This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sunday Rest: ethmoid. Word Not To Use Today.

Brain like a sieve? I know mine is. Did you know, though, that your skull like a sieve?

Ethmoid is a horrid word, managing to sound like something between a sore-throat lozenge and the owner of a Yorkshire corner-shop, but I'm afraid we all have ethmoid bones, and ethoid sinuses, and even, Heaven help us, labyrinths of ethmoid.

This is the ethmoid bone:


Yours is at the sides of the top of your nose, and the most remarkable thing about it is that it's magnetic. No, really, it is: it has magnetite deposits in it. In some birds this deposit allows them to steer their way on migration by sensing the direction of the earth's magnetic field, but it doesn't work in humans. Well, it doesn't work with this human, at least. I can get lost in a telephone box.

You may not have been aware of your ethmoid bones, but you'd know if they got broken (they're very fragile because they're full of holes). Seriously nasty stuff can happen, including going pop-eyed when you sneeze, and losing your sense of smell.

And it wouldn't even be any good taking good taking ethmoid lozenges, then.

Word Not To Use Today: ethmoid. This word comes from the Greek ethmos, which means sieve.

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