peach-colored eggs mottled with red spots that could hatch this week. The male birds congregate in "leks"...or clearings in lush rainforests (thus the water word implication!), which scientists call the "singles bar." I loved their description of the scene: 2-10 males at a time preen and hop around, showing off their plumage. "Bending over, they spread their wings in the 'butterfly dance,' blinking their eyelids and making a racket with buzzes, chirps and whistles." Apparently the females pick out the sexiest of them all. Not much different from a singles bar, now that I think about it.
quote: Apparently the females pick out the sexiest of them all.
How perceptive of you to notice that as in humans, it is females who do the selecting -- notwithstanding the male belief to the contrary. (Interesting article here.)
Edit: Here is Kalleh's article, no registration required.
The reader may ponder whether two more sentences in the article also apply to humans:
It turns out that lek is not a rainforest word, but rather a sexual one -- which makes it far more interesting. I'll start a new thread about it.
Maybe not. But it is a great Scrabble word. Why?
1) It's short. Any Scrabble champ will tell you that the secret to winning is to learn the short words. The long ones are purely serendipitous, and therefore unreliable.
2) It has a "K". A valuable letter to get on a triple.
3. It's such an obscure word that lotsa players don't believe it's really a word and will challenge it and lose their turn. Most good Scrabble players are people with heads full of such (otherwise useless) information.
bilge – 1. the rounded low part of a ship’s hull, curving to meet the vertical sides; also, the area it encloses.
thus: 2. the dirty water that collects there.
thus: 3. nonsense; rubbish.
(## 2 and 3 also called 'bilge water')
– p2pnet.net, Canada, Jan. 29, 2007
Albert Edwards, a contrarian strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort, dismisses the excess-liquidity argument as "lies, rhubarb, poppycock, bilge and utter nonsense".
. . . .Which is to say, he disagrees with it.
– Economist, Jan. 29, 2007
Having grown up near the coast, I was charmed when I first heard the word riparian, meaning relating to a river. It had never occurred to me that someone living on a river might not have the right to use the river water, but that is so, unless you have riparian rights. There are constant legal battles in the American Southwest regarding riparian rights.
Thank you, missann. I'm enjoying it too.
sparge – a sprinkle (verb: 1. to spray or sprinkle 2. to introduce air or gas into [a liquid])
– Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 20, 2002
Husbands, fighting to keep afloat, called their wives, but in the black bowl of sky, and blacker sea, no one could identify another, and soon their chins flipped up and disappeared in a sparge of foam.
– Charles Johnson, Middle Passage
In my little corner of Canada we have this ancient, charming, and popular law that mandates a 10 metre (historically, it was 10 yards) easement or public right-of-way around all waterways, freshwater or saltwater. In effect, you can't own a beach or a river or a stream. Provided I have a fishing license, I can fish where I want. I can land my canoe wherever I want. I can walk any beach I want. Very egalitarian, I think.
clepsydra – a clock that marks time by the flow of water through a small opening (sometimes called a water glass)
[from Greek for 'water thief', the 'thief' part being the same root as in kleptomaniac.]
We'll give usage examples both figurative and literal.
– John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat
Problem was, after years of use, the water wore the hole larger, so the clepsydra gradually became less and less accurate. Which is why you seldom hear the word these days unless you happen to own one, and if you do, that probably explains why your wife keeps telling you she's sick and tired of waiting on street corners for you when she could be inside, buying something.
– What if we spelled all words phonetically?, Newton Kansan, May 12, 1999
I've seen this statement many times and don't believe it. Water on its own does not wear solid materials to any significant degree; it's only when solids are in suspension that wear takes place. Clepsydra are not all that accurate for various reasons but wear of the escape aperture is not one of them.
The wear that takes place in the escapement mechanism of mechanical clocks is far greater than any wear that the water in a clepsydra will cause. Just think, a traditional wrist watch ticks 432,000 times every DAY and each tick is the sound of metal hitting metal (or metal hitting a jewel in better timepieces). But even the cheapest watches will run for a couple of years (that's over 315 million metal to metal impacts) before the wear is sufficient for them to become inaccurate. My own watch, with a jewelled movement, is still accurate to within a minutes a week or better - and it will have been running for 40 years almost without pause come the 24th of this month. To suggest that a drip of water passing through a hole in glass or ceramic will cause wear in a rate in excess of that caused by such mechanical impacts is, quite frankly, not believable.
