|About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us|
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
MEANING:noun: A method of writing in which lines are written alternately in opposite direction, from left to right, and right to left.
ETYMOLOGY:From boustrophedon, literally ox-turning, referring to the movement of an ox while plowing a field, from Greek bous (ox) and strophe (turning). It's the same strophe that shows up in catastrophe (literally, an overturning) and apostrophe (literally, turning away, referring to the omission of a letter).
NOTES:In such writing, each letter on the alternate lines was written as in a mirror image or rotated 180 degrees. We still do many things boustrophedonically, such as mowing the lawn, vacuuming the floor, etc. In many computer printers, such as dot-matrix and inkjet, the print head usually moves in the boustrophedon mode (though thankfully doesn't print letters mirrored or rotated).
USAGE:"Tell me, am I wrong to mock vertigo from summit to abyss, to reveal the world as I see it? To scribe my destiny boustrophedon, from left to right then right to left."
Philippe Petit; To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers; North Point Press; 2002.
See more usage examples of boustrophedon in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands. -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)
Contribute | Advertise
© 2014 Wordsmith