With the Passing of Time

Metathesis

Posted on: February 9, 2009

metathesis
\muh-TATH-uh-sis\ | noun

1a : a change of place or condition: as
1b : transposition of two phonemes in a word
1c : a chemical reaction in which different kinds of molecules exchange parts to form other kinds of molecules

I’d never heard of this word before (and I probably would have pronounced it meta thesis if I saw it in a sentence; I prefer the real pronunciation). I’m wondering how long it will take before people turn it into a verb and start using it instead of transpose (like people have decided that utilize is better than use; that drives me up a wall).

The first link is the Metathesis Web site (who knew such a thing existed). It’s a research project in the linguistics department at Ohio State University, the goal of which is to create a “more solid empirical basis for the study of metathesis” and to “develop a constrained and predictive theory of metathesis.” There’s a database of all reported cases of metathesis, a bibliography and research papers. I’m sure it’s all very interesting but I can’t imagine wanting to spend this much time on this subject. Obviously linguistics isn’t my bag but they love it at OSU. From the department’s homepage you can download the “Early History of OSU Linguistics” and the “History of Phonetics at OSU” is you’re so inclined.

The first image is from the chemical side of things.

It’s from the Atom-to-Atom Mapping section of the Chemogenesis Web Book. You get to the image when you click on metathesis and then scroll down a little. It possibly is showing an example of olefin metathesis but don’t quote me on that. I have nothing to say about it. It is what it is and I have not a clue what that is.

© 2009 With the Passing of Time

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Willingness to join soil, sound, hands; memory follows me ~ Viggo Mortensen
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Credits

Daily words come from Merriam-Webster's word of the day. All rambling comes from my head.

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