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.
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
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
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.
You mean he enjoyed zinging his hostess.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
I think your best bet is using SAMPA.http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/sampa/home.htm
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).http://www.tei-c.org/Lite/U5-chars.html
Ooo, I like that word Rapunzel. Seems like you could write a fab SciFi story based on this word.
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.)
Here's Word #3:lacustrine
(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.
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,
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.