Good morning, my dear readers!
I would like to apologize to all of you who were waiting for my posts on the magic of words: I did come back within a couple of weeks, but I had tons of things to do as soon as I came back – piles of paper at work, my laundry basket brimming with dirty clothes, I don’t need to tell you what mess you have to cope with when you come back from holiday, do I?
My biggest regret is that I’ve missed some great weeks on A.Word.A.Day., I hope I’ll be able to provide you an unvarnished overview of the past selections with the relevant Italian translation, no frills, just words. Words, the ‘lifeblood of the human species’, quoting Anu Garg. Words nourish our mind as blood nourishes our body. Words flowing through our hearts like blood …
This week the words selected by Wordsmith (the author of A.Word.A.Day., Ed.) are all closely related to medicine and language at the same time. I’m going to introduce the first couple (since I’m late as usual) with a very impressive illustration of the close relation between language and heart. Anu Garg says, words can heal, but they can wound too …
: uh-FER-i-sis, for 2
1. The loss of one or more sounds or letters from the beginning of a word. For example, the change in pronunciation of knife from (k-nyf) to (nyf).
2. A method in which blood is drawn from a donor, one or more blood components (such as plasma, platelets, or white blood cells) are removed, and the rest is returned to the donor by transfusion.
From Latin aphaeresis, from Greek aphairesis (taking away), from aphairein (to take away), from apo- (away) + hairein (to take). Earliest documented use: 1550.
“Williams gives the Narragansett word in full [poquauhock], though common usage reduced it and Anglicized it through apheresis [to quahog].”
Ray Huling; Harvesting the Bay; Lyons Press; 2012.
“He had quartered in Memphis with Cynthia for weeks, giving over his stem cells through apheresis.”
Jan Karon; In the Company of Others; Viking; 2010.
Italian translation: aferesi
1. The shortening of a word by omission of sounds or letters from its middle. For example, did not to didn’t or Worcester to Wooster.
2. Fainting caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain.
From Latin syncope, from Greek synkope (contraction, cutting off), from syn- (together) + koptein (to cut). Earliest documented use: c. 1400.
“There were important books on vowel syncope in Greek and Indo-European.”
Robert Coleman; Oswald Szemerenyi — Hungary’s Eclectic Cockney Linguist; The Guardian (London, UK); Feb 24, 1997.
“‘I’m no doctor, but they say I just fainted,’ said Pavelec, who had what is termed a neurocardiogenic syncope episode.”
NHL Report; The Philadelphia Inquirer; Oct 20, 2010.
ITALIAN TRANSLATION: sincope (medicine, phonetics,music)
There’s something missing in this list of meanings: the term syncope can also refer to music, i.e. the interruption of the regular rhythm of a piece of music, “a temporary placement of rhythmic stresses or accents where they wouldn’t normally occur
” (quot. from Wikipedia).
Words and music like blood flowing under my skin … but that is another story!
See you soon, folks …
Your passionate (Italian) Translator
P.S.: I know my knowledge of the rules and metric of rhythm is really poor, but the first thought that crossed my mind when I read today’s word is this great song
by the Beatles (Ticket to Ride
), probably due to its peculiar, jerking rhythm … Please excuse me if I’m wrong and enjoy it!