Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wondrous Words July 9th

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button at Bermudaonion's Weblog,  write a post and go back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

1. titrating : intransitive verb, to test by or be subject to titration
       titrate:  verb  to titrate is to measure how much of a substance you have by measuring how much of the solution is required to achieve a given reaction. 

After his shower, Griffin mixed blue food coloring in water, titrating as carefully as if he were searching for a cure for some dreaded disease.

From Say When  by Elizabeth Berg.

2.  chiaroscuro noun   the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting. 

He knew nothing about the technique of chiaroscuro; there was no play between shadow and light in any of his samples. 

This example of chiaroscuro is by Gerrit van Honthorst called The Matchmaker. 

3. pointillism  noun. a technique of neo-Impressionist painting using tiny dots of various pure colors, which become blended in the viewer's eye. It was developed by Seurat with the aim of producing a greater degree of luminosity and brilliance of color. 

"At first, I merely imitated the styles of the painters I most admired. The impressionists and expressionists, the pointillists."

Study for a Sunday on La Grande Jatte ,  1884   George Seurat

#2 and 3 are from We Are Water by Wally Lamb.

I found a few other words in Wally Lamb's book, I'll share those next time. 

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay happy


  1. I knew pointillism because I love that style of painting. Even after reading the definition several times, I still don't really understand titrating.

  2. I love Seurat! When I saw La Grande Jatte in the museum I was driving everyone else in the gallery nuts because I kept walking up close then backing away across the room - back and forth for ages. It is so amazing how these little blobs turn into this amazing picture.

    And, um, that isn't a very good definition of titrating - sorry geochemist here - basically the idea is that you have a sample of something, like water from a pond, and you want to find out how much dissolved oxygen is in the water - you add tiny amounts of a reactant (something that will react with the thing you are trying to measure) until you see a measurable reaction - like the water turns dark blue. If you have every played with litmus paper to test for pH (red = acid and blue = base) - that is the same idea.

    1. Thanks for the better definition of titrating. Maybe it wasn't used well in the sentence either. Griffin was trying to dye the hair of a doll, so that it matched the hair of his estranged wife's childhood doll. Obscure, for sure.

  3. Glad to see you back at WWW. I've been catching up on your other posts. I'm sorry about the loss of your husband's mother, but I'm glad to see you have a baby in the house. My husband and I are celebrating our 50th this year too. 1964 was a good year, wasn't it?

    1. Thanks for your concern. It has been hard to get back in the swing. The baby is bringing us great joy. We are laughing and giggling at him or with him every day.

  4. Didn't know any of these, the painting was very pretty.

  5. I think Pointillism is a really interesting form of painting. All those dots make......Enjoyed your words.