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December 25, 2006, 09:11
wordcrafter
Graphic Words
This week's theme of "graphic language' is not what you may think. One meaning of graphic is 'describing nudity or sexual activity in detail.' But we will instead be looking at some obscure words from the Greek root graphe writing.

tachygraphy – shorthand; the art of rapid writing
[Sometimes refers to a particular sytem devised by Thomas Shelton in 1641.]
[Greek tachy- swift]

This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
December 26, 2006, 09:47
wordcrafter
chirography – handwriting; penmanship
[The word, once reasonably common, dropped out of use in the first few decades of the 20th century.]

This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
December 26, 2006, 10:42
Robert Arvanitis
...not to be confused with similar-sounding xerography ("dry writing"), the process of photocopying invented in 1938 by Chester Carlson. See for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerography.


RJA
December 26, 2006, 13:31
pearce
quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
chirography – handwriting; penmanship
[The word, once reasonably common, dropped out of use in the first few decades of the 20th century.][LIST]My grandfather's chirography was horrid.



Interesting word. Reminded me of chirugeon - a surgeon. The British graduating medical degree is MB.,ChB. (or BCh) where the ChB stands for Bachelor of Surgery; some Universities use the anglicised MB.,BS. I believe it comes to us through Old French cirurgien from Latin chirugus, a surgeon, from Greek Kyrugyos.

Chiron refers to the hand, and things manual; hence the link between handwriting and skill with the knife.
December 27, 2006, 07:16
wordcrafter
If chirography means 'handwriting', and the familiar word calligraphy means 'beautiful handwriting', then is there a word meaning 'bad handwriting'?

Of course.

cacography1. bad handwriting 2. bad spelling
December 28, 2006, 17:56
wordcrafter
Today's words name errors that can creep into a text that is copied and recopied by hand. You'll rarely see them outside of biblical or similar scholarship. Nonetheless, our final example will be a humorous tale, so bear with me.

dittography – a copyist's unintentional repetition of letter(s) or word(s)
haplography – a copyist's unintentional writing of letter(s) or word(s) once, when they should be repeated [This is the dictionary definition, but see below.]Sometimes a speaker may erroneously add a sound (athelete for athlete) or omit a sound ('cause for because). There are technical terms for this, but as I understand it those terms apply only to additions or omissions in speech.

For writings, we look to today's words. Now dittography does not mean a just any old written error of addition: it specifically means repeating what went before. What about haplography: does it mean any sort of written error-of-omission, or is it specifically a failure to repeat?

Well, folks, that's not clear. The dictionaries are split but generally take the latter view; while actual usage seems to take the former view that haplology is simply omission of letters in a text. An example is the title which a web-author gave to this story:
December 29, 2006, 20:27
wordcrafter
pantograph – a mechanical device for copying plans, diagrams, etc., on any desired scale. A stylus, tracing over the original, drives a pen that produces the copy.Bonus word: theodolite – a surveying instrument with a rotating telescope, for measuring horizontal and vertical angles
December 29, 2006, 23:23
neveu
The modern descendent of the theodolite is the descriptively-named total station.
December 30, 2006, 01:57
Richard English
A pantograph is also the name given to the device on an electric locomotive that collects current from the overhead wires.

I don't know why unless it's the fact that its movement is similar.


Richard English
December 30, 2006, 06:52
zmježd
the device on an electric locomotive that collects current from the overhead wires

According to this article in Wikipedia, the pantograph "was invented by the Key System shops for their commuter trains in the East Bay section of the San Francisco Bay Area in California." Since the pantograph drawing device was in use from the 17th century (though the word is only cited later in the late 18th century), it's safe to say that the train electricity collection device was so named because of its resemblance to the original pantograph. I live in the East Bay, and there's still a doublewide street called Key Route where the trains used to run between Richmond and Berkeley. These same trains used to have a long causeway which ended in piers for boarding commuter ferries which crossed over to San Francisco before the Bay Bridge was built in the '30s. If you read the pantograph article, there are other devices named pantograph because of their resemblance to the drawing device. The name pantograph is from Greek roots and means "all/total drawer".

[Corrected some verbiage. Also corrected some temporal nonsense.]

This message has been edited. Last edited by: zmježd,


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
December 30, 2006, 08:12
shufitz
quote:
Originally posted by neveu:
The modern descendent of the theodolite is the descriptively-named total station.
What's a total station?
December 30, 2006, 08:42
zmježd
What's a total station?

A total station.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
December 30, 2006, 19:10
wordcrafter
agraphia – inability to write (as a manifestation of brain-disease)

But here used in a non-medical context.
December 31, 2006, 09:31
wordnerd
quote:
Since the pantograph drawing device was in use from the 16th century ...
Edit: Your link shows the date as 1630 (that is, early 17th century). According to OED, the name pantograph did not arise until 1723. Earlier, the device was called a parallelogram.
December 31, 2006, 12:07
zmježd
Your link shows the date as 1630 (that is, early 17th century). According to OED, the name pantograph did not arise until 1723. Earlier, the device was called a parallelogram.

Just plain sloppiness on my part. I've corrected it. The pantograph drawing device still predates electric trains. Wink


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
December 31, 2006, 14:13
wordcrafter
"Everyone loves Veronica, I see. I'm sure any lover is very eager."

If you saw this message you might think nothing of it. But a very different message is hidden within, for those who know the secret of reading just the first letter of each word! This exemplifies the distinction between codes and cyphers, on the one hand, and steganography, which has become particularly important because computers make it easy to do.

steganography – secret writing by hiding the message in an apparently innocuous document or other matterNote: The dictionaries define steganography as 'cryptography', but that is inaccurate. 'Crytography' is usually defined to mean the art of codes and ciphers (and sometimes, defined so broadly as to include steganography as well).
January 08, 2007, 03:12
pearce
quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
"Everyone loves Veronica, I see. I'm sure any lover is very eager."

No!
Everyone loves Veronica, I see. I'm sure dandelions emerge at dawn. Can't everyone remember to add information, not lost yet?