Posted by Janes_kid on June 14, 2003
In Reply to: The limits of waxing posted by R. Berg on June 14, 2003
: : : : : : : I'm trying to find a good definition for 'Waxing
: : : : : : : I did a search on the archives here, no luck, and have checked around google. I know what it means but I'd like to find a well written def. TIA
: : : : : : My opinion. "Waxing" = becoming poetic or assuming a state of being poetic. Definition No. 3 (Merriam-Webster online):
: : : : : : WAX
: : : : : : Date: before 12th century
: : : : : : 1 a : to increase in size, numbers, strength, prosperity, or intensity b : to grow in volume or duration c : to grow toward full development
: : : : : : 2 : to increase in phase or intensity -- used chiefly of the moon, other satellites, and inferior planets
: : : : : : 3 : to assume a (specified) characteristic, quality, or state : BECOME
: : : : : See The Mavens' Word of the Day at
: : : : : http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20000921
: : : : This one has always irritated me, and here's why.
: : : : I've always objected to definition #3, because in my view it's both superfluous and in a way wrong. Definition #2 happily covers things, because one can easily translate "to increase in phase or intensity" as "to grow" or even simpler "to become MORE". To wax poetic simply means to become more poetic - to a point that's both noticeable and worth remarking on, I suppose.
: : : : Wax in this sense comes to us from the German verb wachsen, which also simply means to grow.
: : : So is "waxing underweight" an oxymoron?
: : Since one can grow smaller, I'd say no it isn't. As for the limits of waxing, that depends on the size of your preferred bikini.
Growth need not be positive. My debt grows daily (However, except for the moon, I don't recall this word "waxing" often used except with words like poetic or lethargic.)