Posted By: Rapunzel Proustian words I had to look up - 03/24/04 12:52 AM
Insel's memory thread and bel's "words I had to look up" thread reminded me of the list of vocabulary words I compiled while reading Proust. Here's one of them:

ukase, n. A Russian edict or order, esp. during the Czarist regimes, having the force of law; any decree or order issued by an authority or official.
(from Webster's)

Here is an excerpt from Proust with the word in context:

My mother was counting greatly upon the pineapple and truffle salad. But the Ambassador, after fastening for a moment on the confection the penetrating gaze of a trained observer, ate it with the inscrutable discretion of a diplomat, without disclosing his opinion. My mother insisted on his taking some more, which he did, but saying only, in place of the compliment for which she was hoping: 'I obey, Madame, for I can see that it is, on your part, a positive ukase.'

from In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
my ed. published by The Folio Society 2001

Posted By: wwh Re: Proustian words I had to look up - 03/24/04 01:13 AM
I can't quite imagine how pineapple and truffle would go together. It does seem to me that a French diplomat should
have been able either to evade gracefully a second serving,
or pretend to enjoy it. The hostess could not have
missed his lack of enthusiasm, which would hurt worse than a refusal

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: Proustian words I had to look up - 03/24/04 01:16 AM
well, though it may be an order, he did at least say it was a positive ukase. he knew he had to eat another helping, but he enjoyed it.

Posted By: wwh Re: Proustian words I had to look up - 03/24/04 01:41 AM
You mean he enjoyed zinging his hostess.

Posted By: belMarduk Re: Proustian words I had to look up - 03/25/04 01:08 AM
Rapunzel, do you know how we'd pronounce ukase? I'm not sure how it would sound since I don't know Russian at all.

Posted By: Rapunzel Re: Proustian words I had to look up - 03/25/04 05:37 PM
The two dictionaries I consulted differ on what the preferred pronunciation is-- the first says it should be "you-case" or "you-kaze" with accent on the second syllable. The second dictionary says to put the accent on the first syllable. So, I'm not sure.

Posted By: Jackie Re: Proustian words I had to look up - 03/26/04 12:31 PM
Rapunzel, it's wonderful to see you back here! Thanks for the pronunciations--I'd been thinking of it as having three syllables. (The most unlikely being you, Casey.)

Posted By: Rapunzel Proustian word #2 - 03/26/04 02:02 PM
hypogean, (high-puh-JEE-un) adj. Growing or living below the surface of the ground.

An interesting related word is hypogeum, n. The subterranean part of an ancient building, or an ancient underground burial chamber.

(from M-W)

p.s. Can anyone show me how to make pronunciation symbols? I have the ANSI codes, but they don't include a symbol for the schwa sound, among other things.

Posted By: jheem Re: Proustian word #2 - 03/26/04 02:22 PM
I think your best bet is using SAMPA.


Others will no doubt disagree. You can also use XML/XHTML entities (they are delimited with an ampersand-octothorpe and a semi-colon and contain a number [Unicode] in between). Depending on your audience's browser / OS configuration, this may or may not work. For example, schwa /@/ in SAMPA or /ə/ in Unicode (number is 601 in Unicode).


Posted By: belMarduk Re: hypogean - 03/26/04 09:20 PM
Ooo, I like that word Rapunzel. Seems like you could write a fab SciFi story based on this word.

Posted By: tsuwm not science fiction, but - 03/26/04 09:46 PM
The Biology of Hypogean Fishes (Developments in Environmental Biology of Fishes, 21)
Aldemaro Romero Diaz

List Price: $154.00

(hmmm.. fish living below the surface of the ground.. whadda concept.)

Posted By: Rapunzel Speaking of Fishes... - 03/31/04 01:12 AM
Here's Word #3:

lacustrine, adj. (luh-KUSS-trin) of, relating to, formed in, living in, or growing in lakes.

Again, an excerpt from Proust:

...at the foot of the path which led down to the artificial lake, there might be seen, in its two tiers woven of forget-me-nots and periwinkle flowers, a natural, delicate, blue garland encircling the water's luminous and shadowy brow, while the iris, flourishing its sword-blades in regal profusion, stretched out over agrimony and water-growing crowfoot the tattered fleurs-de-lis, violet and yellow, of its lacustrine sceptre.

From vol 1, Swann's Way

p.s. Thanks, jheem, for the links. As you can see, I haven't quite deciphered them yet.

Posted By: wwh Re: Speaking of Fishes... - 03/31/04 01:49 AM
I found some sites about blind fish in limestone cave
In Xanadu did Kublai Khan
a stately pleasure-dome decree,
where Alph, the sacred river, ran
through caverns measureless to man
down to a sunless sea,

That's hypogean.

Posted By: belMarduk Re: Speaking of Fishes... - 03/31/04 02:28 AM
I like that poem Bill.

Rapunzel, did you look up the etymology of lacustrine? It's funny that the first syllable is pronounced luh. I would have thought it was LAC as in lacquer or shellac.

Lac (pronounced like in my two examples above) is the French word for lake, so I though that the words might be related somewhere deep in the past.

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