Saturday, January 27, 2007

connubial calm, new word wanted, mist

Two doves sit side by side on a branch of the lime tree, a picture of connubial calm.

The other day I was seduced by the French word patatras, which caught my eye when I was looking for a completely different word. It refers to the sound made by the impact of a falling object. An English translation could be crash, but it lacks the onomatopeoic element. Imagine someone dropping a tray of china and cutlery on a staircase. Patatras suggests the reverbaration, as bits and pieces tumble and settle. Crash does not. I spotted patatras only by happy chance. Serendipity, you might say. But I am looking for a more specific word for such chance encounters in a dictionary. Any ideas?

Mist clears slowly this morning. From the Grove, I look, in the gaps between the houses of adjacent streets , at the trees on the Common. They are no more than grey shadows, their branches like scratches on a dusty window.

6 comments:

Belinda said...

Lexi-luck? :)

serene Ambition said...

Vonnegut once coined the term 'granfaloon' to label those meaningless encounters which we make significant. Saying things like, "oh, you are from Indiana, so am I" and then proceeding on the basis that such a connection is cause for great intimacy and comraderie. For the kind of connection you wish to distinguish I might suggest a more elegant unterstanding of the word 'intention' as in "it was our intention that we connect today in this vast space called cyber".

Belinda said...

Okay,I'm clarifying that I made up my word based on "chance encounters in the dictionary," not "chance encounters, in the dictionary." Now I'm not sure which you intended!

I'm glad to know of "granfaloon," and have experienced it myself.

Plutarch said...

It's the former, Belinda. Thanks for Lexi-luck.

kf gallagher said...

Coming through Claire's TBT, I've enjoyed reading yours very much as well. I'll be back.

Joe Tynam said...

How about "logolure"?