Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Seeing Red Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted
It seems natural to follow last week's "sounds" theme with a "sights" theme. We'll focus on the color red, with respite from the highly-unusual words we've had the last few weeks.

rubric1. a part of a book, such as a title, heading, or initial letter, set in decorative red lettering or otherwise distinguished from the rest of the text.
Presumably this is the source for:
2a. a title; a name; b. a class or category

rubricate – to mark in red. (also religion: to place in the calendar as a red-letter saint)

An aside: The term "red-letter day" originates with the tradition of marking holy days in a church calendar in red.
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Wordcrafter, what a marvelous theme for this week...especially since I am seeing red here today! Mad
 
Posts: 23300 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
red tide – brownish-red discoloration in seawater, due to proliferation of certain plankton.

Toxins that red tides produce kill many fish; they accumulate in shellfish, which is why one must be careful of eating them at certain times of the year. There is some thought that red tides are stimulated by human discharge of nutrients, particularly phosphorus, in the area.

See links for further discussion, and for a dramatic photo of a red tide off Texas three years ago.
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
cherry pick – to unfairly select only the desired items
quote:
[Under proposed legislation,] Medicare would have to bid against private plans. Democrats say Medicare won't be able to compete, because private plans will cherry-pick healthy seniors, sticking the government with sick beneficiaries who have the biggest medical bills.
- Mike Soraghan, Denver Post Washington Bureau July 15, 2003

Now that I have become an Assistant Editor at the OED, ... It has become clear to me that a poet can't simply cherry-pick the most elegant but obscure words.
- Giles Goodland, in Oxford English Dictionary News, September 2002
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I uunderstand the picking part, but why is it cherry-pick? What's so special about cherries?
 
Posts: 1184Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Just a thought: Oftentimes the cherry on the top of an ice cream treat, or other desert, is picked off and eaten first, as a delicacy.
 
Posts: 23300 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
red-pencil – to censor, cut, revise, or correct with or as if with a red pencil
(compare blue-pencil – to edit, revise, or correct with or as if with a blue pencil)
quote:
The British had seized control of the Mideast after World War I, taking it from the Turkish Ottoman Empire, which had been allied with the Kaiser's Germany. It was great fun for Churchill to be a master geopolitico, sitting in London red-penciling maps, but there was a catch: Nobody had consulted the Arabs.
-- James Pinkerton, Another Winston Churchill, in The Cincinnati Post, March 15, 2003. An interesting column, musing on comparisons of Mr. Blair to Mr. Churchill
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
roborant – a strengthening, restoring drug; a tonic (adj: restoring vigor or strength)

Another form of this word is roberate: to strengthen; to corroborate.
From the same root are corroberate, robust and rambunctious.

But in what way are these "red" words? Their source, the Latin robus red oak (which grew from Indo-European reudh- red, ruddy), branched to mean both "oak" and "strength".
quote:
Elk antlers (Panti) are considered to be of great value in China traditional medicine as roborant and rejuvenating preparation.
- Hunting Cookery; E. Nikashina, compiler
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of WinterBranch
posted Hide Post
from American Psychological Association: "The main conclusions of the study are basic: that color perception is not as rigid and inflexible as was thought before," says the study's lead author, Emre Ozgen, PhD. "This is the first time that it's been shown that a new perceptual color category boundary can actually be induced through laboratory training."

Also: In 1969, using the original stimulus set of Lenneberg and Roberts (1956), B&K compared the denotation of basic color terms in twenty languages and, based on these findings, examined decriptions of seventy-eight additional languages from the literature. They reported that there are universals in the semantics of color: the major color terms of all languages are focussed on one of eleven landmark colors. Further, they postulated an evolutionary sequence for the development of color lexicons according to which black and white precede red, red precedes green and yellow, green and yellow precede blue, blue precedes brown and brown precedes purple, pink, orange and gray.

[This message was edited by wordcrafter on Fri Aug 22nd, 2003 at 20:20.]
 
Posts: 222 | Location: TexasReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
red herring – something intended to divert attention from the real problem or matter at hand

Etymology: Herring was an extremely common food fish for England's poor. Red herring was herring preserved by salting and smoking it until it turned dry, hard and red.

How did the metaphoric sense arise? Almost all sources agree that because red herring had a strong smell, it was used to distract bloodhounds from the trail. (The sources differ as to who so used it: fleeing fugatives, citizens opposed to fox-hunting, or dog-trainers teaching the hounds to ignore distraction.)

But Quinion's fascinating article casts doubt that view of the etymology. Quinion points out that this metaphoric use of "red herring" does not appear in the record until 1884, long after both fox-hunting and red herring (the fish) were common.
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
redactor - an editor who's been blacklisted ?
 
Posts: 5590 | Location: Worcester, MA, USReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
erythrism – unusual redness of plumage or hair (in humans, often accompanied by a ruddy complexion). Coined 1864 from Greek eruthros red; caused by excessive red pigmentation

Here is a picture of an erythric leopard.

Of several terms for pigment abnormalities, the sole familiar one is albinism – whiteness due to absence of pigment. Some others, according to the web:
  • leucism – insufficient pigment, resulting in paleness
  • melanism – excess dark pigment
  • erythrism – excess red pigment
  • xanthism (also Flavism) – excess yellow pigment
I also find on the Web:
excessive yellow: both xanthochroism and xanthochromism
excessive red: erythrochroism but not erythrohromism
Who said language has to be logical?
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Interestingly, there is a skin condition, characterized by patches of unpigmented skin, called "vitiligo." My roommate had it when I was in college, and it definitely challenged her self image. It is an acquired disease.
 
Posts: 23300 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 


Copyright © 2002-12