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PENSIVE

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PENSIVE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:33 pm

• pensive •


Pronunciation: pen-siv • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Deep in thought, meditative, absorbed in wistful, often melancholic, thinking.

Notes: This word may be used without hardship. It comes with a standard noun, pensiveness (no respectable dictionary has yet dared to offer pensivity), and an adverb, again, the standard pensively.

In Play: We don't usually attribute thought to animals, but anytime any animate object is perfectly still, we assume it is deep in thought: "Your dog looks very pensive; no doubt pondering his next meal." Of course, there are times to be pensive and times that are less suitable: "The moment I ask you to marry me is no time to become pensive."

Word History: Today's Good Word began its life with a Fickle S attached to it: (s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin". The S was retained in the Germanic languages. Consider, for example, English and all the words it developed from this source: spindle, span, spider—all originally processes of drawing out or stretching. Latin dispensed with the initial S to produce pendere "to hang, weigh", something also associated with stretching, and pensare "to weigh". Just as weigh in English is associated with thinking (He weighed his decision carefully), the Latin word picked up this meaning, too. This allowed the French, who inherited this word, to contrive pensif, which English promptly borrowed. By the way, Latin created another word from the PIE root, pondus "a weight", which went into the making of pondere "to weigh". English borrowed the first word and turned it into pound, and also the second one, which it used in the weightier sense of ponder. (Before we become pensive thinking over today's thoughtful Good Word, let me thank Lew Jury for suggesting it.)
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Re: PENSIVE

Postby bamaboy56 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:25 pm

Some of the most relaxing times I've spent have been spent in pensive thought. Sometimes there's a very thin line between pensive thought and daydreaming. In my case, the main difference is that in daydreaming I work out a lot of my fantasies while in pensive thought I find a solution to a lot of problems. That's just me.
Be who you are and say what you feel in your heart. Because those that matter, don't mind. And those that mind, don't matter.
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Re: PENSIVE

Postby MTC » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:39 am

In your pensive state did you sometimes ponder the value of a pound? Expenses?

expense (n.)
late 14c., from Anglo-French expense, Old French espense "money provided for expenses," from Late Latin expensa "disbursement, outlay, expense," noun use of neuter plural past participle of Latin expendere "to weigh out money, to pay down" (see expend). (underlining added)
(See etymoline.com)

In the weightless vacuum of space would the weighty words disappear?
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Re: PENSIVE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:59 pm

Daydreaming vs. 'working out problems'.
It's just me, I guess, but I don't see a distinction.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: PENSIVE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:07 pm

On the other hand, back in my working days, an incredible bunch of solutions popped into my head while shaving. And I didn't think I was either pensive or pondering at the time.
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Re: PENSIVE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:11 pm

Shaving is such a bore, I always have a news
station on to keep me from shaving over and over
in the same spot. I'd daydream and waste the time.
I need the distraction.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: PENSIVE

Postby Slava » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:08 pm

I don't know if there are any Harry Potter fans out there, but this was one of J.K. Rowling's best creations: the Pensieve, a magical means of sorting one's thoughts.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: PENSIVE

Postby gailr » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:23 pm

Thanks for posting that, Slava. I've been considering making a reference to it since this word was posted. The pensieve was used in thoughtful moments to aid meditation on problems, and was a pun on straining memories from the head.
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Re: PENSIVE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:47 pm

One of her more inventive ideas. I remember
Dumbledore explaining it to Harry.
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