Friday, September 12, 2008

The Word Nerd Sez: C is for...


Boy, that's a fancy-looking word, isn't it? I wonder what it means. Is it some form of "lite" copper? No, the "-lite" part has something to do with stone, I'm pretty sure. And if I remember high school chemistry, the symbol for copper is Cu; depending on the valence, compounds are either "cupric" or "cuprous." So, something having to do with stones or minerals, but not copper. I wonder. Maybe I should look it up in the dictionary.

tee hee hee

How could I forget? Coprolite is the fancy term for PETRIFIED POO! Thank you, paleontology class! Yes, there are scientists out there who spend their careers studying fossilized dinosaur dung. If it weren't for coprolites, we wouldn't know much about what dinosaurs used to eat. Coprolite can also be analyzed to see what kinds of minerals existed in certain prehistoric plants. In the 19th century, the English mined for coprolites, as they made great fertilizer.

You may think I'm being silly and juvenile (and I am), but here's another reason why I love words: they can make something silly and juvenile sound impressive and fancy. I mean, if you were a paleontologist, wouldn't you rather say you specialize in studying coprolites than fossilized feces? If I say that at Thanksgiving, my mom's house rings with the sound of eructations, doesn't that sound better than "everybody belches"? Sure it does! All the more reason to keep exploring the dictionary, I say.

Tee hee hee. I said POO!


  1. And here I thought "coprolite" was what drunk scientists asked hot ladies to do ("wanna coprilite with me?")...

  2. Love your comments. I have a "thing" for big words, too. But I knew what coprolite is.