Word of the Day

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

ufology

[ yoo-fol-uh-jee ]

noun

the study of unidentified flying objects.

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What is the origin of ufology?

Ufology was first recorded in 1955-60.

how is ufology used?

The First International Congress on the U.F.O. Phenomenon, which ended here yesterday, brought the two groups uncomfortably together, and, after a week of heated debate, a single theory of ufology seemed further away tha[n] ever.

Alan Riding, "Scientists and Laymen in Conflict At World Conference on U.F.O.'s," New York Times, April 25, 1977

The history of ufology shows the complex psychology of fringe beliefs.

Julie Beck, "What UFOs Mean for Why People Don't Trust Science," The Atlantic, February 18, 2016
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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

goldilocks

[ gohl-dee-loks ]

adjective

(usually initial capital letter) not being extreme or not varying drastically between extremes, especially between hot and cold: a Goldilocks economy that is neither overheated nor too cold to cause arecession; a goldilocks planet such as Earth.

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What is the origin of goldilocks?

Little new or unknown can be said about Goldilocks, but in the late 1980s astronomers began using the phrases Goldilocks planet or Goldilocks zone for planets in our solar system exoplanets that are not too hot, not too cold for supporting life (as we know it on earth).

how is goldilocks used?

For future generations to realize the search for distant “Goldilocks planets,” this generation must work harder to protect our own.

Alan S. Fintz, "Letter to the Editor: The Good Earth," New York Times, February 1, 2011

Short-story collections prove to be a solution to folks who are “too busy to read” or are trying to find a way to break up a monotonous commute becoming the “just right” in a Goldilocks situation.

Nicole Y. Chung, "9 short-story collections we can't wait to read this fall," Washington Post, September 18, 2017
Monday, February 26, 2018

hyetal

[ hahy-i-tl ]

adjective

of or relating to rain or rainfall.

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What is the origin of hyetal?

The English adjective hyetal is very uncommon, used only in meteorology. The Greek noun hyetόs means “rain”; the noun hyetía means “rainy weather”; both nouns derive from the verb hýein “to rain.” In English and other languages (German, for example), verbs of weather and natural phenomena are impersonal (e.g., it is raining, es regnet; it is snowing, es schneit). In Greek, however, such verbs are personal, Zeus or another god being understood as the subject if not explicitly named; thus hýei means to a Greek not “it is raining,” but “Zeus is raining,” and neíphei “Zeus is snowing.” Hyetal entered English in the 19th century.

how is hyetal used?

What grand cause has operated to disturb the ordinary rate of hyetal precipitation … is a question to be studied by climatologists.

, "The Drought and Smoky Days in Central New-York," New York Times, July 23, 1864

Hyetal regions, mean annual cloudiness, co-tidal lines, cyclonic rotations, and progressive low pressure systems are not charming in themselves.

Michael Innes, There Came Both Mist and Snow, 1940

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