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THIGMATROPISM

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THIGMATROPISM

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:45 pm

• thigmotropism •

Pronunciation: thig-mê-tro-piz-êm • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: The ability of a plant (or organism) to move when touched.

Notes: This Good Word is unrelated to thingamabobism "the frequent inability to think of the names for things" (like thigmotropism). It is, however, related to phototropism "the ability to move in the direction of light", hydrotropism " root growth responses to water". This Good Word is used too seldom and in too narrow a context to have developed many relatives. There is an adjective, thigmotropic, which means that some plants may move thigmotropically. Do remember that the vowel in the middle is O, not A.

In Play: Perhaps the most common plant exhibiting thigmotropism is the Venus flytrap, whose wing-like leaves close in on any insect that lights on them. Touching the leaf of a mimosa results in its curling up and if you touch the leaf of a prayer plant, it will fold together with its partner as hands are folded in prayer.

Word History: Today's word refers to a "touch-turn" plant, based on Greek thigma "touch, handle" (from thinganein "to touch") + trope "turning" + ism, a noun suffix. Thigma is akin to Latin fingere "to touch, handle", unrelated to English finger, which shares an origin with Greek pent- "five", as in pentagon. Fingere also meant "to form" and in this sense its noun, fictio, fictionis "formation", went on to become English fiction.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:03 pm

Great word! I'd never seen it. Here's what I've found:

Portuguese/Spanish/Italian: tigmotropismo
French: tigmotropisme
Didn't find anything in Romanian or Catalan, but found this in Norwegian: thigmotropisme.

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Postby tcward » Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:09 pm

When I saw trope, I immediately thought of the Medieval trope, a musical 'device' designed to demonstrate skill in composition or performance...

In the Medieval era, troping was an important compositional technique. There were two basic types of tropes: textual and musical. A textual trope involved the assigning of a new text to an existing musical melisma. A musical trope was the insertion of new notes into a piece of music, creating or extending a melisma.


From Wikipedia.

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Re: THIGMATROPISM

Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:28 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:... Do remember that the vowel in the middle is O, not A. ...


In a word with four vowels, it may be difficult to ascertain just which one is the one «in the middle». Perhaps this is why our dear doctor has chose to provide us with two orthographical alternatives. Myself, I am more familiar with the variant with two «o»s....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby anders » Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:52 pm

I was familiar with phototropism, hydrotropism and geotropism (where the plant exhibits directional growth in response to gravity), but a name for what for example Mimosa sensitiva leaves do was new to me.

Perhaps the behaviour of the Touch-me-nots, Impatiens spp., belongs here. I've seen children quite scared by the behaviour of the Impatiens glandulifera Royle, 'Ornamental jewelweed, Policeman's helmet, Purple jewelweed, Himalayan balsam' when they touch its ripe pods and they "explode" to eject the seeds.
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Postby tcward » Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:02 pm

I think it's interesting that the Good Doctor warns to be cautious when spelling this word... The thread link is misspelled! "THIGMATROPISM"

-Tim :lol:

...and now I see that Henri has already pointed this out! :lol:
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Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:07 pm

tcward wrote:...

...and now I see that Henri has already pointed this out! :lol:


In his inimitably incomprehensible style....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:22 pm

"You say ThigMOtrope, and I say ThigMAtrope . . . "

Do we have the makings of a hit song here?
Regards//Larry

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:51 pm

tcward wrote:When I saw trope, I immediately thought...
... A textual trope involved the assigning of a new text to an existing musical melisma. A musical trope was the insertion of new notes into a piece of music, creating or extending a melisma.


From Wikipedia.


And when I saw «melisma», I not-so-immediately (I'm slow on the uptake) thought that Tim should have provided us musicologically naive with a link. Here it is....

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