Word of the Day

Word of the day

Monday, July 08, 2019

caducity

[ kuh-doo-si-tee, -dyoo- ]

noun

frailty; transitoriness: the caducity of life.

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What is the origin of caducity?

Caducity is an uncommon noun meaning “frailty, weakness of old age.” It comes from French caducité “obsolescence, cancellation,” a derivation of the adjective caduc “obsolete, deciduous,” from the Latin adjective cadūcus “fallen, falling, liable to fall, frail, fleeting.” Caducity entered English in the 17th century.

how is caducity used?

What remains, the point of the passion, is a fascination with caducity and the relationship of photography to it.

Leslie Epstein, "Stories and Something Else," New York Times, February 14, 1982

A man … to whom, and to whose colleagues, amid the perishable caducity of human affairs, is largely due the pullulation of literary taste ….

Christopher Morley, The Haunted Bookshop, 1919
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Sunday, July 07, 2019

everywhen

[ ev-ree-hwen, -wen ]

adverb

all the time; always.

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What is the origin of everywhen?

Everywhen “at all times, always” usually appears in the phrase “everywhere and everywhen.” The word dates from the mid-17th century, but it has never really caught on.

how is everywhen used?

… the Doctor’s time and space machine gives him limitless opportunities to travel everywhere and everywhen—a freedom most of us would love to possess.

Kevin S. Decker, "The Ethics of the Last of the Time Lords," Doctor Who and Philosophy, 2010

Time stood still (that moment was eternal) and it was placeless (ubiquitous, everywhere and everywhen).

Roy Bhaskar, The Philosophy of MetaReality, 2002
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Saturday, July 06, 2019

ansa

[ an-suh ]

noun

either of the apparent extremities of the rings of Saturn or of other planets, especially when viewed from a distance under certain conditions, when they look like two handles.

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What is the origin of ansa?

English ansa comes via French anse “handle” from Latin ānsa “handle (of a cup, a door), a loop, an opening, an opportunity.” As a term in art history or archaeology, ansa means “an incised, decorated handle of a vase.” The astronomical sense “one of the apparent extremities of the rings of Saturn or other celestial bodies” is a New Latin sense dating from the 17th century. Latin ānsa is akin to Old Prussian ansis “hook, kettle-hook” and Lithuanian ąsà “pot handle.”

how is ansa used?

A distinct dark patch, like a notch, visible near the middle of the ansa, broadest on the face of ring, and extending nearly from the inner to outer edge.

Thomas Gwyn Elger, "Physical Observations of Saturn in 1888," Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 48, 1888

The moon Epimetheus can be seen near Saturn, just above the right ansa, or the portion of the ring that appears farthest away from the planet’s disk in the image.

Jeanna Bryner, "Spectacular Saturn Images by 'Amateurs' Will Make Your Jaw Drop," Space.comSeptember 18, 2017
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