Sunday, 15 March 2009

Just a scintilla...

If I were Mole, I'd be off to the river bank this very morning. I had the first signal when sunlight from the kitchen window made it through the slats of the blind, across the floor and up onto the screen of my computer. The first time this year. Outside, the air is soft with the sap rising. At laaaaast!
So why am I here? Well, old habits, that's why. And because my Word of the Day, courtesy of Dictionary.com was a word that I thought I didn't know and then I discovered I did, once I read the definition. Yeah, right. Scintilla was the word. At first glance I thought it was a Latin flower name or a wicked dancing girl, but then as I read it out loud, I realised this connected to scintillate as in, my scintillating conversation or a conversation that sparkles. The definition of Scintilla, howeveris A tiny of scarcely detectable amount; the slightest particle; a trace; a spark. I am beginning to detect a trace of irony in the evolution of the word's use perhaps. How things change...
But not old habits. I'm still here and for the most part using the same old vocabulary and probably misusing quite a lot of it. I've subscribed to Word of the Day for some time, in fact, 354 days. I know that because they go to a dedicated folder, ready for me to look at, at my leisure. Of course, I don't. I think I know most of the words and use them willy nilly without thought. But sometimes, I stop and do a little investigating, make the effort to put the word into a few sentences until it becomes a smooth process and it doesn't stick out like a sore excrescence.

9 comments:

  1. Lovely word, I like it a lot, I felt sure that scintilla was also a flower, and in googling found that Selasphorus scintilla was the Latin name for the smallest hummingbird :)

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  2. Oh brilliant, Christine. Selasphorus scintilla...how sexy is that for a name?!

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  3. yeah and you know what? it sounds like one of the witches in His Dark Materials!

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  4. Ok, you'd better tell me what 'excrescence' means now!(How humble is that to admit I don't know?)

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  5. BTW the last comment was from cosylaurel. Didn't mean it to be anon, but have just spent 15+ mins faffing around trying to post under my ID. I'm normally good with computers, but perhaps it's me having an 'off day'. Still not sure if this will come up under my ID or not. I just wanted to leave a quick comment - arghh!

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  6. Well, when I looked it up it meant 'an abnormal or morbid outgrowth on the body or plant'. I was looking for a word that was more interesting than thumb, you see. Being a writer an' all, I couldn't just use, like, thumb, now could I? So I thought I'd be a super writer and look up a word in the dictionary that was nearly like thumb. The definition of thumb starts with 'short, thick, terminal projection' which I could have used, but it sounds like something to do with a bus station advert and I so wanted one of those longish, hard sounding words that would make people think I was clever and provide me with nice punchy finish. A little trip through the dictionary via protuberance an' I got 'excrescence', which was great cos it looks good but is so very wrong. :D

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  7. Fooled and impressed me though!Excrescence I mean. Think I've now sorted the posting prob, it's just not user friendly to the likes of me. Under Select Profile below I have to choose Name/URL, and it then comes up with EDIT profile (off-putting, as I DON'T want to edit it...). However I've now discovered that if I just type in my Username (cosylaurel) into the Edit Profile box and ignore the URL bit I can post this comment...phew...

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  8. I wonder if other peeps have had trouble.

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