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Nov 15, 2011
This week's theme
Words with unusual arrangements of letters

This week's words
verisimilitude
syzygy
yob
kine
spendthrift

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

syzygy

PRONUNCIATION:
(SIZ-uh-jee)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An alignment of three objects, for example, sun, moon, and earth during an eclipse.
2. A pair of related things.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin syzygia, from Greek syzygia (union, pair). Ultimately from the Indo-European root yeug- (to join), which is also the ancestor of junction, yoke, yoga, adjust, juxtapose, rejoinder, jugular, and junta. Earliest documented use: 1656.

NOTES:
One could hyperpolysyllabically contrive a longer word having four Ys, but syzygy nicely lines up three of them organically in just six letters.

USAGE:
"'To me it's two dots that connect,' Douglas Coupland says, 'I don't know if there's going to be a third one so it makes a syzygy.'"
John Barber; Douglas Coupland; The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada); Oct 2, 2009.

See more usage examples of syzygy in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone. -Thomas Hardy, novelist and poet (1840-1928)

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