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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Sunday 26th May 2019
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strobic (adjective) STRO-bik

Spinning, appearing to have a spinning motion.

An interesting word since one would expect it to mean rhythmic flashing, from familiarity with the words, strobe and stroboscope. The explanation lies in the fact that strobic comes from the Greek word strobos, which means a whirling. Thus, the word stroboscope, with which we are more familiar, has two distinct meanings, both derived from this same source: the first is an instrument that appears to make rotating machinery stationary by using a frequency-synchronized flashing lamp and secondly - and conversely - a toy that appears to make a moving picture by briefly viewing several individual pictures in succession: the principle of motion pictures. Sadly, only the first quotation below uses the word correctly, so that we may assume that the 'flashing' meaning will enter into various dictionaries soon.

... sometimes those feelings alternated so rapidly that they spun together in a strobic wheel rolling all the way up until you were literally High On War like it said on all the helmet covers.

Chris Hedges, War is a Force that Gives us Meaning. Amazon

At night she winks her endless strobic message across the dark sky to us.

Julia Welstead, The Scotsman Magazine, 8 July 2006. Scotsman Magazine

Paradoxically, Friese-Greene’s quickly alternating frames of red and green created a strobic effect that was more pronounced and disconcerting than the flickering of black and white film, although nobody commented on it at the time.

Stuart Wavell, The Sunday Times, 16 April 2006. Sunday Times

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