Crescent

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Dr. Goodword
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Crescent

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:30 pm

• crescent •


Pronunciation: kre-sênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, adjective

Meaning: 1.The shape illustrated in the picture below or some variation of it, lunalate. 2. Any smoothly curved line.

Notes: This noun may be used as an attributive adjective (appearing only before a noun), as in 'crescent moon' and 'crescent roll'. Should we need a real adjective meaning "like a crescent", we have our choice of crescentic, crescentiform, or crescentoid, though the first is much more widely recognized. Crescentade is an old word referring to jihads.

Image

In Play: Probably the widest use of this word reflects its origin: "An often overlooked difference between the hemispheres is the direction in which the points of the crescent of the waxing and waning moons point." It may be used for anything with the shape resembling that in the image above: "Sweeping ridges of sand snaked up to the summit of the dune in perfect crescents."

Word History: In Old English today's Good Word was cressaunt from Anglo-French cressaunt, brought over to England from Old French croisant (Modern French croissant). French inherited its word from Latin crescen(t)s, the present participle of crescere "to arise, grow, increase". Moons grow to and from crescents. Latin built its word on PIE k'er-/k'or- "to grow", where [k'] is distinguished from [k] because it emerged as [s] in all eastern PIE languages in some positions. This root is also the source of Armenian ser "lineage, progeny", Lithuanian šerti "to feed", Greek koros "boy; satiated", Latin ceres "fruit, grain" (ultimate source of English cereal), and Icelandic hirsi "millet". (Now let's all e-bow to Monika Freund, an old friend and contributor for more than a decade, for suggesting we do today's fascinating Good Word.)
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bnjtokyo
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Re: Crescent

Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Aug 10, 2022 9:32 am

This example of the use of crescent in a sentence brought me up short:
"An often overlooked difference between the hemispheres is the direction in which the points of the crescent of the waxing and waning moons point."
In fact the points of the waxing (young) moon and the waning (old) moon each always point the same direction in either the northern or the southern hemispheres: away from the sun. The tips of a young moon (the age of the moon is counted in days since the last new moon) point away from the setting (or recently set) sun. Since the sun sets in the west, the tips point generally east. Since the sun sets in the west in both the northern and southern hemispheres, the tips of the crescent point east. An old moon, over twenty days old, will be in the dawn sky and the illuminated portion will face the sun rising or soon to rise sun in the east in both the northern and southern hemispheres, and the tips of the crescent will point roughly west.

The difficulty for observers who live in one hemisphere and travel to the other is that most of us do not live in the tropics and so those of us living outside the topics in the northern hemisphere look south to see the moon while those similarly situated in the southern hemisphere look north to observe the moon. Thus, considering only a young moon seen in the sky at or slightly after sunset, those in the northern hemisphere will see the right side of the moon illuminated by the setting sun while those in the Southern Hemisphere will see the left side illuminated. And the tips of the crescent will point way from the sun, or to the left in the north and to the right in the south. For people living in the tropics (actually the tropics plus 5.1 degrees), whether it is left or right will vary throughout the year depending on whether the moon is north or south of the observer on the particular day in question.

For more look here
http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about- ... s-beginner

tkowal
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Re: Crescent

Postby tkowal » Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:04 am

I guess words like create and creation are also derived from PIE k'er-/k'or-.

bbeeton
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Re: Crescent

Postby bbeeton » Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:17 am

Presumably, "crescendo" is also from this waxing stem.

As for croissants, I'll take chocolate, please, although perhaps cheese might be considered more appropriate by some.

LukeJavan8
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Re: Crescent

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:21 pm

totally piques my curiosity how one word can mean two
different things as in Greek Koros is boy and satiated; as in
Doc's explanation.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

bbeeton
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Re: Crescent

Postby bbeeton » Wed Aug 10, 2022 1:51 pm

Oh, Luke, lots of such words in English, although many of them are heteronyms (that is, having different pronunciations and most often being different parts of speech) such as "I object to that object."

Another Greek example:
τραπέζα = table; τράπεζα = bank

LukeJavan8
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Re: Crescent

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Aug 10, 2022 3:30 pm

I guess I knew that, but thanks. It was boy and satisfy which
threw me.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

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Slava
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Re: Crescent

Postby Slava » Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:36 pm

It's actually boy and satiate. Satiation going much beyond satisfaction.
KOROS (Corus) was the personified spirit (daimon) of insolence, disdain, satiety and surfeit. He was the son of Hybris (Excessive Pride) and brother of Dyssebeia (Impiety).
From: https://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Koros.html

Young boys being known for insolence and pigging out, I can see the connection.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

LukeJavan8
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Re: Crescent

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:06 pm

It pays to know your gods/goddesses. Thanks, makes sense
now.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Philip Hudson
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Re: Crescent

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Aug 11, 2022 10:53 pm

Mechanics may use a Crescent wrench. This is a patented adjustable wrench.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

David Myer
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Re: Crescent

Postby David Myer » Fri Aug 12, 2022 11:38 pm

Interesting discussion. Particular thanks to bnjtokyo for his excellent explanation of the astronomics. Enlightening.

Thinking about the origin of it, should the word crescent apply only to an increasing or waxing moon? A waning moon should logically be a diminuescent.

bnjtokyo
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Re: Crescent

Postby bnjtokyo » Sat Aug 13, 2022 4:13 am

Mr Myer asks if, in view of the origin of the term, should "'crescent' apply only to an increasing or waxing moon." As Doctor Goodword said in his discussion, "moons grow to and from crescents" although in view of the current terminology for the age of the moon it would be more accurate to say "grow from and to crescents" as a one-day old moon is a crescent when we are first able to observe it. It would then grow (wax) to a first quarter at about seven days old and would no longer be crescent. It would continue to wax until it is fourteen days old and full. As the moon grows older than fourteen days, it will begin to wane, and once it grown older than about twenty-one days, it will have again grown to be a crescent in the early morning sky, where it will continue to wane until it is just a sliver rising less than an hour before the sun.


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