Monday, March 19, 2007


I'm behind. Events have conspired against my keeping up with wotd. It is always the case. But I do what I can when I can. Anyway...

Limpid. This is a dull word only because its Latin origins means "clear" (or "clear water"), and this word has retained that sole meaning to the current usage. The partial definition of "calm" directly relates to clear in that troubled waters are opaque as to what is beneath the surface, but calm waters are clear to the bottom. Similarly, the idea of "transmitting light" appears to derive from the idea that water refracts light, and clear water refracts better (and at all) than riled water. So... Her limpid green eyes shone through her tears. The limpid pool of water revealed the sunken treasure. And the limpid sentences demonstrated "clear" word usage. There. Works for animate as well as the inanimate and abstract. The only fun here is an oblique reference to a nymph (Latin lympha from Greek nymph) as an alleged water deity, but being versed in Greek mythology, we know that "nymphs" are merely the overarching names of long-lived nature spirits, but the water deities are actually naiads, neriads, oceanids, etc. depending on type of water (fresh, sea, littoral, riparian). The Latin improperly associated the whole genre with just water deities, ignoring the land spirits (dryads, hamadryads, etc.), and therefore, losing all the distinctions and inherent meaning. There was no subtlety when they absorbed conquered cultured. Ah, well. Je le souviens.

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