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Your challenge this week is to figure out what our theme is!

jalousie – a blind or shutter made of a row of angled slats (Wordcrafter note: can be adjustable glass slats)
[French, ‘jealousy’, from Italian geloso ‘jealous’ (notion of looking through blinds without being seen), associated with the screening of women from view in the Middle East]
    . . ."It's hot as heck in here," I complain.
    . . ."So, open a window." Dad snaps. I yank up the avocado-green curtain with its insulated rubbery backing, then crank open the jalousie window. "Leave the curtains shut," Dad says.
    – Wally Lamb, Couldn't Keep It to Myself: [etc.]
 
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milquetoast – a timid, meek, or unassertive person
[from the cartoon character Caspar Milquetoast, "The Timid Soul," created by H. T. Webster in 1924]
    They know I'm no Caspar Milquetoast but a person of strength and courage. Plenty of moxie.
    – Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King (Penguin Classics edition)
    (Interestingly, some editions vary. When I went to verify the quote I used the 1959 Macmillan of Canada edition, which has not "I'm no Caspar Milquetoast" but "I'm no Milktoast".)

    "Aaron Brown is a lily-livered milquetoast pantywaist!"
    – Lauren Weisberger, Everyone Worth Knowing
 
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vinaceous – wine-colored (the color of red wine)

With rare exceptions, this word is used only in descriptions of birds. Why not use it more?
    Cerulean skies and deep vinaceous bands of sandstone become places of power. Pit houses dug in the earth and cliff dwellings hanging on ledges still house the Anasazi spirit. Listen. You may hear music inside their ancient earth architecture.
    – Terry Tempest Williams, Pieces of White Shell

    [We culinary writers were] licking our vinaceous lips in anticipation of some truly goofy responses. Instead, we were confronted with a smart, sassy lass who coolly diffused each of our questions.
    – Boston Globe, June 12, 2003
Bonus word:
cerulean
- deep blue in color like a clear sky.
[from a Latin word that traces to Latin caelum 'sky']
 
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For the bonus word, a bonus application:

"Fiat justitia ruat caelum;" "Let there be justice, though the heavens fall."


RJA
 
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It's a good job the Romans came from Italy and not the British Isles, or cerulean would mean "dirty grey". Wink


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Following arnie even further afield, regarding colors: The Japanese have two different words for "blue" and "light blue," but don't quite see why English distinguishes red from pink...


RJA
 
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loudhailer - a megaphone

How descriptive!
    … the Major's jeep had breasted the hill they had just started down. He came past them on the shoulder … and raised a battery-powered loudhailer to his lips. "I'm pleased to announce that you have finished the first mile of your journey, boys."
    - Stephen King and Richard Bachman, The Long Walk

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quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
It's a good job the Romans came from Italy and not the British Isles, or cerulean would mean "dirty grey". Wink


Are you sure of this Arnie? My Chambers dictionary describes it as follows: "cerulean or
caerulean [si­r?'li­?n],
adjective sky-blue; dark-blue; sea-green.

The Chambers Dictionary. Copyright © 1994 by Chambers Harrap Publishers, Ltd. All rights reserved."
 
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Nice to see you posting, Bert. Welcome to our discussion board!
 
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Two quotes today, each so nice that I could not bear to give only one.

sternutationformal: the action of sneezing
[Latin, from sternutare ‘to sneeze’]
    If a child were severely beaten every time it sneezed, it is probable that a phantasy world would in time build itself up in his mind around the conception of sneezing; he would dream of heaven as a space where the spirits of the blest sneeze unceasingly, or on the contrary might think of Hell as a place of punishment for those who live in open sternutation.
    – Bertrand Russell, The Scientific Outlook

    During the season of gathering the pepper, the persons employed are subject to various incommodities, the chief of which is violent and long-continued sternutation or sneezing. Such is the vehemence of these attacks, that the subjects of them are often driven backwards for great distances at immense speed, on the well-known principle of the æoliphile.
    – Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
Bonus word:
aeolipyle; aeolipile
– a hollow ball that turns through steam escaping through valves
 
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Any guesses?
 
