Camels vs. dromedaries?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Apr 4 14:13:57 UTC 2008

At 10:27 AM -0300 4/4/08, David A. Daniel wrote:
>Here in Rio de Janeiro our moon does not lie. (Also, traditionally, we don't
>see a man, we see a rabbit in the moon.) A good illustration of the C and D
>of the matter can be seen here
> (!) and you can
>toggle between Northern and Southern Hemisphere views. I was about to wax
>effusive on the usage vs. etymology aspects of crescent but my available
>time was decrescent and passion waned.

Based on the helpful web site, I wonder how all this affects
fertility timing (and positions) differently in the northern and
southern hemispheres; maybe the rabbit comes into play here.


>At 11:59 PM -0400 4/3/08, Michael Covarrubias wrote:
>>Ah better -- I'd not heard that half of it.
>>But then some semantic shift has gotten in the way of it working
>>perfectly. Crescent is used to describe the moon before the first
>>quarter -- when it's waxing crescent -- and also after the third quarter
>>-- once it's waning crescent.
>I was using "crescent" in the etymological sense = 'growing'.  As you
>say, somewhere along the way, we (they) started to call the
>decrescent (3/4) moon phase "crescent" too, which makes it less
>obvious that the moon is lying.
>>So when it's 'C' it *is* crescent.
>>Waning Crescent. Maybe that one will end up next to 'jumbo shrimp' in
>>all those email forwards that say our language is impossible to
>>understand because of the oxymorons.
>Indeed, but then again we do refer to things growing smaller.  Or
>maybe this just shows once again that if you keep repeating a lie
>often enough (especially if you're a heavenly body), people end up
>believing it.
>>Laurence Horn wrote:
>>>and "C" when it's crescent, or else it would only be lying half the time
>>>>that mnemonic always seemed like too many steps.
>>>But it's so elegant!  (In the northern hemisphere, anyway.)  Now, if
>>>we can prove that camels have two humps and dromedaries one when
>>>they're south of the Equator, we'll really be on to something.
>>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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