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LUCUBRATE

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LUCUBRATE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:08 am

• lucubrate •

Pronunciation: lu-kyê-brayt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: 1. To work late at night, using artificial light; to write long and laboriously. 2. To write a scholarly discourse or other work in a detailed, scholarly way.

Notes: Again we have a fascinating word under threat of extinction. As we are more and more often forced to take work home with us at night or push the time we spend on our own activities later into the night, the opportunities for using this Good Word are actually increasing. So, we should not completely lose sight of it. This word comes with a full complement of derivations: lucubration is the noun, lucubratory is the adjective and a lucubrator is someone who loves working into the wee hours.

In Play: Today's Good Word originally was related to working by some form of light (see Word History), and it is this sense that appeals to Dr. Goodword the most: "Gee, fellows, I would love to go to the movies but I'm afraid I have to lucubrate over a term paper due tomorrow." However, since scholars (apparently) were the only ones who worked diligently into the night at one time, the word is now used in the US to refer to writing in a detailed, scholarly fashion: "I hate to just ignore his memo after he has obviously lucubrated on it for days."

Word History: Today's Good Word is based on lucubratus, the past participle of Latin lucubrare "to work at night by lamplight". The root comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *leuk- "light, shine" which somehow turned into English light, distant cousin of Russian luch "ray" (from Old Slavic leuk-ti), Latin lux (luk-s), and Greek leukos "white, clear", which we can see in our word for the white blood cell disease, leukemia. With the suffix -n, the same root went on to become Latin luna "moon", the root of our words lunar and lunatic, someone once thought to bay at the moon. (Today's Good Word came to us from Brian Gockley, the owner of the mellifluous voice that brings to light Dr. Goodword's daily podcasts.)
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Postby Slava » Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:04 pm

"While I lucubrated, weak and weary..."
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Postby Perry » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:12 pm

After a long night of lucribation, one might feel the need for some Tennessee social lubricant.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby Slava » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:17 pm

Perry wrote:After a long night of lucribation, one might feel the need for some Tennessee social lubricant.
I did that last night with the So Co. I'm sticking with some Canadian Blues tonight.
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