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BUTTRESS

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BUTTRESS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:28 pm

• buttress •


Pronunciation: bê-tris • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A structure built against a wall to firmly support and strengthen it. 2. Anything resembling a buttress, for example, the buttress roots of a kapok, mangrove or rain forest canopy tree (see below).

Notes: Today's word is almost a lexical orphan. The only derivations are buttressless and buttresslike. However, this noun may be used as a verb meaning "firmly support or strengthen", as to buttress arguments with evidence from the library. Don't forget to double both the Ts and Ses.

In Play: There are several types of buttresses, including flying buttresses characterized by an open arch, and ordinary buttresses, which are flat up against the wall: "Millie wanted to know where the flying buttresses flew to." (A flying buttress is illustrated in the graphic.) As mentioned above, this noun may also be used as a verb: "Harry Wormser-Goode buttressed himself for an onslaught of criticism for his letter to the editor of the local newspaper."

Word History: Today's Good Word began as buteras in Middle English. Buteras was borrowed from Old French bouterez, the nominative plural of bouteret, the noun from bouter "to push, bear against". Bouter was apparently borrowed from some Germanic language, possibly Old Norse bauta "to strike, beat". The origin of this word was Old Germanic butan "beat, strike", the same source as beat, battle and the verb, to butt. Baste in the sense of "thrash, strike" ("Don't do that or I'll baste you one) may have come from the same source. Another Old Norse word, beysta "to flail, paddle", supports this view. (I should buttress this essaylet with a word of thanks to Stephanie Ranson and her sixth grade pupils, who are now studying medieval history.)
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby MTC » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:37 am

flying buttress: lateral support for vertical ambition.

from the Aprocrypha of MTC

Is there a remote possibility flying buttresses were inspired by nature, aka biomimicry? Probably not, but still an interesting premise...
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:55 am

Good possibility. What I admire about them is their
commitment to permanency. So many of the buildings
in my home are long gone. We seem to have a commitment
to built-in obsolescence.
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:55 pm

I've seen cypress and other trees in a swamp where erosion has washed out the soil, leaving the tree standing on its "flying" roots.
pl
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby MTC » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:25 pm

A picture of "stilt roots" came up on a search for "flying roots," Perry. Of course this is not precisely what you meant, but still intriguing.

The image of trees with "flying" roots exposed by the elements makes a very useful metaphor or simile, e.g., "The proposition's political supporters were exposed by financial disclosure laws like the roots of trees exposed by a flood."
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby Slava » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:13 pm

Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:03 pm

Aha! Thanks for the idea, Slava. I don't usually post images because I can only center them. You have showed me how I can make them available. This is what we do with the text version of the Good Word. We footnote them and place the URL for the HTML and images.
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby Slava » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:46 am

I tried to put them up as images, but for some reason it wouldn't work. :(
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:54 am

The images certainly show where the concept of
buttresses from roots is a definite possibility. Thanks for
taking the time to do the research.
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby Slava » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:08 pm

Thanks for the thanks, but no thanks needed. No research was involved. I just copied the links from the e-mail version.
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:53 pm

Just a personal note, but I want you to know I took your advice
and a friend got me a "tablet" - it's taking time, but I will
conquer it and learn how to use it. Excuse this not being
a PM, but it is general knowledge on this site, that
technology scares me.
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby Slava » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:15 pm

Let's see if this works:
flying-buttress.gif
flying-buttress.gif (23.31 KiB) Viewed 1769 times



buttressK.gif
buttressK.gif (17.78 KiB) Viewed 1769 times


Ah, much better.
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:23 pm

They show up beautifully on my screen.
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:26 pm

Not buttresses but reminiscent of them, and cool\
picture besides:

http://www.shorpy.com/node/11321?size=_original#caption
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Re: BUTTRESS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:45 am

The link pic reminds me of the old erector sets. Remember them?
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