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QUARK

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QUARK

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue May 03, 2005 10:53 pm

• quark •

Pronunciation: kwahrk or kwôrk • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, Verb

Meaning: 1. [Mass noun] A soft, low-fat cheese made from skimmed milk. 2. [Noun] Any one of six postulated elementary particles making up protons and neutrons, having an electrical charge one-third or two-thirds of that of an electron. 3. [Intransitive verb] To caw, to croak.

Notes: The possible connection between subatomic particles and low-fat cheese was too great a challenge to resist. How could English support two unrelated nouns as unusual as quark? In fact, the nouns turn out to be unrelated, though one comes from the verb via a bit of serendipity, as the History will show.

In Play: I will not dismay our physicist-readers with a feeble attempt to use the scientific term correctly but will defer to an article of April 23, 1967 in The Observer: "If quarks exist, they would represent a more fundamental building brick of matter than any yet known." The other two meanings are more straightforward: "Farnsworth loved sitting on the back porch in the soft, spring evenings, listing to the frogs quark in the millpond, while feasting on a bowl of fresh, bubbly quark."

Word History: James Joyce would have never dreamed of the impact of his poem in Finnegan's Wake against King Mark of the Tristran legend: “Three quarks for Muster Mark!/Sure he hasn't got much of a bark/And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.” But, according to physicist Murray Gell-Mann, he was strongly influenced by this poem when he chose quark to name this particle (of which he thought only three existed at the time). Joyce was using the noun from the verb quark "to caw, croak". The second noun, quark "low-fat chese", originated in the Slavic word twarog "curds", probably from Sorbian, an West Slavic language (related to Polish) spoken in tiny enclaves throughout eastern Germany.
Last edited by Dr. Goodword on Fri May 06, 2005 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tcward » Tue May 03, 2005 10:59 pm

Twarog... Isn't that a VW SUV?

-Tim ;)
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue May 03, 2005 11:01 pm

1. [Mass noun] A soft, low-fat cheese made from skimmed milk

Finally a meaning of quark that I understand.

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Postby KatyBr » Tue May 03, 2005 11:04 pm

tcward wrote:Twarog... Isn't that a VW SUV?

-Tim ;)

hmmm, thanks tim, I thought it was toerag, silly me.

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Postby Iterman » Wed May 04, 2005 5:37 am

I was almost going to write that it's atcually Tuareg as of the dessert people living in Sahara untill I realized that you were poking fun of European car industry, so I won't.
Beg your pardon for my poor spelling and grammer.
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Postby anders » Wed May 04, 2005 10:11 am

If you want Tuaregs for dessert, what's your choice for the main course?
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Postby tcward » Wed May 04, 2005 4:09 pm

Beetles would have to at least be on the menu.

Rabbit?

-Tim :)
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Postby gailr » Wed May 04, 2005 10:23 pm

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Postby tcward » Wed May 04, 2005 11:42 pm

This reminds me of the streak that the Ford Motor Company went on, with their recent naming conventions of SUVs...

First came the Explorer, then the Expedition, then the Excursion, then the Escape... Of course, everyone was joking that the next was going to be named the Explosion.

-Tim
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Postby Stargzer » Thu May 05, 2005 12:24 am

tcward wrote:Twarog... Isn't that a VW SUV?

-Tim ;)


No, I thought the Twarog was the Balrog's second cousin twice removed . . . but whatever it is it's definitely not Hobbit-forming.
Regards//Larry

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Postby gailr » Thu May 05, 2005 11:50 pm

I just finished reading Good Omens. Newton Pulsifier drives a "Wasabi",
...issued its voice-synthesized warings in a series of exquisite and perfectly-phrased haiku, each one original and apt...
Late frost burns the bloom
Would a fool not let the belt
restrain the body?

The cherry blossom
Tumbles from the highest tree.
One needs more petrol.


-gailr
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Postby Stargzer » Fri May 06, 2005 4:24 am

gailr wrote:I just finished reading Good Omens. Newton Pulsifier drives a "Wasabi", . . .
-gailr


Must be one hot little car . . .
Regards//Larry

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