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Nomenclature

Definition: A system of words chosen to name things listed in a particular discipline; “legal terminology”; vocabulary (casual use).

Pronunciation: no-MON-kleh-chewr

Origin:

This term couldn’t become any more Unadulterated Antique if it tried.

Taken directly from the old Latin term nomenclator– “one who assigns names” (with nom- being a prefix relative to any set monikers indicative to a language’s lexicon) –its present-day noun form evolved soon after, as a way of describing the devised names for a sequence of related items or subjects.

Adopted into Medieval French (possibly due to the widespread permanence of the studies of maths and sciences during the European Renaissance), nomenclature eventually found its way into modern English as a direct Latin holdover, thanks to modern contentment with the original words given for scientific classification.

Why this word?

(Besides simply how fun it is to say? :D)

There are not enough words in any one language to cover every aspect and acknowledgment of human existence. There just aren’t. Intangible, abstract things like how an individual experiences personal feelings can’t entirely be pinned down by one solid word; even the mere attempt to do so oftentimes sands away the rough, stark emotional edges that each of us are sure live within the intention of the feeling, but our verbal limits just cannot satisfactorily describe. The trick, however, in circumventing our linguistic roadblocks is by finding Good Enough terms in foreign tongues and adopting their meanings into our own.

Part of my background is in having a loving, bilingual relationship with French. Nomenclature and other words like it have always been very easy for me to pronounce; those soft consonants and floaty, murmuring nasal vowels of a mot français agree with my tongue and palate like water agrees with the flippers of a duck.

And, it’s always a little fun to find that even names have names for other names!

How do you use nomenclature in a sentence?

The only thing one need (vaguely) know in order to use this scholarly name for names: SCIENCE!

Dr Meisner’s work relied heavily on the prior established Spanish nomenclature accepted for classifying marine life in this specified depth of ocean. Though a content monolingual, Meisner praised and admired the efforts of the Romance Language’s ancestral speakers to pin perfect names on some very odd, deviant creatures– He was more of a numbers man, really, and knew he would have failed spectacularly if he’d been the one tasked with professionally christening a swimming-purple-spiky-jelly-beaked… thing.”

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Written by Veronica Jacobs

Veronica Jacobs is a fiction writer, blogger, academic editor, and sci-fi enthusiast. Currently working freelance (with a background in English Literature), she spends most of her time writing.

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