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

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.

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


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. :)