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CORUSCATE

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CORUSCATE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:24 pm

• coruscate •


Pronunciation: ko-rês-kayt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: Sparkle, glitter, flash repeatedly.

Notes: Today's word was borrowed from Latin and came with all the Latinate accessories, including a noun, coruscation, and an adjective, coruscant "sparkly, glittering". In addition you may use the participle, coruscating, as an adjective: coruscatingly witty.

In Play: Anything sparkly coruscates: "All the houses on my street will coruscate with holiday decorations by Christmastide. Each will have a coruscating Christmas tree in the living room." The coruscation may be tiny: "The ground was covered with a lovely coruscant snow." We may also use this word metaphorically: "The Greek comedic playwright, Hilarius, was known to have had a coruscating wit."

Word History: Today's Good Word is niggardly with its past. We know it comes from Latin, where coruscatus "quivered; sparkled" is the past participle of coruscare, which initially meant "to vibrate, quiver". We know the verb was based on coruscus "quivering", which was applied to lightning, and this no doubt led to the association with light. There are a few instances of this word in Latin literature used in the sense of "thrusting with the horns". We could speculate on this basis that the root's origin lies in cornu "horn", the reference being to an animal shaking its prey on its horns. We would, of course, have to explain the fate of the N in cornu, so this explanation must remain entirely a speculation. (A veritable cornucopia of gratitude to Paula Whitaker and C. John Graham for suggesting today's mysterious Good Word.)
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:54 pm

"All the houses on my street will coruscate with holiday decorations by Christmastide. Each will have a coruscating Christmas tree in the living room."


I love to walk at night and this sentence adds to the
pleasure.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby bnjtokyo » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:40 am

"We could speculate on this basis that the root's origin lies in cornu "horn", the reference being to an animal shaking its prey on its horns."

Hmmm.
I believe all horned mammals are herbivores (e.g. cows, goats, antelopes, sheep, jackelopes, etc.). Since "prey" is defined as "an animal caught by another animal and eaten," it should be impossible for a herbivorous horned animal to shake its prey on its horns.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:18 am

Does this put us on the horns of a dilemma?
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:13 pm

heh,heh!
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:29 pm

bnjtokyo, I immediate thought of a rhinocerous on reading your post.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:04 pm

Perry:
1) Strictly speaking, the rhinoceros has no horns. Those sticky out things on his nose are compacted hair. They are fearsome weapons and you might get tossed by them if you rile the rhinoceros. Deer do not have horns either. The males have antlers which they shed annually and must regrow each year. Cows have horns. Did you ever play the children's game of "Horns, horns, (name an animal) horns”? In ordinary conversation most people do not usually distinguish between horns, antlers, and rhino nose protuberances.

2) The rhinoceros is herbivorous. Many herbivores are dangerous and may trample, hook or bite. They may even kill.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby bnjtokyo » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:51 am

I second Mr. Hudson's second item and would add that the water buffalo (a horned herbivore) is said to be one of the most dangerous animal in Africa. (A lot of lists interested in producing counter-intuitive surprises list the mosquito as number 1.)
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:45 pm

1) Strictly speaking, the rhinoceros has no horns. Those sticky out things on his nose are compacted hair. They are fearsome weapons and you might get tossed by them if you rile the rhinoceros


.....and considered an aphrodisiac. What do they do?
Eat them??
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:05 am

What do all aphrodisiacs do? If you believe in them, they can increase your personal libido. But is a placebo effect. If you don't believe in aphrodisiacs, they won't work and they don't work on unsuspecting people of the opposite sex. If you believe in hexes, a pin in a wax statue representing you will kill you, but only if you are aware of it or even suspect it. Some beliefs are self-fulfilling.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:38 pm

So the horn, or powder made from it, is consumed.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:25 pm

Yep. This and a lot of other foolish fetishes are destroying some of our endangered species. Most of the consumers are Asians. But don't fault our Asian friends as a whole for endangered species in general. Mainland China is doing its best to keep the panda population growing.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:48 pm

As well as Ivory in many areas. And the Bengal Tiger.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby bamaboy56 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:45 pm

Like most aphrodisiacs, the effectiveness is primarily in the mind rather than in the nether regions. If you think something will work, it will. If you think it won't, it won't. Just my opinion. Amazing what people will take to try to increase libido in themselves or their partner.
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Re: CORUSCATE

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:56 am

I just watched a TV documentary on the Asian penchant for exotic animals for decoration and dubious nostrums. Now they are even killing all the turtles! Some mid sized turtles will bring thousands of dollars each on the Chinese market. There seems to be no stopping it.
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