Friday, July 10, 2009

An interesting class of words

I was thinking the other day about a class of words that seem to be coupled with only one specific other word. Two examples are to come, but before I give them, I'd like for you to let me know the first word that comes to your mind after you read these words. Ready?

  1. hyperbaric

  2. hermetically

Was there a word that you immediately associated or coupled with the above words? Can you think of any other words that might be in a class similar to the two words above -- in that you only hear them used coupled with another specific word?


Emily said...

jordan- I figured out my confusion the other day-

hyperbaric to hyperbolic to metabolic. (hence my biology comment).

Awesome. I am the smartest girl alive.

And I don't have any other examples of single-use words. Lo siento.

I could have just verbally told you all of this, but commenting on your skublog is WAY MORE FUN!

Allie said...

Nope. No idea. Pretty sure I've never heard either of those words.

Melissa said...

I love this challenge. I have the feeling there's a bunch of them, but I just can't call any to mind.

I'll think a while and get back to you.

Craig Barlow B. said...

The first words that came into my mind respectively were:



I'm not exactly sure if that was the kind of exercise you wanted me to do.

Sue Leavitt said...

hyperbaric CHAMBER

hermetically SEALED

Does that work? I just stumbled across your blog and love a good word mystery.

Bridger W. said...

I don't have anything to add, but I'm glad you pointed this post out to me. I would've been so out of the loop!

Elizabeth said...

Jordan - my mother is the Sue listed above. I let her know she was completely confused and I'm hoping she's learned her lesson.

Melissa said...

I'm with Sue on this one.

I think the similarity here is that both are highly technical words that have slipped into common usage through a specific device/process. That is to say, a specialist might readily be able to use hyperbaric in a wide-range of contexts, but most folks only know the word from familiarity with a hyperbaric chamber.

But I still can't think of another one.