Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:
The light shines through this word for "transparent," "clear," "translucent." Beyond its literal meaning, pellucid
(pronounced pe-LOO-sid) means easily understood, lucid in style or meaning. Writers are sometimes praised for their pellucid prose, which, as George Orwell advised, should be as clear as a windowpane, the meaning shining through without the medium interfering with it. If it is music that is pellucid, it is clear and pure.
We get it from Latin, where the verb perlucere
, "to shine through."
Example: H.L. Mencken
on Abraham Lincoln
's remarks at Gettysburg: "The Gettysburg speech is at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history. Put beside it, all the whoopings of the Websters, Sumners and Everetts seem gaudy and silly. It is eloquence brought to a pellucid and almost gem-like perfection—the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases."
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more
about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service
. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.