[Milton-L] Fw: A.Word.A.Day--friar's lantern
cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Tue Dec 11 08:39:10 EST 2007
On Milton and neologism . . .
----- Original Message -----
From: "Wordsmith" <wsmith at wordsmith.org>
To: <linguaphile at wordsmith.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 12:03 AM
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--friar's lantern
> This week's theme: terms in the pattern an X's Y.
> friar's lantern (FRY-uhrz LAN-tuhrn) noun
> A phosphorescent light seen over marshy ground at night, caused by
> spontaneous combustion of gases emitted by decomposing organic matter.
> A synonym is foxfire (not Firefox), especially for luminescence
> produced by fungi.
> [The first use of the term is in John Milton's 1632 poem L'Allegro:
> "She was pinched and pulled, she said; / And he, by Friar's lantern led."]
> Today's word in Visual Thesaurus:
> -Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
> "Question: What do you get when you cross a firefly with a tobacco plant.
> Answer: A cigarette that lights itself.
> The joke quickly made the rounds after a group of genetic engineers in
> California earlier this month announced that they had transferred into
> the cells of a tobacco plant the gene that causes a firefly to glow.
> The tobacco plant seems to rise out of the page like a will-o'-the-wisp
> or friar's lantern."
> Chet Raymo; A Tale of a Firefly and a Tobacco Leaf; The Boston Globe;
> Nov 24, 1986.
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> Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is
> exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different
> kinds of good weather. -John Ruskin, author, art critic, and social
> reformer (1819-1900)
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