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Jan 2, 2006
This week's theme
Words related to time

This week's words
hesternal
perennial
anachronism
yestreen
bimester

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

hesternal

Pronunciation RealAudio

The wheel of time keeps moving. The old year goes away and the new year claims its place. There's a reason we call it the "wheel" of time. The word "annual" comes from the Latin annus meaning a circuit of the sun, hence a year.

Flowers don't bloom any differently just because a new year has begun. Clouds move at the same pace whether it's a new day or a new century. Yet for humans these markers along the trail of life are quite convenient.

We brood about what happened yesterday. We plan things for the next week. And with a new year, we feel our knapsack of time is replenished. Again. What we missed doing last year we might be able to accomplish this time.

And so the wheel turns.

Ultimately, it's all relative. A story goes that a man prays to God. God appears and the man says, "Lord! Our billions of years are your one second. Our billions of dollars are merely a penny for you. Could you grant me a penny?" God smiles, says "Certainly! Back in a second," and disappears.

May all your wishes be granted in the new year!

* * *

This week in A.Word.A.Day we'll look at words about time.

hesternal

(heh-STER-nuhl) adjective

Of yesterday.

[From Latin hesternus (of yesterday). Also see nudiustertian (relating to the day before yesterday) hodiernal (relating to today).]

"I passed up a side-street, one of those deserted ways ... dim places, fusty with hesternal excitements and the thrills of yesteryear."
Rupert Brooke; Letters From America; Sidgwick & Jackson; 1971.

X-Bonus

I'll tell you how the sun rose-- / A ribbon at a time. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

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