Wednesday, December 1, 2010




1 : having a loud reverberating sound
2 : having an expressive and especially plaintive quality

Five things described as PLANGENT in the recent news:

1) The "call" of a turkey sandwich during this season (as in, turkey season) (LA Weekly)
2) Simon Currie's (of the band "Man Gone Missing) "upper-register crooning" (Scotsman)
3) The "colors of plastic and metal" as compared to earthly colors, in a film called "Red Desert" (Bloomberg)
4) The office of the "Lost Property Depot" in Queen Street Station, somewhere in Scotland (Scotsman)
5) A "suicide fantasy"—strange wording describing a song on Kanye West's newest album release (The Sydney Morning Herald)

I find it interesting that one of the above is not a sound but a color, while another is the metaphorical calling of a turkey sandwich. It's also fascinating that two of the five came from the same publication in Scotland (different writers). Do the Scots use the word PLANGENT with more frequency? Are sounds more PLANGENT in Scotland?

Nothing on the WORLD WIDE WEB explicitly links Scotland and PLANGENT sounds. I've never been to Scotland, so I'm hardly any help. My first thoughts: bagpipes—PLANGENT?

On St. Patrick's day, Race Brook Elementary School solicited bagpipe players to attend our afternoon holiday assembly and play for a gymnasium packed full of green-clad students. To me, this was men in skirts with absurdly hairy legs. I didn't appreciate the tradition, nor did I try to. And I wouldn't eat green bagels either. I was a horribly cynical child, unwilling to let anything make me happy. But that is beside the point. The point here is whether or not bagpipes produce PLANGENT sounds. I would say the sounds are reverberating, although not quite plaintive. I would go as far as reaching back to yesterday's word and calling the pipes CACOPHONOUS.

Perhaps we could breed the two: cacogent? plaphony? It's a thought.

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