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INCIPIENT

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INCIPIENT

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:00 pm

• incipient •

Pronunciation: in-si-pi-ênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: That is just beginning, just now detectable, in a formative stage.

Notes: Today's word is a little lexical beauty with nouns that are even lovelier; you have your choice: incipience or incipiency. Even with all the hissing, it is a more lilting word that beginning. The adverb is incipiently.

In Play: We often hear of incipient diseases and incipient species (those just showing enough differences to be separated), but incipience is all around us: "Marissa talks so well out of both sides of her mouth we suspect there may be an incipient lawyer lurking inside her." Incipient problems are easier to solve than those in advanced stages: "We may have an incipient problem at the water cooler: someone dumped a bottle of vodka in it today."

Word History: This word comes by way of Latin incipien(t)s, the present participle of incipere "to begin", based on in- "in" + capere "to grab or take". The Latin verb also underlies our words capture and captivate. The original Proto-Indo-European root was *kap- "to grasp, grab". In German it became haben "to have" and in English, have and words like heave, hefty, and heavy, how you get when you grab too much. We also have a word haft "handle of a tool or weapon", something we all grasp, even though the word today isn't what it used to be.
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Re: INCIPIENT

Postby gailr » Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:04 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote: "We may have an incipient problem at the water cooler: someone dumped a bottle of vodka in it today."


Hmmm, I've read this several times, but can't quite identify what the incipient problem might be...

-gailr :wink:
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Re: INCIPIENT

Postby tcward » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:41 am

gailr wrote:
Dr. Goodword wrote: "We may have an incipient problem at the water cooler: someone dumped a bottle of vodka in it today."


Hmmm, I've read this several times, but can't quite identify what the incipient problem might be...

-gailr :wink:


Obviously the perfectly good vodka was ruint!

-Tim
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Postby Stargzer » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:58 am

That reminds me of the time a co-worker and I volunteerd to bring the orange juice for an office bagel party one time. We had two jugs, one labeled "A Day Without Orange Juice Is Like A Day Without Sunshine" and the other labeled "A Day Without Orange Juice Is Like A Day Without Moonshine." One woman (Puerto Rican) didn't pick up on the subtle difference in the signs until a little too late. Alas, that left less for the rest of us!
Regards//Larry

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