• eidetic •
ai-de-tik • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: 1. Vivid, unusually clear, detailed (of an image). 2. Photographic, able to recall images with unusual clarity and vividness.
Notes: Remember that the EI at the beginning of this word is pronounced the same way as it is in eider of 'eider down'. If you tire of referring to your memory as photographic, you can now use this Good Word to break the monotony. The adverb is eidetically and the noun, eideticity, which is very rare.
In Play: Today's Good Word is a more specific substitute for vivid or detailed when referring to pictures or images: "I have a very eidetic picture in my mind of the expression on her face the first time I used the word eidetic." However, as mentioned above, it can also refer to memory: "Since James Bond has an eidetic memory, his cameras can be designed to do other things: shoot, explode, send secret messages, and the like."
Word History: Today's Good Word is the English version of Greek eidetikos "of a form", the adjective of eidos "form", related to idein "to see". Idein is the origin of Greek idea "appearance (what is seen), form, idea". The PIE stem, weid- "to see, know", contained an initial [w], which shows up in English wise and wit, not to mention German wissen "to know". Old French did not have a [w] sound, but it did have a [gw] sound, spelled GU. So, when it borrowed wid- "knowledge" from Old Germanic, the results were guider "to guide, lead, conduct", whence English guide. In Sanskrit the same root emerged as the Veda in Rig Veda "verse of knowledge", in Latin, as videre "to see", whence English video and vision, in Russian, as videt' "to see", and in Serbian, as videti "to see". The connection between vision and knowledge continues today every time an English speaker says, "I see," meaning "I understand." (Today we thank Dr. Lyn Laboriel for her guidance and knowledge in selecting today's vivid Good Word.)
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