Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Word Of The Week


This is another case of my having heard a word a thousand times without ever really knowing what it meant. I swear, learning another language makes me feel like I'm back in elementary school sometimes. For the rest of my life.

At any rate, I heard someone use this word on television last week and I was confused, because I couldn't get the idea from context. I had to ask Ken. He looked at me like I had just stepped off the plane. Or the boat.

I've now forgotten the context in which I heard it, but désaltérer is a verb that means to quench one's thirst. Its root word, altérer, means to change or modify, to alter in English. It's from the Latin alterare, to change. Its second meaning is to make thirsty. Stick the dés- in front and it means just the opposite.

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