Friday, February 15, 2008

Have you Loured today?

Its not at all unusual for me to look up a word I see in a book I'm reading even if I get the gist from the context. Its almost unheard of that I see a word and say, "thats a word?"

p. 274 of Undertow by Elizabeth Bear: "The sky was already louring, the moon-glow only permeating a few threadbare places in the overcast."

Louring. Never seen the word before.

Go ahead, look it up yourself. (Or, feel free to let me know that you've known that word since the age of three and use it in conversation on a regular basis.)


John the Scientist said...

No, I can't say I've ever used that word.

But I can describe to you why a sky looks that way, in great mathematical detail.

And I take the science geek's superiority refuge over the literary geek (from Richard Feynman):

"Just because you can name a thing, doesn't mean you know what it is"


Jeff Hentosz said...

Oh, yeah, use it all the time. Weird coincidence -- I was sitting having my coffee just a bit ago, idly surfing with one ear to The Today Show, and I click your bookmark.

"Whoa," said I to my wife, "Here I range the cyphered networks, as is my wont, and thought I'd extravagated, but no, it is only that Nathan's familiar header graphique -- long my beacon, long my friend -- has changed and loured upon the page!"

Like I said, weird.

Nathan said...

John, Jeff,

You may each stake out your own little corner of internet whacko-land.

MWT said...

Piled High And Deep!

I'm surrounded by those too, but they aren't much like me at all.

Nathan said...

Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!

John makes the Polybloggimous Hall Of Fame.


Shawn Powers said...

I'm currently reading, "Stranger in a Strange Land."

It's possibly my first time ever, possibly not. I don't remember it in any case. I thought it was funny that Heinlein used the word, "Grok" in such an old book.

Yes, yes, I'm very naive. I thought it was pretty cool when I found he made the darn thing up, and now it's common language, particularly on the interweebs.

...I just thought I'd share my ignorance. ;)

Nathan said...


Knew the word.
Knew the definition.
Didn't know Heinlein coined it.
Didn't know it rhymes with "oak" not "rock" (I've been "reading" it rwong)

"I really don't grok grok at all." (apologies to Joni Mitchell)

Shawn Powers said...

I think I disagree with wikipedia on that "oak" thing anyway. I've heard it rhyming with "rock" every time it's spoken.

But yeah, it was cool to learn it was invented in the book I'm currently reading. :)

Nathan said...

Wiki may be wrong. American Heritage and Merriam-Webster and one other place go with the "ock" pronunciation.


Tom said...

Far out, man. Right on! Shawn's hijacking Nathan's very own blog, and nobody say anything about it.

I may be showing my age, but I was there when "Grok" was invented! No, not with RAH, but I remember when the book came out! I got some people in my High School Senior English class to read Stranger. That was back in '68-'69.

I have a hardback copy, purchased brand new in the '70s for $10.95. It's a 7th printing edition. And it's worn out, I've read it so many times.

I also have an Uncut edition that was inscribed by my parents for Christmas 1990, and the copyright of the uncut edition is 1991. I've always been a Heinlein fan.

Nathan said...


When I'm interviewing people to work for me, I always tell them I expect my people to take initiative...except in the situations where I don't want anybody taking initiative. Its an unfair art where they have to read my mind.

Hijacking, like initiative, is expected and applauded here at Polybloggimous...except when its not. Grok that!