Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Word Of The Week

echelonner

This is a verb that, if you don't know it, can easily be figured out from context, if not from its latin root and similarity to the English counterpart of the noun form.

My encounter with echelonner is from the tv weather people. Specifically, Laurent Romejko on France 2. I'll often hear him say that "les températures demain s'échelonneront de onze à vingt-deux degrés." He means that the temperatures will be evenly distributed between eleven and twenty-two degrees accross the country.

The word is the verb form of echelon, which comes from echelle, which itself derives from the latin scala, meaning ladder. So echelonner means to space out (not that way) or distribute at regular intervals.

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