Friday, July 6, 2018

The anticlimax of phototropism

It's a made up word, found in the collection of made up words, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, collected / created by John Koenig.

Vellichor is not a real word, as such things are counted, but according to Koenig it means "The strange wistfulness of used bookstores."

I think it's a perfectly perfect name for a printing press that revives forgotten and now out of print books.

I stumbled on all this accidentally, a gift of online dictionaries, all while looking up the meaning of

hoo boy, what a word, I thought!
and the definition turns out to be up to the vessel
first, it's real.
second, it means:
the turning or bending of a plant or other organism in response to a touch stimulus.
how gorgeous is that?

And yet neither of these words is the one I went out looking for, the one whose meaning I know but whose name I do not, the word that is the bending of a plant in response to the shifts of availability of light. After vellichor and thigmotropism, phototropism  seems anticlimactic, somehow.