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FRIABLE

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FRIABLE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:51 pm

• friable •

Pronunciation: frai-ê-bêl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Crumbly, brittle, fragile, easily broken up or broken into small pieces.

Notes: Even though many things, like potato chips, become friable when you fry them, today's Good Word is not semantically related to fry. It is difficult even for the good doctor to imagine a situation where this adjective could be used as an adverb, but the noun is either friability (my favorite) or friableness, the state of a friable object. So what do you call something that can be fried? "Something that can be fried" is all the dictionaries allow us but fryable is all over the Web and, I bet, a lot of people say it, too.
In Play: Friability usually implies fragility, not the brittleness of peanut brittle: "Ludwig found that all the papers he had stored for years in the attic had yellowed and become very friable." Since things friable are brittle and tend to fall apart on contact, this word may be used figuratively with anything that may be perceived as fragile: "Marjorie's proposal turned out to be rather friable under close scrutiny." Marjorie's proposal could also be friable because it is easily broken into separate pieces or subplans.

Word History: Friable is a word we borrowed from the French who inherited it from Latin friabilis with the same meaning. This adjective is based on the verb friare "to crumble into pieces". The root, fri, devolved from Proto-Indo-European *bhri- and also turns up in Russan brit' "to shave" and English break. (Today we would like to publically and sincerely thank Paul Ogden and Mary Jane Stoneburg for proofreading and editing all our Good Words. I, of course, remain solely responsible for any remaining errors.)
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friable

Postby bnjtokyo » Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:06 am

Dear Doctor:

How about the following adverbial usage:

"The friably enhanced toast points greatly improved the presentation of the caviar hors d'oeuvres"
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Postby Bailey » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:19 am

now, would these be points in the spoken toast or those on the crackers?

mark friably-correct Bailey

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Postby Perry » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:39 am

Well I may be crackers (only may be, readers snirtle), but with friable toast points, the caviar becomes to the coctail guests as the promised land was to Moses. (Deuteronomy 34:1-4)
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Postby gailr » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:16 pm

The friable toast points, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twere caviar to the general...

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Postby Bailey » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:35 pm

Image

and and making points in a toast
Image

mark listening-for-my-supper Bailey

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Postby Perry » Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:55 am

The toast does look pointy, but I can't say the the caviar looks like caviar.

On the other hand if the toast points are only for show, and are friable, one might find another means of conveying the little never-to-be-fishies into one's mouth.
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Postby Stargzer » Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:05 pm

Perry wrote:The toast does look pointy, but I can't say the the caviar looks like caviar.

. . .


How true! A hint is in the filename:

http://www.restaurantwidow.com/images/tartare.jpg

Time to quit beefing and mooooove on.
Regards//Larry

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Postby Bailey » Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:54 pm

Well I tried to find caviar but the only toasty points I saw had other finger foods with them. Or perhaps this was Salmon roe, only good for bait if ya aks me.

mark not-fonda-fishy-stuff-anyway Bailey

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