Monday, October 12, 2009

From dusk to dawn

I started my day today with a discussion of words and word use (fun! really!). It came about because we were discussing the word "dusk," as in "I ran until dusk." (No, I didn't say this ... It was said by someone else much more young and fit.)

Anyhow, the conversation evolved (or devolved, depending your frame of reference) into a discussion of antonyms and synonyms. We agreed: synonyms of dusk include "twilight" and (this was my contribution) "gloaming" (love that word!). Antonyms for dusk are "dawn" and . . .??

At this point, I was a bit stumped. Maybe it's because whereas I experience dusk frequently (every day, essentially), dawn is ... something I experience only under protest or in light of early flight schedules. So, I turned to the internet while everyone else returned to work. But hey, I charge by the hour, so I figured I could put in a couple free minutes to satisfy the itch for symmetry.

What I found:
Dusk vs Dawn
Twilight vs First light
Sundown vs Sunrise (or Sunup)
Nightfall vs Daybreak

Dawn or dusk? Who knows? But look at those lovely lenticular clouds!

But then, I ran into trouble:
Gloaming vs ... what?? Gleaming? (I rather like that, but don't think it's the case.)
Eventide vs ... uh ...

And what about crepuscular light? Does that only apply to evening/dusk? If so, then what do you call the "light before the dawn?"

At that point, I had to stop and get to work, because the itch to find the right words was beginning to feel more like a rash. But I've been turning those terms over in my mind all day... and now it's long past dusk.


Jean Henry Mead said...

What a lovely website, Ann! As a photographer of sorts, I've taken countless pictures of sunrises and sunsets. The one on your site is stunning!


Ann Parker said...

Thank you Jean! I love the colors in the sky re: sunrises and sunsets ... and the clouds, of course. I just don't get up early enough to grab the "break of day" very often. :-)

Anonymous said...

I'd actually never heard of "gloaming" before.... now that I've looked it up, I do think "twilight" is a much better word for it! Can you imagine if Stephanie Meyer decided to write "The Gloaming Series" instead? :)