Friday, June 15, 2007


I was just musing the other day, probably while folding laundry, on how the respective meanings of all the words I've listed below (and others that didn't then come to mind) hinge upon a very finely nuanced aspect of the root.

Few (if any) of them were simply coined; they evolved into the common parlance out of a deep and tacitly shared semantic understanding that was never expressed but was instantly understood, much as the words themselves are now.

That depth is no longer explicit in the words as they stand, or as they are are spoken and heard, until - while perhaps folding laundry in a notably foreign country - you get at the root and think how it really is that the words mean what they mean; then how awesomely appropriate is each word's perspective on the meaning and life-relativity of 'fold'!

comPLICation (complicity, complex, comply)
exPLICation (explicit)
imPLICation (implicit, imply)
supPLICation (supply)
rePLICation (reply)
duPLICation (duplicity, duplex)
apPLICation (apply)
simPLICity (simply)

(plicare - Latin for ‘to fold,' as also in ‘plex/ply.’)


Winston said...

Being a word junkie of etymological proportions, I found this fascinating. While reading down the list, I was thinking sPLICe, meaning join, but on further checking found that it had different roots.

So much of our very rich language lies fallow...

Bob Brady said...

Then you're folding laundry and BAM!

Annette said...

Sounds like a beautiful origami. Wish we could always arrive from complication to simplicity by folding.