[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: cliff-dwelling; neonate moons



In a message dated 95-12-02 11:50:54 EST, PESELYG@LYNX.APSU.EDU writes:

>If we need a high-falutin' word for cliff-dwellers...there were a
>number of words in ancient Greek meaning cliff, including
>"petra," "akra," and "kre:mnos" (e: = eta), although each one
>doesn't always mean cliff but might mean "precipice" or "high
>ridge," etc.  From "petra" there is the word "petrokatoike:tos,"
>"having its abode in the rocks," which could be anglicized as
>"petrocatecete" (PET-ro-CAT-uh-seet); from "akra" there is
>"akrolophia" (mountain ridge) --> "akrolophite:s" = "mountaineer,"
>which could be anglicized as "acrolophite."  From "kre:mnos" there
>is the word "kre:mnobate:s" (climber of steep places) which could
>give "cremnobat" but people might think it was a kind of bat.

I was looking for a less specific term--"dweller in high places"--to take
into account any circumstance in which an animal might habitually climb out
of reach of predators, whether up a tree, on a cliff, in a belfry, etc. One
of the meanings of _nomos_ (almost the same root as in the word "nomad") is
given by Brown as "place or condition for living." So combined with the
obvious _akra_ we get "acronome." It's suitably obscure, and its only eight
letters long (unlike "synapomorphy").

>As of 1989, the record for the earliest naked-eye sighting of
>the new moon was 14 hours and 51 minutes after astronomical
>new moon, according to an article in _Sky & Telescope_ vol. 78
>(1989) 322-23.  The record was achieved under exceptionally
>favorable circumstances.

I remember the article; it's what got me interested in trying to catch the
new moon in the first place.

The ones I saw in San Diego typically ran 18-25 hours old. Older than that,
and they were too easy. During the time I was moon-watching, San Diego was
never lucky enough to be at sunset when the moon's age was less than about 18
hours. Even with binoculars I was not able to catch a very new moon while the
sun was still in the sky.