May 1st

On an off-chance, a member of staff remarked to me yesterday that May 1st is the beginning of summer, according to the charts. For once, English weather actually felt it.

Although we’ve still got a chill in the air (I brought a second jumper and scarf into school today), the summer sun has been heating. It’s in the sunshine, so one could say. Only in the rays the warmth.

And the heat was almost overpowering powerwalking.

Well. The summertime adverts have begun, too. They’re talking about summer holidays already!

In a Skylight

WORD OF THE WEEK

My shiny word of the week is ‘marmoreal‘, meaning: resembling marble, smooth or marbly.

Words ending ‘-eal’ like so are reminiscent of words ending ‘-eis’ specifically, those directly from their Latin equivalent, here ‘marmoreus’. (In itself a pretty traditional adjective for stem and ending).

The fun thing with Latin is it allows nouns to have the suffix attached with no other matter. For instance, whilst marmor-eal -eis is a synonym for ‘marbly’, the application doesn’t work for a lot of common concrete nouns. Whether -eus or -eal is used depends on the declension of the specific noun. In the following case,  I believe ‘arbor’ belongs to one of the most irregular declensions: 3rd.

For instance, ‘arboreis’ is a frequent adjective in poetry for nature – ‘arbor’ is, of course, ‘tree’, but ‘treey’ is hardly English!

Latin is wonderful – and it’s true that it has an order to it that English language cannot replicate. We have to settle for multiple words to retrieve one translation from the single Latin word. And, in my opinion, ‘tree-like’ is far more clunky than ‘treey’! 😉

Anyway, here’s hoping for more marmoreal skies 😉

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