the arc of the horizon measured clockwise from the south point, in astronomy, or from the north point, in navigation, to the point where a vertical circle through a given heavenly body intersects the horizon.
Azimuth “the arc of the horizon measured clockwise” derives by way of Middle French azimut from Arabic as-sumūt “the ways,” an assimilated plural form of al-samt “the way.” As we learned from the recent Word of the Day acequia, the prefix al- “the” assimilates to match the first sound in the word that follows—but only when that sound is pronounced with the tip of the tongue. Azimuth shares an origin with zenith “the point on the celestial sphere vertically above a given position,” but while azimuth closely resembles its Arabic source, zenith arose when Arabic samt was borrowed into Old Spanish as zemt and was subsequently misread as zenit. We never know when a small scribal error can end up creating a new word! Azimuth was first recorded in English in the late 14th century.
While we say that the sun sets in the west, most times that’s not exactly the case …. [B]etween the first day of spring and the first day of autumn, the position on the horizon where the sun appears to set, known as the azimuth, actually occurs somewhat north of due west. The azimuth of the sunset slowly shifts northward until the day of the June solstice; thereafter, it reverses course and shifts back to the south. On June 21, the sun sets at an azimuth of 302 degrees, or 32 degrees north of due west. But for the setting sun to be seen from all of Manhattan’s cross streets, its azimuth must be 299 degrees, or 29 degrees north of due west.
an act or instance of fighting a shadow or an imaginary enemy.
Sciamachy “an act of fighting a shadow” is adapted from Ancient Greek skiamachía, equivalent to skiá “shadow” and máchē “battle.” Skiá is sometimes romanized as scia-, consistent with the Latin trend of changing Greek kappa to Roman c, but other derivatives of skiá in English hew closely to the original spelling and appear as skia-, as in skiagraph “a photographic image produced by the action of x-rays or nuclear radiation.” Máchē is a popular element in technical terms related to fighting or warfare. When combined with taûros “bull,” we get tauromachy “bullfighting,” and when combined with lógos “word,” we get logomachy “a dispute about or concerning words.” Sciamachy was first recorded in English circa 1620.
As farewells were played,
Order became disorder
And sciamachy took root.
In the dark place, where mirrors
Refracted black light
Breathing became ragged.
And, I, cannot now
Recognise a face.
There is but a record
Of a dark place.
Aru is indulging in sciamachy. She has the frustrated look of a person combating a shadow, a shadow that absorbs her anger and gives her nothing in return. As for me, it was not only her questions that daunted me, it was her look as well, the clear-eyed, judging gaze…
verb (used with object)
to ascertain the number of; count.
Enumerate “to ascertain the number of” comes from the Latin verb ēnumerāre “to count up,” equivalent to the element ē- “out of, from” and the noun numerus “number.” Both enumerate and number come from Latin numerus, but how did that stray b appear in number? As Latin evolved into French, the unstressed e in numerus was slowly lost in a process called syncope; to compare, in English, note how we pronounce the adjective every as “ev’ry.” Because the consonant cluster -mr- was a bit awkward to say, though a pattern called excrescence, the consonant b was inserted between the two letters, producing Old French nombre—much like how hamster and something in English are often pronounced as “hampster” and “sump-thing.” While number passed into English by way of French and therefore featured these two sound shifts, enumerate was borrowed directly from Latin with minimal changes. Enumerate was first recorded in English in the 1640s.
Beginning about an hour after the workouts, researchers took repeated samples from each animal’s muscle, liver, heart, hypothalamus, white fat, brown fat and blood and used sophisticated machinery to identify and enumerate almost every molecule in those tissues related to energy usage. They also checked markers of activity from genes related to metabolism. Then they tabulated totals between the tissues and between the groups of mice.
The issue is that the best counting techniques often rely on recursion—that is, solving a problem using a similar problem that is a step smaller—but two-dimensional spatial counting problems just do not recurse well without some extra structure …. By the time you get to a grid of nine-by-nine, there are more than 700 trillion solutions .… We are trying to assess one way of cutting up a state without any ability to enumerate—let alone meaningfully compare it against—the universe of alternatives.
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