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Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:04 am

• invious •

Pronunciation: in-vi-ês or in-vi-ês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Without paths or roads, impassable, inaccessible.

Notes: Invious land is nothing to be envious of unless you want a wildlife preserve. These two words are very close, so remember the difference the initial letters make. This becomes a real problem in places like Australia, New Zealand, the US South, where E is pronounced I before N. (In Australia and New Zealand this shift occurs everywhere, so that [bid] could be bid or bed.) One solution would be to use the second pronunciation.

In Play: For those of us who love the outdoors, this word specifies one of our reasons for loving it: "Our family enjoy hiking the invious areas of the Colorado Rockies." On a plane even higher than the Rockies, we can say things like, "Dermott is a valuable member of our team because he isn't afraid of driving his thinking into invious territories," giving uncharted a well-deserved rest.

Word History: This Good Word comprises Latin in- "not" + via "way, road" + an adjective suffix. It comes from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root *wegh-, which also gave Sanskrit vah-âmi "bring, lead", German Weg "way" and Wagen "wagon", and English way and wagon. That is also it there in Latin vehiculum "carriage", derived from veh-ere "bear, carry", and borrowed into English as vehicle. (Our old South African friend, Chris Stewart, shared this favorite of his some time ago.)
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Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:42 am

One wonders how much time we have left to enjoy this word in any but a historic sense, what with the progressive asphaltisation of the (immediate) universe. It might be wise to consider the plot of the Hitchhiker's Guide....

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