Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Word of the Week #46

**I found this word in one of the books I'm reading (Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card). It's a wonderful example of a writer taking a word out of it's normal usage, and changing how you view it. I've known this word before, but never seen it used this way. I hope to be able to do that someday.

penumbra - [pi-nuhm-bruh] - noun

Definition:
1. Astronomy.
a. the partial or imperfect shadow outside the complete shadow of an opaque body, as a planet, where the light from the source of illumination is only partly cut off.
b. the grayish marginal portion of a sunspot.

2. a shadowy, indefinite, or marginal area.

Usage:
"Mother was dressed to kill; Alessandra could only strive not to disappear completely in Mother's penumbra." -direct quote from Ender in Exile.

2 comments:

Deborah said...

Sort of requires thinking out of the box, but staying in the box at the same time in order to get the right meaning.

ElanaJ said...

I like that you used the word "usage". But I like all words that end with -age, so...yeah. :)