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Nov 3, 2016
This week’s theme
Words made with combining forms

This week’s words
hippology
hypogeal
xerophilic
steganography
nidicolous

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

steganography

PRONUNCIATION:
(ste-guh-NOG-ruh-fee)

MEANING:
noun: The practice of concealing a message within another, nonsecret message.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek stego- (cover) + -graphy (writing). Ultimately from the Indo-European root (s)teg- (to cover), which also gave us thatch, toga, stegosaurus, detect, and protect. Earliest documented use: 1569.

NOTES:
Examples of steganography: Shrinking the secret text until it’s the size of a dot and then putting it in an unsuspected place, such as the dot on top of a letter i in some innocuous letter. Shaving the head of a man, writing the secret message on his pate with unwashable ink, and then letting the hair grow back before dispatching him to the destination (example from history). To take an example from modern digital techniques, one could put the text of a message in the blank spaces in an image file.

USAGE:
“Using steganography, Steve was able to hide his message in the photographs he took that day.”
Andre Le Gallo; The Caliphate; D Street Books; 2012.

See more usage examples of steganography in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
This is the devilish thing about foreign affairs: they are foreign and will not always conform to our whim. -James Reston, journalist (3 Nov 1909-1995)

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