Wordwatching II

Tuesday July 15, 2008 @ 05:44 PM (UTC)

Here’s another fine word just lying on a page waiting to be picked up: cuneal.

Found this one in a long sentence by my professor Claire Davis:
Clouds rankled in the east, a high wide billowing like the thunderheads of summer, but overhead was blue sky, and Ike flipped his sunglasses on, the snow and the world turning deeper, more vibrant, the light polarized and somehow more true so that the distant cuneal hills were compressed, and the plains became dimples and swales, gullies and hollows, brushed blue and bluer, cobalt and indigo.

This one evolved from Latin cuneis, which is unilluminating until we remember cuneiform. ‘Cuneal’ means wedge-shaped.

That leaves me with just one question — are long sentences the natural habitats of cool words?


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