Kamis, 27 Januari 2011

What's a lichen?

: lichen

Why: In The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman:
One grave in every graveyard belongs to the ghouls. Wander any graveyard long enough and you will find it - waterstained and bulging, with cracked or broken stone, scraggly grass or rank weeds about it, and a feeling, when you reach it, of abandonment. It may be colder than the other gravestones, too, and the name of the stone is all too often impossible to read. If there is a statue on the grave it will be headless or so scabbed with fungus and lichens as to look like a fungus itself. If one grave in a graveyard looks like a target for petty vandals, that is the ghoul-gate. If the grave makes you want to be somewhere else, that is the ghoul-gate.
I have seen that word before, but never heard it said out loud until today. (I am listening to the audiobook.) He pronounced it to rhyme with "bitchins."

: A symbiosis composed of two organisms: a fungus (the "mycobiont") and an algae and/or a cyanobacteria (the "photobiont")! While the fungus is sometimes viewed as a parasite in this relationship, in most cases, neither the fungus nor the algae can survive alone in the habitat occupied by the lichen. There are between 13,500 and 17,000 species of these bad boys around the world, and many are used to produce dyes, antibiotics, and even food. Yum!
Source: Earthlife.net

The More You Know: The word can apparently be pronounced two ways, bothˈlɪtʃən (rhymes with "bitchin") and ˈlaɪkən, like lycan, like the werewolves in Underworld: Evolution, which I happen to own (due to carelessness with my Columbia House account - which is also why I own such films as Fun with Dick and Jane and Ghost Rider). In Greek, lýkos means "wolf," which is where that comes from, but leichen means "what eats around itself" and probably comes from leichein, "to lick." Yum again!

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