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Luculent

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Luculent

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:59 pm

• luculent •


Pronunciation: lu-kyê-lênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: (Rare) Clear, lucid, easily understood.

Notes: This word is rarely used today, retreating quietly and (almost) unnoticed into oblivion. Today's contributor thought it worth the effort to pull back from the brink. The adverb, of course, is luculently and the noun, luculence, the English spelling of luculent-s.

In Play: Luculence is most often associated with explanations: "Gladys Friday gave an extremely luculent explanation of why she was absent from work on Monday. If only the luculence were matched by truth." But we need not look far for other applications: "April Day's garden presented luculent signs that it needed water."

Word History: Today's Good Word in Middle English meant "shiny", from Latin luculentus "lit, full of light", but slowly the figurative meaning elbowed out the original sense. The underlying root of this verb is lux (luc-s) "light". Latin also has a verb lucere "to shine", from the same Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word, which went into the making of both lucid and lucent. The PIE word leuk- "light, shine" went on to become, besides Latin lux, Old English lihtan "light", the ancestor of today's light. In Russian it became luch "beam (of light)". In ancient Greek it emerged in lukhnos "lamp" and, perhaps, lunx "lynx"—from its shining eyes? (We will have to make our gratitude luculent to the mysterious Grogie of the Alpha Agora, for s/he suggested this Good Word in 2006.)
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Re: Luculent

Postby maevek » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:28 am

Like lucre too? "filthy lucre" -- shiny coins ?
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Re: Luculent

Postby Slava » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:41 pm

Lucre is from a different root, one that meant profit or reward. I expect the filthy part was added to make it "dirty money," rather than just money.
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Re: Luculent

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:54 pm

Having just had a beautiful and luculent full moon,
I often wonder what it would be like to see many
such moons in a sky. The recently demoted Pluto sure
fought back with the discovery of more moons,
how many does this poor little demi-planet have now?
Five?
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Luculent

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:23 am

How do you think Pluto felt when he learned that he was demoted?
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Luculent

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:05 pm

I don't pretend to know how s/he felt, but it seems
s/he was upset somewhat because we knew of only
one moon, Charon, at the time of demotion, as far
as I remember. But then s/he went and surprised
us (you know, we know everything: egocentrism
or some such thing). And s/he came up with
a bunch more moons of which we knew nothing
at time of demotion: Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, Styx.
So: five moons, leaving us with only one. So
Pluto says : "So, there, humans, deal with that!".
And we had to rush in and give them names.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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