August 29th, 2013

words are sexy

Thursday word: sarrusophone

sarrusophone (suh-ROO-zuh-fohn) - n., any of a family of double-reed wind instruments with metal bodies and a conical bore.

Initially designed and named after Parisian band leader Pierre-Auguste Sarrus in 1856 -- saxophone being not the only family of instruments named after their inventor. This family was intended to replace the oboe and bassoon, which at the time did not have the carrying power needed for outdoor concerts. The fingering was identical to the saxophone, leading to a lawsuit from Adolphe Sax (he lost because the timbers of the two families is so different they are clearly different beasts). They were used for a while but now are largely a novelty instrument, with the contrabass versions being the most called-for until a contrabass clarinet was finally developed.

In the silence, notes blatted out from the sarrusophone.

me boats

Shakespearean Imagination

God save you, neighbours!

It's time for another installment of Shakespearean Imagination!

Today’s word is one that I would never have expected to find dates back to Shakespeare, as it seems to be a fairly modern word. Just goes to show you that even as a native speaker, we can still be surprised by our mother tongue. Without further ado, I give you today’s word:

epileptic : ep•i•lep•tic / ˌepəˈleptik / (adjective) (noun) :

- Of, relating to, or having epilepsy.

- A person who has epilepsy.

Synonyms: convulsive – paroxysm – given to seizures

First seen in Shakespeare's King Lear (written 1605 - 1606). The full text of the play may be found here.