Get the feed in a reader!Get updates by email!Get updates by email!


Urban Leaving to Country Living

WONDROUS WORDS: Howard’s Hobby


In Melissa Harrison’s lovely At Hawthorn Time, I also met Howard, retired from his city job and keeping from going bonkers in the country with his hobby of restoring vintage wireless units.

First, a sound I know you’ve heard, but perhaps didn’t know the word for.

Heterodyne hɛt(ə)rə(ʊ)DINE/: Electronics of or relating to the production of a lower frequency from the combination of two almost equal high frequencies, as used in radio transmission.

Slowly he began to scan through the frequencies, adjusting the dial minutely, listening, waiting, listening again. Pops and crackles, garbled speech, snatches of music, and between it all the otherworldly heterodyne wails.


ceiling boss architecture photo boss 1_zps3bvut443.jpgBoss: a knob or protrusion of stone or wood. Bosses can often be found in the ceilings of buildings, particularly at the keystones at the intersections of a rib vault. In Gothic architecture, such roof bosses (or ceiling bosses) are often intricately carved with foliage, heraldic devices or other decorations.

The church was cool and empty, its roof timbers with their curved bosses lost in shadow, the air it held within it very still.

I’ve seen ceiling bosses scores of times, and never thought about the name for them.
How about you?

Wondrous Words Wednesday photo wondrouswordsWednesday_zps7ac69065.png
Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. It’s hosted by Kathy at Bermuda Onion. Hop on over and see what wondrous words other bloggers have discovered this week.


P.S. The links are affiliate links so I will receive a small percentage of any purchase you make after clicking through from this blog.

Be Sociable, Share!
posted under Wondrous Words
6 Comments to

“WONDROUS WORDS: Howard’s Hobby”

  1. On November 23rd, 2016 at 4:40 pm Mary Ann Langan Says:

    Thanks! for sharing these interesting words.

  2. On November 26th, 2016 at 6:15 pm Debbie Says:

    YOu’re welcome, Mary ann. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. On November 23rd, 2016 at 9:19 pm bermudaonion (Kathy) Says:

    I’m not sure I understand heterodyne, even after reading the definition. I’ve seen bosses before too but had no idea they have a specific name.

  4. On November 26th, 2016 at 6:14 pm Debbie Says:

    Not to worry, Kathy. I was never a whiz at the whole sound wave thing either.

  5. On November 26th, 2016 at 2:00 am Judy Krueger Says:

    My husband is a sound engineer. He mixed sound for various applications including Disney attractions in its many parks around the world and music recordings by local musicians making CDs. I asked him if he knew the word heterodyne. He said it was a deep concept in sound mixing.

  6. On November 26th, 2016 at 6:32 pm Debbie Says:

    What an ineteresting life you`ve had, Judy.

    I`m so glad to hear that heterodyne is a deep concept because I`m not sure, really, that I understand it. 😉

Email will not be published

Website example

Your Comment:

Every little bit of kindness is appreciated
Other Amount:
Your Email Address: