gelid immolation

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gelid immolation

Post by anaphylactoid » Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:48 pm

I recently used my thesaurus to replace the word cold in a piece of creative writing, and came up with gelid. Now, the difficulty with using a word I've never seen in context is that I'm wholly unaware of whatever connotations it might carry. Or for that matter, if it's considered a near dead word and is going to confuse the reader more then convey any meaning to them. I ended up using it to help describe someone with intense blue eyes.
"...gelid orbs immolated in a sapphire blaze..."
In general I guess I just want to know if it makes or breaks the description :) Thanks
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gelid immolation

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:03 pm

One easy way to see an unfamiliar word in its usual context is to google it and then to keep clicking on the hits until you have a feel for the usage.
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gelid immolation

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:24 am

Wrecks the scan of the poetry a bit if you have to reach for a dictionary to find out just what the hell is going on though.
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gelid immolation

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:23 am

Yes. You would not want it to turn out meaning "yellow-matter custard".
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gelid immolation

Post by tony h » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:45 am

If you read your writing aloud you will need to have a sub-title (not jellied).

It sounds like one of those wierd cocktails : jellied eye(?)-balls in blue curacao.
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gelid immolation

Post by zmjezhd » Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:07 pm

Interesting word, gelid, from Latin gelidus, cognate with jelly, cold, chill, glacial, etc.; from PIE *gel- 'cold; to freeze'.

The abode of the nightingale is bare,
Flowered frost congeals in the gelid air,
The fox howls from his frozen lair:
Alas, my loved one is gone,
I am alone:
It is winter.

Walter de la Mare Alone
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gelid immolation

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:46 pm

Never thought of it in that aspic.
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gelid immolation

Post by zmjezhd » Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:57 pm

The noun aspic is from the adjectival form of asp, the snake, on account of its color.

Deep in the festering hold thy father lies,
the corpse of mercy rots with him,
rats eat love's rotten gelid eyes.

Robert Hayden The Middle Passage
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gelid immolation

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:12 pm

Ugh, I just knew it was yellow-matter custard.

whispereth the pines
hisseth aspen serpent
supine the rotting eye
amber custardeth turpent-
ines.
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gelid immolation

Post by Wizard of Oz » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:49 pm

.. ana, it seems that dictionaries give a meaning of icy cold rather than just cold .. I feel that it isn't the kind of word that it would be easy to pick up the precise meaning of from context .. one that would need to be looked up .. for me I have no problem with that and love it when writers use a succinct word .. provided of course the writer knows exactly what the word means and uses it accordingly ..

WoZ of Aus 10/04/07
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gelid immolation

Post by russcable » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:58 pm

While we're on dictionary definitions...
Immolated is either sacrificed or destroyed by burning.
Do you want people to think the eyes are dead, black and ashy or were you trying for burning?
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gelid immolation

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:23 pm

Uh....burnt frozen custard.
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gelid immolation

Post by zmjezhd » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:10 am

Interestingly enough custard may be related to Greek krumos 'icy cold; frost' from PIE *kreus- 'to begin to freeze; to crust', via Old French and Old Provençal croustado.

Frustra: nam gelidos inficiet tibi
rubro sanguine rivos
lascivi suboles gregis.


Horace Odes III.xiii.6ff.

In vain: his warm red blood, so early stirr'd,
Thy gelid stream shall dye,
Child of the wanton herd.

Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace, translated by John Conington
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gelid immolation

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:59 am

Speaking of aspic, Cockneys are well known for being hot on gelid eels.
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gelid immolation

Post by anaphylactoid » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:21 am

I appreciate the responses. Seems I'll have to rethink the word's effect.
While we're on dictionary definitions...
Immolated is either sacrificed or destroyed by burning.
Do you want people to think the eyes are dead, black and ashy or were you trying for burning?
And indeed, it seems that my use of immolation was slightly off as well. I hadn't thought about its sacrificial or destructive connotations, in the process of writing it I only considered the burning aspect.
Oh, and this line caught my eye. Brings a lovely image to mind.
Flowered frost congeals in the gelid air
Thank you all very much.
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