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Old 01-23-2008, 12:42 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is online now
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Dear, Eratosphere, I am putting a few finishing touches on a translation about mythical figures who were transformed into constellations.

I have been trying to decide which verb is more likely to be familiar to the "general reader".

1.) "Catasterize" is a technical term for this process;

2.)"stellify" is archaic in English and has "poetic" associations--it shows up in Chaucer and Spencer. Cast your votes--"catasterize" or "stellify"

P.S. I can only use "made X into a constellation" so often, it's wordy and "-ation" rhymes only rarely float my boat.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:58 AM
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Chris Childers Chris Childers is offline
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I don't think either will be familiar to the "general reader." "Stellify" would be easier to guess, though, and also sounds better. I had no idea that it was actually an English word -- I thought I remembered my Ovid prof. in college saying she had made it up; maybe she thought she had, it's kind of an obvious coinage.

As long as you're borrowing scholarly jargon or reviving archaic terms from Chaucer, you might consider making "constellate" into a verb...

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Old 01-23-2008, 01:10 AM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Can I vote for "None of the Above"?

It's really impossible to comment on this totally out of context, but I'm probably as good as you can hope for in a "general" reader - well read, but not in the classics, decent vocabulary, reasonably unstupid - and neither word means a thing to me.

"Catasterize" is also, unfortunately, close enough to "castrate" to create unfortunate connections.

But answering this well without the poem in front of me is impossible. Is the context such that the meaning of the word is quite clear anyway, and it's essentially in there as window dressing? Then you have less of a problem? And how does the sound of the word work with the rest of the poem? Does either nestle in there sonically, or play some helpful chords? And do the associations help? "Catasterize" sounds vaguely Greek in origin, and has a certain apocalyptic sense to it; "stellify" sounds dull, nerdy and scientific to me - based on that, i would be very much inclined to reach for "catasterize" in a poem about constellations.

But neither will do you any good if the meaning is not apparent in context. If understanding the word is critical to the flow of the poem, it's gonna crash the poem.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:36 AM
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Seree Zohar Seree Zohar is offline
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Last edited by Seree Zohar; 04-29-2010 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:54 AM
Pua Sandabar Pua Sandabar is offline
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Hmmm. Given only those two choices?
-- stellify, no question.

However! It seems to me you've got a terrific opportunity here to conjure-up a brand-new out-there word.




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Old 01-23-2008, 04:45 AM
Bruce Henderson Bruce Henderson is offline
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Catasterize sounds a little too much like a painful operation.

Stellify rolls off the tongue, and is definitely more poetic. Maybe it's nerdy. But this nerd doesn't mind it. Vote [1] Stellify!

~ Bruce
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:27 AM
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David Landrum David Landrum is offline
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Yes, casterize . . . why not Polluxulate? Or Gemenize?
Stellify . . . makes me think something liek "Stella's Hell on Wheels."

You might try to refashion the word "Apotheosis," make it a verb--or use the phrase "apotheosis to a star configuration" or something like that.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:07 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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Pua, you are too much! When Hardy needed a word, he just made it up. Definitely Gallaxospatter.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:29 AM
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Chris Childers Chris Childers is offline
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I like Nebulaunch...
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:34 AM
Ethan Anderson Ethan Anderson is offline
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Can't one of the mythical figures just stand in the alley after working up a sweat in a wifebeater and start yelling "Stellar?"

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