Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Expanding My Vocabulary

I ran across an interesting word today that I had never seen before. The word appeared in a patent publication that was sent to me via email at work. While the legalese on patents is always a challenge due to the strange usage of the language and somewhat arcane words in use, the word "hydrometeor" stood out for some reason.

I looked up the word "hydrometeor", and one definition stated that it was "A precipitation product, such as rain, snow, fog, or clouds, formed from the condensation of water vapor in the atmosphere." In other words, a hydrometeor is a raindrop or a snowflake, among other things.

We have been having lots of hydrometeors around here lately. A regular hydrometeor shower. Last Friday's storm dropped white hydrometeors to a depth of about six inches. I used the hydrometeorblower to move all the hydrometeors off the driveway. The boys, seeing that this kind of hydrometeor makes for slippery parking lots, hauled out the propellor bike and created huge clouds of hydrometeors until the engine died. It appears that the carburetor is fouled up. Josh was disappointed because the engine died before David's turn was finished.

I now have in my brain two very different types of meteors. A "meteor" is a solid object which, when striking the earth, creates large craters or causes other damage. A "hydrometeor" can hardly be felt when it lands on the tip of your tongue.

There's probably something deeply philosophical in all this somewhere. I just don't see it.

Maybe I'll just get my hydrometeor shoes and do some snow shoeing.