Apr 3 • 5M


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Debra Esolen
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When man tries to understand the world around him, he often compares things to members of his own body. So if you have a steep hill or a cliff jutting out toward the sea, that’s the headland. When the Romans thought about the crater of a volcano, they called it the jaws, and I guess that makes sense, and besides, I’m not going to argue with them. We don’t have any volcanos where we live, but they had Vesuvius and Etna and Stromboli, after all. If you’re trying to remember what the heck a dactyl is, just remember that that comes from the Greek word for finger: stretch your finger out, and you’ll see one long joint and two short ones, and that’s exactly what a dactyl is: DUM-da-da. And then there’s our Word of the Week, the palm, a tree which the Romans named for the palma, the flat of your hand, because they thought that the long leaves looked like fingers.

If your name is PALMER (English), PALMEIRO (Spanish), PALMIERO (Italian), or PALMIER (French), you had an ancestor who travele…

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