ellesieg (ellesieg) wrote in 1word1day,

Tuesday Word: scototaxis

Despite having moved fifteen times in seven years, including five times (soon to be six!) in the past year alone, I still enjoy it. Maybe it's that for the first twenty years of my life, I didn't move at all, and it has yet to lose its novelty or, as has been suggested, because it's like "The Sims IRL," the thrill of personalizing yet another home more than adequate compensation for the expense, hurry and physical and mental strain. Maybe I'm more optimistic than I think and tend to automatically regard any change that isn't obviously negative as potentially exciting and beneficial. Who knows!

After a day of helping other people move in freezing, windy, rainy weather, however, and observing their cats immediately burrowing into box springs and crawling under couches upon being introduced to their new home, the only kind of moving I want to think about is scototaxis, the movement of an organism toward or into a dark area. It comes from a Greek combining form meaning "darkness" and the suffix -taxis, meaning movement in response to an external stimulus. As practically every source I consulted pointed this out, I suppose I should too!: Scototaxis is not the same thing as negative phototaxis. As I understand it, the former is a positive response/attraction to darkness, while the latter is a negative response to light.
Tags: greek, noun, s, scientific, wordsmith: ellesieg

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