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SCINTILLATE

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SCINTILLATE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:43 pm

• scintillate •

Pronunciation: sin-tê-layt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: 1. To sparkle, to flash, to glitter; to emit sparks. 2. To be lively, witty, and very brilliant.

Notes: This is a beautiful word with a beautiful family. Of course, we find the usual adjective, scintillating, and noun, scintillation. However, alongside these, we have an adjective and noun even more exquisite: scintillescent and scintellescence. Don't forget to write the silent C after the initial S and to double up on the Ls.

In Play: Today's Good Word is the substitute you need when sparkle simply does not say it all: "Their house was high on a hill below which the city scintillated all night long." Remember, too, that wit at its best can also scintillate: "It was a perfect evening of scintillating conversation in a room overlooking a scintillescent city below." Lord Robert Bulwer-Lytton (better known for his Last Days of Pompeii) deftly used this word in his description of the moon and a star in his narrative poem, Lucile (1860): "one pale, /Minute, scintillescent, and tremulous star /Swinging under her globe like a wizard-lit car. . . ."

Word History: This very Good Word comes from Latin scintillare "to spark, sparkle". As usual, we use the past participle, scintillatus, for our verb. The verb is based on another Latin word that we swallowed whole: scintilla "spark". We often use this word as a synonym for iota, "There isn't a scintilla of truth in what she says." However, remember it really refers to a spark, "Cyril didn't bring a scintilla of wit that might have brightened the conversation." (We are not surprised that this word was suggested by a scintillating conversationalist in the Agora, Katy Brezger, somewhere out there in Michigan.)
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:54 pm

we have an adjective and noun even more exquisite: scintillescent and scintellescence. Don't forget to write the silent C after the initial S and to double up on the Ls.

And use an i instead of an e? :)

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Re: SCINTILLATE

Postby gailr » Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:16 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote:Lord Robert Bulwer-Lytton (better known for his Last Days of Pompeii)

Even better known for "It was a dark and stormy night." He is not among the most scintillating of writers, however...
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Postby Stargzer » Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:58 am

Sorry, but I just had to post this one;


Scintillate, scintillate, globule vivific!
In vain do I ponder thy nature specific--
Precariously poised in the ether capacious,
Closely resembling a gem carbonaceous;
Scintillate, scintillate, globule vivific,
In vain do I ponder thy nature specific!


Source:
Mother Goose, Ph.D.
Copyright 1987 Dave Arns
Regards//Larry

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Postby Perry » Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:42 am

Thank you for that link. I highly recommend "A Certain Male Person and His Comrade" from the same link. I nearly hosed myself laughing!
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Postby gailr » Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:34 pm

Excellent link, Gzer!
I would recommend "Erect, Climbing, or Creeping Prickly Shrubs" to young persons needing yearbook signing material and older ones requiring sentimental cards for significant others.
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Postby Perry » Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:18 pm

BTW, i am probably not alone in associating "It was a dark and stormy night" with Snoopy.
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