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POLYMATH

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POLYMATH

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:24 am

• polymath •

Pronunciation: pah-lee-mæth

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A person of great learning in diverse areas of human knowledge; a Renaissance Man or Woman.

Notes: This good word is yet another in our series of words that are not what they seem. No, it is not someone who can solve several math problems at once but a person of great learning. Someone who has deep knowledge of a variety of fields, though we tend to think of them, as we do Leonardo da Vinci, as excelling in those fields, too. The abstract noun is polymathy and the adjective, polymathic. I suppose a specialist would be a unimath, though this word has not emerged yet.

In Play: If you are as tired of hearing the obsequious phrase "rocket scientist" as I, you will be happy for this alternative expression, "You don't have to be a polymath to know not to lick frozen metal." Polymaths are generally very useful folks to have around; but not always: "Claire Voyant is a remarkable polymath who knows everything about everything except her job."

Word History: This excellent word is none other than Greek polymathes "knowning much" from poly "many, much" + mathein "to learn". This is the same root that we find in Sanskrit medha "wisdom" and Avestan mazda "idea, memory". In Albanian it is mund "can". The original Proto-Indo-European root, *mendh-, may contain the *men- of mental and English mind but, however obvious this might seem, there are problems in making the connection. (We are grateful to Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira—the Brazilian dude in the Alpha Agora—for being smart enough to come up with today's good word.)
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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:56 am

Me, smart? I just thought of the word, you dug all that stuff up :D .

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Postby astrokatastro » Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:47 pm

For me is a difrent thing polimathis and a smart man. A combination of that is the best .
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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:17 pm

Astrokatastro, are you calling me stupid? :D

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Postby astrokatastro » Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:38 pm

No my friend. i do not know you.Just i wanted to say something clever to cover my stupidity, and amatheia too.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:39 pm

amatheia

That's the name of the red blood cell, isn't it? I know it is.

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Postby astrokatastro » Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:44 pm

i don;y understant what you mean but i used it as oposite to matheia mathainw gnwrizw (as a man whi don't know nothing, and all that he knows isnt right
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:51 pm

And I don't know what you mean. We're even now.

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Postby Apoclima » Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:01 pm

a-matheia

An unschooled person, a man without math?

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Postby Apoclima » Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:59 am

'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
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Postby anders » Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:41 am

Brazilian dude wrote:
amatheia

That's the name of the red blood cell, isn't it? I know it is.

Not by a mile. A corpuscle of any colour is, in Latin letters, aimosphaírio.
Aμαθεια is "ignorance". Astro's quote is, I suppose, Μαθεια μαθαιυω γνωριζω, but I can't translate it.

Dear Astro, please don't be discouraged by our not understanding some of your Greek. Your English is improving incredibly fast.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:52 am

please don't be discouraged by our not understanding some of your Greek
?
Some? That's wishful thinking :D

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Last edited by Brazilian dude on Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:55 am

Oh, I know now. A red blood cell (or erythrocyte, fancy huh?) is an hemácia in Portuguese and an hematíe in Spanish, hence the confusion.

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Postby astrokatastro » Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:16 pm

Μάθηση is like about learning in English.
Related words is Mαθητής , μάθημα, μαθητεύω, α-μάθεια,and αμαθής-unschooled and I don’t know if she was an ancient god
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Postby Apoclima » Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:14 pm

Thanks, astro!

Cool! I'm beginning to read Greek, all those years of learning the alphabet are paying off!

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