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SUSSUROUS

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SUSSUROUS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:44 pm

• susurrous •

Pronunciation: sê-su-rês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Emitting whispering or rustling sounds.

Notes: This Good Latin word has more whispering sounds [s] than our native Germanic "whisper" and conveys the sense better as a result. It also lacks the negative connotation of hissing. If you don't like so many Ss, you may use susurrant in its stead. The verb is susurrate "to make a whispering, rustling sound" with its own family: susurration, susurrative, etc.

In Play: The good Dr. Goodword has enjoyed life on banks of the susurrous Susquehanna River for the past 2 score years. Streams are notoriously susurrous. However, this adjective also associates well with voices, "Miss Teak's susurrous voice drove men to distraction—some with lust, others with suspicion." Of course, leaves become susurrous when the wind rakes them in the fall, often striking a susurrous banter of the sizzle of the grill.

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin susurrus "whisper", which might seem onomatopoeic. It is, in fact, a reduplication (repetition) of an old PIE root *sur-/*swer- "sound", found in Sanskrit svirati "sounds" and Serbian svirati "to play (musical instrument)". Look out for Ss that turn into Rs in Latin; the process is called 'rhotacization'. This would explain the Latin stem susur- rather than susus-, though onomatopoeia might have played some role at this point. The same root gave us English swarm even though hissing might be a better word for a swarm of bees. (We should all swarm to Katy Brezger of the Alpha Agora to express our gratitude for suggestion this absolutely lovely word.)
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Re: SUSSUROUS

Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:54 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:...

In Play: The good Dr. Goodword has enjoyed life on banks of the susurrous Susquehanna River for the past 2 score years. Streams are notoriously susurrous. ...


Great word, Doc (and Katy) ! But why not forward the photo of that sussurous stream that accompanied the email notification of this GWotD to the Agora, for the delectation of us participants in the forum ?...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby KatyBr » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:36 pm

Image

hope this suffices, Henri.

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Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:39 pm

Good on'ya, Katy !...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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