Monday, July 16, 2007


I went caving with some friends this past weekend, and as we pondered a sign entitled "Speleology", one of them commented, "Don't you find it hard to believe that a word like 'spelunk' actually comes from, like, a Latin root?"

I did, so much so that I had to look it up (though the presence of the -ology suffix was a pretty good indication):

ETYMOLOGY:From obsolete spelunk, cave, from Middle English, from Old French spelunque, from Latin splunca, from Greek splunx.

But I also like the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip with the following dialogue:
Calvin: Want to go spelunking with me?
Hobbes: Spelunking? There aren't any caves around here!
Calvin: You don't need a cave. All you need is a rock. Spelunk!


Anonymous said...

Latin my ass!

Have you ever gone way done some cave and turned off all your lights? You see NOTHING but stray cosmic particles lighting streaks in your mind's camera. Then you HEAR it - a drop of water falling into a pool: spe-LUNK.

Onomatopoeia: use of words which echo their meaning in sound, e.g. "snap", crackle", "spelunk"!

Then, if you are lucky, you escape from the cave with your life.

Anonymous said...

It is in fact Latin you ass. I took four years of Latin and the amount of it in your everyday life would amaze you.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure ass #1 was joking, ass #2. Anyway, back to the minds camera idea, I have to agree with that 100%.

It's almost like you can see neutrinos or random photons pop in and out of existence. You can't tell if your eyes are open or closed, but either way it's quite an experience!