Saturday, December 20, 2008


Word of the Day
Colloquy (noun)
Pronunciation: [kah-lê-kwi]
Definition: A conversation or discussion, oral or written; a small conference or short course organized to discuss a narrow topic from different perspectives.
Usage: Today's word is used almost interchangeably with the Latin word it is derived from: "colloquium." The latter tends to be preferred in referring to an organized academic colloquy while "colloquy" is more likely to be used in reference to an informal discussion of an issue by disparate parties. The plural is "colloquies." The adjective, "colloquial," which describes common speech, also serves as the adjective for today's word. A participant in a colloquy is a colloquist.
Suggested Usage: Kids, here is a useful word that should capture and hold your parents' attention, "I think the family should indulge in more colloquy before deciding on where we spend our vacation." Adults should be able to find ample use for it in a world where things so often go awry for lack of communication, "The company would be doing much better were there more colloquy between management and employees."
Etymology: Today's word, as mentioned before, comes from the Latin colloquium "conversation, discussion," based on the preposition com "with, together" + loqui "to speak." The final [m] on "com" was subject to 'assimilation' in Latin, which meant that it took on the characteristics of the sound following it. So if the root began with an [l], it became an [l]; if it was an [r], it became an [r], too, as "relation : correlation." Latin "loqui" is a descendant of Proto-Indo-European *tolkw- which ended up in English as "talk" and Russian as tolki "talk, gossip." In Latin the [t] seems to have mysteriously vanished, scaring the [o] and [l] into switching places. –Dr. Language,

I think, perhaps, we should have a little chat.....

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