Monday, December 3, 2007

The Word of the Day is: Transpicuous

transpicuous \tran-SPIK-yuh-wus\ adjective
: clearly seen through or understood

Example sentence:
Although the reporter claimed to be merely curious, her motives were quite transpicuous; it was clear that she was hunting a story.

Did you know?
"Transpicuous" is derived from the Latin word "transpicere," meaning "to look through." "Transpicere," in turn, is a formation that combines "trans-," meaning "through," and "specere," a verb meaning "to look" or "to see." If you guessed that "transpicuous" is related to "conspicuous," you're correct. It's also possible to see a number of other "specere" descendants in English, including "aspect," "circumspect," "expect," "inspect," "perspective," and "suspect." Another descendant of "specere," and a close synonym of "transpicuous," is "perspicuous," which means "clear and easy to understand," as in "a perspicuous argument." (“Per-,” like “trans-,” means “through.”) There’s also "perspicacious," meaning "keen and observant." (You might say that "perspicuous" and “transpicuous” mean "able to be seen through," whereas "perspicacious" means "able to see through.")


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