Friday, February 10

Mystery word

I don’t know why it is but every once in awhile I run across something that catches my attention in a beyond-the-obvious way. It could be a tree that has odd little clusters of leaves, it could be a big rock that doesn’t have any lichens on it. It could be a roadkill skunk. Or it could be a word that has way too many vowels in a row.

Here’s a challenge to my readers: What word has the vowels EAUI in it all in a row? Hint: it starts with P and ends in G and is three syllables long and means reaching a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress. It has an L and an N and a T and another A in it. Ten letters.

Who could ask for more?


Pete S. said...

Given the generous pile of clues you provided, it's clear that the word is the seldom-used PNATEAUILG.

Though it could also be "plateauing." But is "plateau" really a verb? Based on what I've learned so far from "The Story of Human Language" (a 6-DVD set of lectures by a linguist, that I'm halfway through), it's a verb if people use it as a verb. Languages are forever changing and it can't be stopped.

Does the first person to guess correctly get several hundred trillion dollars, or was that just a one-time deal?

Pat said...

Looks as if Pete wins. I would be happy to help with dispersing* a trillion or two---

*to send off in various directions; scatter.


Susan said...

Congratulations, Pete. You deserve the trillion. I have never even heard of that word before. Even my Scrabble cheat word finder sites were stumped.

Tom Hurley said...

Late to comment on Pete's comment because of my comments disappearing after I submit them. Bad software, I think.

Wow, I never expected anyone to get the word, PNATEAUILG! I've only used it a couple of times myself, and recently ran across it in an article about grooming in dwarf platypuses. Then for Pete to come up with the word PLATEAUING is just icing on the cake!

Fiachra said...

And "eau" is pronounced as "o" i.e. plat-o-ing so all the vowels make an appearance either in written or phonetic form. Neat little word that.