Thursday, January 18, 2007

Word of the Day

Pomiary - It's not in the dictionary, but if you investigate a little, I think you could tell me what it means.

In the meantime, a quote from the same book:
"Sir, have you considered the converse of engineering? We fall into it so naturally, but in the end every project expires, and one way or another every team is dismantled, and that's something we're not wired to deal with. It saddens, even traumatizes us. That's where geniuses are needed, to engineer the conclusions of things."

— From The Collapsium, by Wil McCarthy

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5 Comments:

Blogger Kelly said...

It is apparently polish for "survey", meaning:
"A careful measurement of land, etc."
- source dictionary.com

Thursday, January 18, 2007 4:03:00 PM  
Blogger treeinforest said...

It's not Polish, and it's not in the dictionary. It is in fact English, or at least consistent with English word origins and usage. It's not an official word, but its definition follows logically from the root word it is derived from and it is used correctly in the sentence (according to its derived definition and part of speech).

I am holding off on giving the context sentence because the context almost completely gives away the definition. I will give it later; I had fun researching the exact definition, so you get a chance to as well. (Try here for a start.)

Charlotte Bronte did the same thing with words in Jane Eyre, making up words (though they were logically derived, as above) or deliberately misusing known words (adverbs as nouns, or verbs as adjectives, etc.) but doing it so well that in context you know immediately what she is saying and it communicates so much more and better and more vividly than if she had tried to use "normal" words to say the same thing. It's one of my favorite things about that book.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 4:57:00 PM  
Blogger April Lynn said...

Sweeping first guess...

"-ary" = "of or pertaining to" got that.

I'm assuming the "pom" is the main root and the "i" is just some sort of connector to bridge the "pom" & the "ary"...

However, I'm totally stumped about the "pom". I did an acronym search (since the "pom", itself, is defined as a disparaging term for English immigrants to Australia or New Zealand - I assume this was not your intention) and it could be one of about 50 things...

...So I picked "Phase Order of the Moon". Why did I pick this potential acronym over the others? B/C The Collapsium is a sci fi of sorts. Well, it turns out that “Phase Order of the Moon”…is loosely connected to the word "flaky". A common definition of "flaky" = conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual.

Thus - tying a loose fitting meaning of "pom" and the def of "-ary" you get: that which is of or pertaining to something conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual.

Ok, now, what does all this mean? Hmmmm…well, now I’m sitting here wondering if the “Word of the Day” is in any way connected to the quote. And the quote seems to be some sort of statement about the nature of project expiration/project management. So…something about a project ending that was conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual.

Therefore, you could only be referring to the MDF project that you & I just worked on!!!...which has still has not ended yet…

Ok, I know I’m wrong – my theory, though creative and convincing, doesn’t seem conventional. Won’t you please use it in a sentence now?

Friday, January 19, 2007 9:13:00 AM  
Blogger treeinforest said...

That certainly was thorough, and you were actually completely correct right up to "However".

Given that -ary is usually associated with Latin words, and pom- is the word stem...

I will post the context later today. I have to find it again first.

Friday, January 19, 2007 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger treeinforest said...

Here's the context sentence:

"Though Isaac Newton is best known for his pomiary investigations into the nature of gravity, he was in fact quite troubled by his findings."

Substitute "fruit-related" for the word of the day in that sentence and you may see the tongue-in-cheek pretentiousness I appreciate so much about Mr. McCarthy's use of this made up word.

Tommorrow's Word of the Day: Anticlimactic.

Saturday, January 20, 2007 12:42:00 AM  

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