This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Spot the frippet: horizon.

'Tis the season to be hopeful...
...All of our eyes on 
The distant horizon

as the old song says.

Mind you, if you're riding along on the crest of a wave (as the same old song also says) then the horizon will be rather further away than if you're in a trough.

I could probably base a whole sermon on that idea if I were a clergyman. Luckily for all of us, however, I never got further than Sunday School teacher - and that was a long time ago.
There are all sorts of different horizons. True horizon is the boundary between the earth and the sky, though getting a look at it is quite unusual because half the time it's covered up by trees and buildings and stuff. The edge between the sky and that sort of thing is the visible horizon.
An archaeological horizon is a band of earth containing artifacts of the same date; a soil horizon is similar, but usually much older. It might contain a band of fossils.
The cosmological horizon is the biggest of them all: it's the furthest distance a particle can have travelled in the time since the universe was created.
Most of us, however, have smaller horizons: like finishing the current book. Or having dinner.

Spot the frippet: horizon. This word is from the Greek phrase horizōn kuklos, which means separating or limiting circle. Before that the word's from horizein, to divide, and before that, perhaps from oros, which is a boundary or landmark, or from horos, which means limit.

1 comment:

  1. In polls of favourite words, I often say HORIZON. I love it. It sounds exactly like what it is, if you see what I mean!