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Kickshaws word of the year.

Jeff Grant passed on "another possible Kickshaws item that was mentioned in the latest edition of 'Forwords', the New Zealand Scrabble magazine. Have a look at the entry for 'cactolith' on Wikipedia. A nice definition and story."

Yes, CACTOLITH is wonderful, and it is officially our Word of the Year for 2010. Here's the word and its story. Speak, word! Define thyself!

"A cactolith is a quasihorizontal chonolith composed of anastomosing ductoliths whose distal ends curl like a harpolith, thin like a sphenolith, or bulge discordantly like an akmolith or ethmolith."

This term and its associated definition were created by Charles B. Hunt, a USGS researcher, in his paper "Geology and geography of the Henry Mountains region, Utah" (1953). Whilst he was in fact describing an actual geological feature--a laccolith which he saw as resembling a cactus [1]--he was also, tongue-in-cheek, commenting on what he saw as an absurd number of "-lith" words in the field of Geology.

DAVE MORICE

Iowa City, Iowa
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Title Annotation:KICKSHAWS
Author:Morice, Dave
Publication:Word Ways
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2010
Words:216
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