Thursday, 9 May 2013

Ahh Ahh

Readers of this blog will probably notice I have an intense interest in volcanology. Volcanology has a wide variety of aspects some of which I’m comfortable, some less so. These aspects can be the chemistry of molten materials, the physics of earthquakes or the dynamic processes of pyroclastic flows. Volcanology and igneous rocks more generally seem to have their own weird language that can stop you and make you turn to a dictionary.

One of my favourite words in the ‘language’ of geology is the name of a large scale structure of lava flows. It is called aa. So, turning to a dictionary (this time the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form) you get the following possible definitions:

No consonants! Does this seem ominous? 
It's with rough-surfaced lava synonymous.
Yet the thought it conveys
With two capital A's 
Is, of course, Alcoholics Anonymous. 
By Chris J. Strolin

I'm ascending a gentle volcano; 
The climb's not the cause of my strain. 
No, This lava is stressed, 
Pretty jagged at best. 
Cut my feet on sharp aa — the pain, Oh! 
By Aliza

On Hawaii the lava's aflame 
As observers, in awe, cry its name. 
When that molten rock's oozing 
Down paths of its choosing, 
It's "A'a!" that tourists exclaim. 
By David

Probably one of the more interesting dictionary definitions I’ve seen. I Hope that helps with understanding? If these are a little bit obscure you can always visit my Glossary.

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