And in any case, clepsydra could be made adjustable by the simple device of having a variable size aperture - as is still done today to regulate the flow of fuel through a carburettor. Any aperture wear could be very easily compensated for.
natant – floating or swimming in water [Wordcrafter note: I think it has the implication of 'lying flat'.]
[from Latin for 'to swim'. Think of the more-familiar word natatorium – an indoor swimming pool.]
– John Ruskin, Proserpina. Ariadne Florentina. The Opening of the Crystal Palace
[reviewing a play] Frank, let's face it, is an emotionally stunted zombie these days. An excellent swimmer, he only seems happy -- and free -- when in water. … "On a Clear Day" is … a sincere if predictable tale of post-natant redemption, swimming with, as well against the tide.
– Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 2, 2006
aspergill; aspergillum – an instrument, such as a brush or a perforated container, for sprinkling holy water
aspersorium – 1. an aspergill 2. the basin or other vessel for holy water
– Michael Chabon, The Final Solution: A Story of Detection
They dipped the aspergillum in the copper bowl and sprinkled objects and people – the pylon, the cable, the pulleys, Zorba and me, and, finally, the peasants, workmen and the sea itself.
– Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek
Well, it's a hypothesis. Personally I don't find it terribly implausible. The water available to the ancients was not British tap water and probably did have a lot of minerals in suspension. Ancient pottery was considerably softer than 20th century metal gears; ancient metal also corroded more easily. The aperture didn't necessarily get larger, it may have gotten smaller as a result of mineral deposition. Without experimental results, I don't think this myth is busted.
The ancients had both copper and bronze - materials still used in horology. Neither material corrodes easily and I doubt very much that the most murky water would wear clepsydra's apertures to any significant degree. I accept that it might restrict the flow through mineral deposition, but that's not the claim that was made in the posting.
Does the swim root of natant merge at some point with the birth root of nature, nee, nascent, etc.
Cerebroplegia--the cure is within our grasp
I'm still not convinced. We're not talking about eroding a canyon here, just making a tiny hole slightly less tiny.
In medicine Aspergillus is a fungus having sporophores with a bristly, knoblike top. It originates from aspergillum, though I am not sure why.
I agree. But erosion of a small hole in a hard material, by a very slight flow of water will be very slight. Far slighter than the wear occasioned by metal to metal contact on the escapement of a mechanical timepiece. But nobody ever says that mechanical timepieces are inherently inaccurate because of the wear on the escapement.
Clepsydra are poor timekeepers for various reasons: obstruction of the aperture by foreign bodies in the water; differential pressure as the head of water reduces, leading to advanced time at the beginning of the cycle and retarded time at its end; evaporation of water leading to varying pressure errors; position variation causing flow variation.
There are so many intrinsic faults with the system that there is no need to invent another one.
Lime deposits plugging up the hole. That's why we have to replace hot water heaters every so many years.
Cerebroplegia--the cure is within our grasp
<slapping himself on forehead icon>
Of course! The problem wouldn't be the hole getting larger; it would be the hole getting smaller.
Why didn't I think of that?
As I said in my last. One of the known problems of clepsidera. Which is why I consider the "wear of the hole" to be an oft-repeated myth that most don't even bother to think about, let alone check.
A thread on urban myths would be a good one were it not for the fact that Snopes has already done a similar thing.
The metal-on-metal argument is a red herring. It's not the water that erodes, but the silicon dioxide (sand) in suspension, which is much harder than either copper or bronze. Try introducing some very fine sand into the works and see if your watch still keeps time.
You may very well be correct, but in the absence of actual data I'll keep an open mind.
As I said in my first posting on this topic, "...Water on its own does not wear solid materials to any significant degree; it's only when solids are in suspension that wear takes place...."
But even if the ancients were incapable of undertaking the simple process of filtration (which I very much doubt) the flow of water through a clepsydra aperture is very slow and at very low pressure. (just a few drops a minute) and the effect of solids in suspension would be to block the aperture long before any significant wear takes place.
It would be very easy to prove; just get a container with a hole in it and fill it with sandy water. Then wait as it drips out. If the wear is as significant as the repeaters of this myth claim, then you'll find that the hole wears significantly larger within a few weeks. It won't - it might block with the sand but it won't wear.
Don't confuse clepsydra with the action of high pressure water-borne abrasives as used to clean up metal. In clepsydra we are talking about drips of essentially pure water, not high-pressure jets of special abrasives.