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boustrophedon

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boustrophedon

Postby M. Henri Day » Wed Apr 27, 2005 1:06 pm

January 2, 2005

• boustrophedon •
Pronunciation:
bus-trê-fee-dên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: The style of an ancient method of writing Image used by the Hittites, Greeks, and others in which the lines are written alternately from left to right, then back right to left. Some typesetting software operates by boustrophedon to save time. Just before the line printer was invented, some early computer output printers had boustrophedonic heads that moved left to right, then right to left, again, for speed.

Notes: In the 2000 US federal elections, the (in)famous butterfly ballots used in Florida, that listed candidates on facing pages, were called by some boustrophedonic, the adjective for this really good word. The metaphor does not quite work but those who know today's word would make the connection. The adverb is boustrophedonically "in a back and forth pattern."

In Play: The adjective from today's word is probably used most widely, "We carried out a very careful boustrophedonic search and found nothing." Systematic searches often follow a boustrophedon. As today's image shows, heating elements and cooling coils are often boustrophedonic, and boustrophedonic ribbon candy is not at all rare.

Word History: From Greek boustrophedon "turning like an ox (while plowing)," a compound containing bous "ox" + strophe "a turning." The Proto-Indo-European root gwou- "cow, bull, ox" came down to English as cow, to Hindi as gaya (Sanskrit gauh), and shows up in Russian govyadina "beef." In Greek it converted to bous, which we also find in boubalos "buffalo." Strophe comes from the Greek verb strephein "to turn" and is a relative of English strap from Latin stroppus "twisted cord." (Today's word was suggested by Chris Scholl, who once delivered the mail here in Lewisburg boustrophedonically.)

Image


If someone a tad more technically literate than I would consent to tell me how to import Dr Goodword's diagram, which explicitly and concisely elucidates the meaning of this word in a manner beyond the capacity of a purely verbal description, I shall do my best to edit my posting so as to include it. In any event, if the good doctor doesn't object, I think this ancient Greek term should be dedicated to astrokatastro, even though it was not he who suggested it....

Henri
Last edited by M. Henri Day on Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
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Postby tcward » Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:28 pm

You mean this?

Image

You use the same [ img ] and [ / img ] markers that we used on the other forum.

Alternatively, with the amazing software this board uses, you can select the URL of the image that you want to paste, copy it into your text here, and with it still selected, click the "Insert image" button, above, to convert the link to an actual hyperlink that pulls in the image.

Alternatively, again, you can press Alt+P, then type the address of the image, then press Alt+P again, to mark the link.

-Tim
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Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:29 pm

Tim, that is, of course, precisely what I mean ! I think you will agree that one look at the diagram is, indeed, worth a thousand words. As is evident, my posting was copied from a message sent to subscribers by Dr Goodword early this year, before the Alpha Agora was established. In reproducing it I tried to use the [ Img ] button in order to include the diagram, but was unable to discover the URL. Obviously, you have done so - if you could tell me how, I shall try once again to copy the diagram into my posting above....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
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Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
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Postby tcward » Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:21 pm

With Firefox, it is wonderfully easy to get the URL for an image. Right-click the picture and choose Copy Image Location from the drop-down menu.

With Internet Explorer, you have to do a bit more work. Right-click the picture, then choose Properties..., then copy the Address (URL) from the Properties box -- of course, with extremely long URLs, sometimes you will not be able to see the entire address in the box, so you have to click and hold from the beginning of the address and drag the mouse over past the visible end, and once the address is highlighted (selected), then you can press CTRL-C to copy the text, or right-click the selection and choose Copy from the drop-down menu.

Ergo, I choose Firefox... :)

-Tim
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Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:05 pm

Ever so many thanks for the tutorial, Tim ! Despite fiddling, I didn't manage to position the image in the text with quite the finesse that Dr Goodword did, but still I'm fairly satisfied with the result. Reality, as we know, is resistant, and overcoming illiteracy full of pain (but also joy when it works !)...

Henri

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE


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