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ETIOLATE

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ETIOLATE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:54 pm

• etiolate •

Pronunciation: ee-tee-ê-leyt

Part of Speech: Transitive verb

Meaning: 1. To bleach or make pale, especially by depriving of light. 2. To make feeble or sickly.

Notes: Today's is a good but tricky word: the stress (accent) is on the first of four syllables, rather unusual for English. Keep an eye (or tongue) on that problem area and this very good word will quickly snuggle into your vocabulary. The noun is etiolation.

In Play: Probably the most common etiolation is suffered by vegetables like asparagus. Etiolated asparagus works well on plates where green clashes with the colors of the other servings. "Years researching her novel in musty libraries had etiolated Rhoda Book to the point it was difficult to look at her in a bright light." Rhoda's sister, Rita, was physically etiolated by lying to much abed with good literature.

Word History: This word was taken from French étioler, from étieuler "to grow into haulm," from éteule "stalk," from Old French esteule. Esteule came to French from Latin stipula "stalk, stem, stubble", which shares a source with English stem. The semantic journey seems to have departed from the idea that stalks (Latin stipula) are wastage used historically for bedding and thatching. My guess would be that plants that didn't receive enough sun were considered wastage until chefs discovered that certain etiolated vegetables could add a dash of the exotic to the presentation of their dishes. (Today's word comes to us, ironically enough, from the Land of the Rising Sun, Kamakura, Japan, a suggestion of Flaminius, an active word-trader in the Alpha Agora.)
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Postby Apoclima » Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:46 am

As etiolated and frail as the old couple looked now, sitting hand in hand on a park bench in the sunshine, one would hardly guess that their love was still in the full bloom of an eternal spring.

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Postby KatyBr » Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:17 am

excellant, Apo

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Postby Flaminius » Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:02 am

. . . from the Land of the Rising Sun, Kamakura, Japan, a suggestion of Flaminius, an active word-trader in the Alpha Agora.


The good Doctor knows how to boost my ego. This is the first Good Word of the Day featured at my suggestion. Yay!
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Postby Apoclima » Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:08 am

It's fun, isn't it, Flam?

Congratulations!

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Keepem coming

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:39 pm

As you can see from my last post, I'm keeping a closer eye on the suggestions from this Agora than I did at YDC. We have more people helping out, now, so I have more time to do that.

Flam, you happened to pick a long-time favorite of mine. I actually did it years ago at YDC but was never satisfied with that rendition. You gave me a chance to take this lovely, somehow exotic word, as far as I can.

I thank you.
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