I've just read ChicagoNow's Bon Bini Ya'll' s latest post, "The Antediluvian Days of Long Distance Telephone Calls". As always, a very fascinating and enjoyable piece on Candace Drimmer's adventures in Peru. If you haven't read her yet, you're missing her wonderful insights on life in a foreign country and on life in general.
In the title of her post today, she used a word that perhaps many people are not familiar with, but a word that has an intriguing origin: antediluvian. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, antediluvian is from the Latin 'ante'(before) and 'diluvium' (flood). Before the flood, that is, the flood described in the Book of Genesis, Chapters 6-9. By 1646, antediluvian came to refer to anything "made, evolved, or developed a long time ago". Thus those days of long distance telephone calls.
In January, here in the Chicago area, we don't usually fret about liquid precipitation. A deluge. Which is itself a cognate of antediluvian. Do you see the resemblance? No, what sends chills down my psyche is a big accumulation of snowflakes. Piles and piles of them.
So let me raise the ante. Which 'ante' word would anticipate the time before a snowfall of epic proportions?
By the way, did you know that the Inuits have 50 words for snow?
Filed under: snowfalls