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FLUCTUATE

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FLUCTUATE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:19 am

• fluctuate •


Pronunciation: flêk-chU-weyt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: 1. To rise and fall in waves, to undulate. 2.To vary or waver, to undergo alternating changes, to vacillate.

Notes: Today's word has a large derivative family. The adjective is fluctuant "fluctuating, wavering, unstable" and the noun, fluctuation. Of course, you can use fluctuating in the same sense and fluctuational can also assume the responsibilities of fluctuant. Fluctuable has been used in the sense of "capable of fluctuating", though not recently.

In Play: Today's Good Word applies to anything that waves or undulates, "The field of wheat was fluctuating in the wind for as far as the eye could see." It is also finds applications far away from physical waves: "Heidi Claire's opinion fluctuates more than the temperature."

Word History: Latin fluctuare "to undulate, wave" from fluctus "a flowing", the noun from the past participle of fluere "to flow". As we have seen many times before, the [f] at the beginning of a Latin word often goes back to PIE [bh], a [b] with a puff of air. The original PIE root of this word was *bhleu- "to swell, well up". So, it is the source of English blow and bloat, as well as all the words borrowed from Latin containing flu. Flu itself? Yes, it came from the Italian version of influence, influenza based on the assumption that epidemics were caused by the influence of the stars. (Today's word is another indication of the unfluctuating good influence of Paul Ogden's suggestions on our Good Word series.)
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:31 am

And here all along I thought fluctuate was what one said to four pair of people when one was extremely angry with them . . .
Regards//Larry

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:50 pm

I sincerely hope, Larry, that on those surely most unusual occasions when you become less than enchanted with four pair (pairs ?) of people and tell them to fluctuate, you've got at least five pair on your side !...
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Stargzer » Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:29 am

Presumably, a Royal Fizzbin beats five pair . . . especially when backed up by a fully charged phaser . . .
Regards//Larry

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:43 am

I'll take the queen at night, Larry, and leave the four to you....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Flaminius » Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:39 am

When a Texan said "Fluctuation," with a completely Texan accent, a friend of mine who is also an Asian shouted back at him, "bother you too." It took several repetitions of the same before we realised that he was giving fluctuation as the reason my favourite cigarette brand is much cheaper in Texas than in New York.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:35 pm

I should certainly like to hear that particular Texas accent - it would put Mr Bush and his «noocular» right in the shade !...

Henri

PS : Flam, the Surgeon General - and a lot of other people besides - say that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health ! Can't you consider taking up a different hobby instead ?...
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby KatyBr » Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:25 pm

M. Henri Day wrote:
Henri

PS : Flam, the Surgeon General - and a lot of other people besides - say that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health ! Can't you consider taking up a different hobby instead ?...
Wouldn't that be the Surgeon General of the United States? Why should Flam listen to him/her?
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