Lexicon

Our word of the day is
Causation

Say it!
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Spell it!
C-A-U-S-A-T-I-O-N
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Where would I find CAUSATION in the dictionary?

What is the definition?

What would a synonym be for enthusiasm?

An antonym?

Part of speech?


Imagine being the first to say: surveillance ...

—Howard Nemerov

“Imagine being the first to say: surveillance,”
the mouth taking in air like a swimmer, the tongue
light as an astronaut, gliding across the roof
of the mouth, the eyes burning like the eyes of
Fleming
looking at mold and thinking: penicillin. 5

Imagine Franklin holding his key that dark night,
the clouds rolling across the sky’s roof
like a poet’s tongue, the air heavy with some
unnamed potential, the whole thing suspended
from a string like a vocal cord waiting to say: 10
electricity.

Or imagine digging for shale in some dull
Oklahoma,
how the ground is a parched throat waiting for
moisture,
and you all derricky and impatient, knowing
something
you have yet no name for might rise and surprise 15
you.
Imagine being the first to say: petroleum.

Some night, dry as an old well and speechless
beneath a brilliant moon, think of Heisenberg
taking his ruler to the world for a measure
and finding, in the measuring, an irrevocable 20
changing.
Imagine being the first to say, with confidence:
uncertainty.

It goes on like this always. A poet stops in the
woods
to clear his throat, and comes out: convolvulus.

A biologist rolls over during the night to hold 25
her husband, thinking: peristalsis. A choreographer
watches the sunrise over Harlem, whispering: tour-
jetté,
ronde-de-jambe.

Just think of it—
your tongue rolling over the first pharmacopoeia 30
like a new lover, the shuddering thrill of it,
the way the air parts in front of your mouth,
widening
the world in its constant uncertainty. Go on.
Let your mind wander. Imagine being the first to
say:
I love you, oregano, onomatopoeia. 35

Just imagine it.

In the word CAUSATION....

How many vowels?

How many consonants?

What is the total number of letters?

What are all the different ways that you can make the number 4, 5, or 9?