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Mar 23, 2009
This week's theme
Double trouble

This week's words
diptych
snake_eyes
portmanteau
zwieback
dicephalous

A diptych by Christina Goodman
Two Tree Diptych

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Two for the price of one! It's a come-on commonly used by marketeers. But getting two of something isn't always desirable. Consider diplopia or duplicity (literally, doubleness).

All of this week's words have some connection with doubling. And if a whole week of double-mania proves too much, keep this term handy -- it's guaranteed to purge all the doubling: hemidemisemiquaver. It manages to fit three halvings into one word.

diptych

PRONUNCIATION:
(DIP-tik)

MEANING:
noun: A work of art on two hinged panels, such as a painting or carving.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin diptycha, from Greek diptycha, from di- (two) + ptyche (fold).

NOTES:
Then there is triptych, the word for a set of three hinged panels. The words triptych and diptych are sometimes extended to refer to movies, books, etc., for what usually would be called a trilogy or dilogy/duology.

USAGE:
"It's an installation in which participants interact with a diptych of two real-time images of themselves."
Tom Shields; Electronic Madness; Sunday Herald (Glasgow, Scotland); Jun 28, 2008.

See more usage examples of diptych in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti, author, speaker, and philosopher (1895-1986)

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