Sunday, November 13, 2005

Weird Science: Syzygy


Don’t you want to be the first person to throw down this combination in a scrabble game, gloat and suck up over 100 points? I mean three letter y’s and one z, how rare is that?

It is pronounced (sizz-eh-jee) just in case you want to impress others orally as well as the scrabbley (okay, don’t try using that word during the game - I just made it up) types. You could, you know, just throw it into a casual conversation - maybe on a first date, while ordering coffee at the drive through, or when your Astrophysics’s professor asks you a question.

Um, then again, your Astrophysics professor will know what it means, so maybe try it on your Math teacher instead.

And you know what’s so cool? My WordPerfect spell checker didn’t even hick-up when I typed this word out.

What’s that? Oh, what does it mean?

Well, it’s really quite simple, so simple in fact I had to fluff out this piece and stall, because otherwise this post would be so short the picture would take up more space than my eloquent prose . . .

Hey that was a pretty good eye roll - worthy of the late Marty Feldman.

Okay, you’ve waited long enough.

It means a configuration of three celestial bodies which lie together in a straight line.

One such configuration would be the Sun, Earth and the Moon during a solar eclipse.

I know, the word itself is much neater than it’s meaning.

Oh, and one little tidbit more (fluffing out the piece as it were). If the Moon is on the other side of the Earth during a syzygy between the Earth, Sun and Moon, it is called an opposition.

But that word, unless placed extremely well, won’t bag you as many points as syzygy.

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