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Bert,

I was attempting (obviously not successfully) a joke. If cerulean means, in effect, "sky-coloured", and if the Romans had come from Britain it would mean grey, since our skies are so often cloudy.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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autocide – the use of a vehicle to commit suicide

Why such a distinct term? See last sentence of quote.
    … the driver was the lone occupant, and he was killed. … daylight, clear, road dry, level and straight, no skid marks. "Cause: improper driving." Or was it suicide? No one can know for sure, but more and more police and traffic experts suspect that "autocide," as one expert calls it, is an important cause of traffic deaths. Estimates … range from less than 1% to about 10%. The evidence is almost always circumstantial, and the chance of identifying an automobile death as anything other than "accidental" is just about nil ... Because it cannot be clearly labeled, autocide not only avoids the social stigma attached to suicide, but also, as Arthur Miller's Willy Loman realized, almost automatically guarantees double indemnity on most life-insurance policies.
    Time Magazine, March 10, 1967
 
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Heck, only "theme" I can figure out is that each word has an O & U in it.
 
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Correction, they all have the full (non-Y) vowel set.
 
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Surely you are being facetious.
 
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Nope, at least half-serious (okay, stretching it with the hyphen).
 
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Perhaps wordcrafter should be more abstemious. Otherwise we might get uncomplimentary about this thread, even if unnoticeably to some, which might cause him to change colour to caesious.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Good job, KB, nevau and arnie. It was fun trying to choose words that wouldn't make the theme easier to spot.

As a few readers have also figured out, our theme this week has been "words containing a, e, i, o and u, each once only". It's an elementary concept, so its fitting that we end our theme with an "elementary" word, indeed one that includes a y as well.

This is one of those words of "mongrel" origin: one part Greek, and one part Latin. Or should we call that a "hermaphrodite" word? The name also traces to a color and a food. Delicious!

praseodymium - a rare silvery-white metallic element, of the lanthanide (rare-earth) series
[named from Greek prasios "leek-green" (from prason "leek"), because it forms green salts, + Latin (di)dymium "double; twin".]

The "twin" aspect is interesting. Mossander discovered two element, so similar that he was unable to chemically separate them, and he named them lanthanum and didymium, the "twin". Decades later as the techniques of chemistry improved, it was found that Mossander had been only half right: lanthanum was indeed an element, but didymium was not: it was found to be a combination of two new elements, which were then named neodymium and praseodymium So didymium is a twin in two chemical senses: the twin paired with lanthanum, and the result of the twin pairing of neodymium and praseodymium.

And of course, praseodymium is itself a "pairing" in a linguistic sense, in that it is made up of both Greek and Latin components.

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arnie, I’m in a precarious position, for you might view my motives questionably, so I admit to a bit of anxiousness in saying this. Please don’t think my behaviour to be vexatious, or an uncongenial effort to outdistance your work above. If I transgress any boundaries of etiquette, is it unforgivable?

But doubtless these words are but a formal precaution; surely we can further our mutual preoccupation with our linguistic education and, by tenacious effort, do groundbreaking work on AEIOU. We’ll each subordinate pride of place to the hellaciously encouraging prospects of consultative work, as would any businessman or businesswoman. Are you of the same persuasion?

Big Grin
 
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quote:
This is one of those words of "mongrel" origin: one part Greek, and one part Latin.


In fact, both parts of this word are Greek. The Latin didymion comes from the Greek as well (as is true of many Latin words). So the word is pure-bred and not a mongrel at all!
 
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The Latin didymion comes from the Greek as well (as is true of many Latin words). So the word is pure-bred and not a mongrel at all!

Yes. but Greek, especially Koine, got its payback; it borrowed some words back from Latin, too. Hebrew also borrowed many words from Greek. My favorites being bema (from βημα 'step, platform') and gematria (from γεωμετρια 'land measuring').


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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