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#1143 - 04/06/00 10:56 AM furnicular
songcookie Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 5
Loc: Dallas, TX
A volunteer at my school ran across this word in an old story about cable cars set around 1913. We have looked in our school dictionaries, and online on Webster's unabridged and the 1913 dictionary posted by Univ. of Chicago. If anyone can shed light on the meaning and/or origin of this word, you'd make me the hero of the second grade! That's "f u r n i c u l a r" -- Thanks!

Debbi Richard
Librarian,
Lake Highlands Elementary
Texas
_________________________
Debbi Richard
Assistant Professor, Library Science
Dallas Baptist University

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#1144 - 04/06/00 11:28 AM Re: furnicular
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
well, you can't find it in the dictionary because you've misspelled it! the word is funicular and it comes from funiculus, which I believe is Latin for 'rope'; thus funicular railway.


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#1145 - 04/06/00 12:32 PM Re: furnicular
songcookie Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 5
Loc: Dallas, TX
Thank you, tsuwm! This reminds me to always check the source, as I had simply taken the volunteer's word that the spelling was correct. The book was "Polar the Titanic Bear" by Daisy Corning Stone Spedden, and the quote was, "At Monte Carlo we rode to our hotel on the hill in a funny narrow railway. Master told me it was a funicular railway and that it was pulled along by a cable." The definition you provided makes perfect sense in that context. Again, thanks for offering such a quick answer.

Debbi Richard
Librarian,
Lake Highlands Elementary
Texas
_________________________
Debbi Richard
Assistant Professor, Library Science
Dallas Baptist University

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#1146 - 04/06/00 07:40 PM Re: furnicular
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
"Funiculi, Funicula" is a wonderful old Neapolitan folk tune... makes you want to dance the tarantella :-)


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#1147 - 04/07/00 01:03 PM Re: furnicular
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
I particularly remember the funicular in Lisbon which is very steep. It easy to remember the spelling because they are always such "fun".


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#1148 - 05/05/00 10:50 AM Re: furnicular
GZini Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/05/00
Posts: 19
Loc: Washington, DC, USA
Debbi, I see your question has been answered, but here's some added information for your class. Funiculars are indeed cable cars, but specifically cable cars which ascend (and descend) mountains or hills.

They're still in use in plenty of places today -- Pittsburgh has a few -- so you may be able to find a photograph of one to show your class.


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#1149 - 05/05/00 11:31 AM Re: furnicular
kebray Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/05/00
Posts: 1
If you can get to back issues of the NY Times, there was recently a neat article on funiculars in the March 23, 2000 issue. Here's the full cite:

Glory Days of the Incline, Before the Decline; Joyce Cohen; New York Times, New York;
Mar 23, 2000; Late Edition (East Coast); pg. G.8

But I pulled up 25 articles when I searched on the word "funicular" in ProQuest Direct. Good luck with those 2nd graders!


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