Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let's see if we can't obtund this a little

Beats & Blunts.

Our Bearded Leader doesn't seem to enjoy my abstruse suggestions of Streethawkiness. My shadowy plan is swimming along now!

But a correction: I was wrong about what obtuse means--I thought it meant 'willfully uncommunicative,' like me--but actually it means 'a little bit dumb' or 'blunt.' Not like me. At all. It comes from Latin obtundere, 'to blunt,' so if you imagine the outside of an obtuse angle as the point of a spear, you can see how the geometrical meaning fits in.

But the real reason I've gathered you here today is to share the word I found while looking up the above: obtund. I've never seen or heard it before, but there it is, plain as a daisy, not even marked obsolete or archaic. It means 'to dull or deaden,' in the sense of making it less intense. I love the way the sound of it is appropriate for its meaning.

It comes from Latin obtundere as well, though this time the AHD4 defines it as 'to beat.'

1 comment:

Z.V. House said...

I object! I love your Streethawk suggestions - I was just trying to translate our slow song into that....and I failed.