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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon May 11, 2009 12:04 am

• conclave •

Pronunciation: kahn-klayv • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A secret meeting, especially to elect a new Pope. 2. A meeting of a family. 3. The rooms in which the cardinals meet to elect a new Pope or the meeting to elect a new pope itself.

Notes: The adjective for this word is conclavical as in a conclavical meeting of the family elders. The agentive noun, conclavist, is generally reserved for the cardinals who participate in a papal conclave; however, there is no grammatical reason to confine its application to that select group.

In Play: The last Roman Catholic conclave elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany the 265th pope, Pope Benedict XVI. That conclave of Roman Catholic bishops is a far cry from the conclaves of the Mafia families that Mario Puzo describes in his novel, The Godfather, though these two applications of the word amply demonstrate its flexibility and breadth. But today's Good Word is not limited to powerful families: "Mom has to call a family conclave to decide what to have for dinner."

Word History: This Good Word came to us from Latin conclave "lockable room", comprising con- "with" + clavis "key". The Proto-Indo-European root for key was *(s)kleu-, with a Fickle S that did not appear in Latin clavis or Greek kleis "hook, bold, bar". It also does not appear in Slavic languages, like Russian, with its kljuch "key". However, it is visible in the Germanic languages, where we find Modern German Schloss "fortress, castle" and Schlüssel "key".
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Grand Panjandrum
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Postby Slava » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:13 pm

Maybe this is what we in the US need to do with Congress on certain matters, put the relevant members under lock and key until they have sent up the white smoke. No getting out until you've reached an agreement. :twisted:
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

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Grand Panjandrum
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:03 pm

Hear! Hear! to that suggestion.
Lock them all up until something gets done, and
the president as well, he's done enough traveling
around: we elected them to get something done.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

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