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pedology (pi-DOL-uh-jee) noun

The study of soil: its formation, usage, classification, etc. Also called soil science.

[From Greek pedon (soil).]

If at first you thought pedology was the study of children, you're not completely off. Using the Greek prefix pedo- (child), this term can refer to the field concerned with the development of little ones. But for everyone's sanity, pedology is mostly used when referring to soils, and pediatrics for children. Imagine taking your sick child to a pedologist who turns out to be an expert in soils or expecting a soil specialist to check your backyard when she shows up with a stethoscope around her neck.

"Accra's underlying geology and pedology makes the permeability of water difficult." Ken Mensah; Rain, Rain Go Away; Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra); May 27, 2004.

"University of Illinois pedology professor Dr. Robert Carmody uses a spade to smooth the wall of a soil pit at the school's South Farms." Charlyn Fargo; Nature's Greatest Gift; State Journal Register (Springfield, Illinois); Jun 21, 2002.

This week's theme: words that aren't what they appear to be.


And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

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