Etiolate – Friday’s Word of the Day Haiku

Happy Friday! It has been a crazy week! Long hours at work and winter weather descending in my corner of the planet. Today’s word of the day is Etoliate.

Etiolate definition is

1. to cause to become weakened or sickly; drain of color or vigor.
2. to cause (a plant) to whiten or grow pale by excluding light: to etiolate celery.
3. (of plants) to whiten or grow pale through lack of light.

It originated in 18th century France from the French verb étioler “to makepale, etiolate (plants),” probably derivative of aNorman French dialect form of standard Frenchéteule, from Old French estoble, estuble “stubble,”from Latin stipula “stalk, straw.”

Etiolate is a verb associated with biology and a plant condition called chlorosis caused by a lack of sun light resulting in low levels of chlorophyll. De-etiolation is what we call “greening”. The first pale shoots of a seed eventually break free from the ground and stretch toward the light of the sun, exposed and free of darkness where photosynthesis can happen. Where greening can happen.

Interestingly, the term etiolate is also used to describe people. Which makes sense. It is true that a lack of light can cause humankind to grow pale, fade, become depressed and lethargic. We have a name for it. It’s called SAD, an acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Shorter days and long dark cold nights contribute to our etiolation.

A timely word, don’t you think? I had never heard it before, but I have witnessed and felt the affects of etiolation. Reminds me that we are all connected…animal, vegetable, mineral. That thought makes me happy, which is an apt remedy for my bout with SAD. Or maybe sometines I’m just sad…

Is it spring yet?

It’s been a long week! TGIF! In the meantime, a few Haiku. It is late and I am etiolating fast! 😉

the sum of our parts
etiolate from neglect…
use it or lose it

flowers and people
suffer etiolation
it is really SAD

kat ~ 6 January 2016

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