Posted by Smokey Stover on September 09, 2004
In Reply to: Eructation??? Damned fine word posted by Lotg (OZ) on September 09, 2004
: : : : : I have a tiny paragraph there
: : : : : -Papua has had an unhappy histroy since Indonesia "wrested" control from former colonial ruler. Does the "wrested" mean "something gain by a hard struggle?"
: : : : : thank you
: : : :
: : : : yes.
: : : No hard struggle implied. Indonesia may have taken control by main force, or seized control by force, but not necessarily much of it. If you march five people into the capital and say, "We declare this all to be ours," that may be all that's needed. Wresting control from someone else is something you do without a friendly agreement, but not necessarily by a struggle. Or there may be a struggle, depends. You can wrest the attention of your fellow diners, say, away from someone else by the simple act of eructation. Think wrestle, but without the specific physical activity or the mat. (I've got to remember to check the OED. I may be out on a limb.) SS
: : To wrest does generally have a forceful aspect:
: : Main Entry: 1wrest
: : Pronunciation: 'rest
: : Function: transitive verb
: : Etymology: Middle English wrasten, wresten, from Old English wr[AE]stan; akin to Old Norse reista to bend and probably to Old English wrigian to turn -- more at WRY
: : 1 : to pull, force, or move by violent wringing or twisting movements
: : 2 : to gain with difficulty by or as if by force, violence, or determined labor
: All that 'wresting' stuff is interesting, but it was Smokey's 'eructation' that really caught my eye. So Smokey, I had to look it up in the dictionary obviously and this is what I found:
: noun: (of volcanos) pouring out fumes or lava (or a deposit so formed)
: noun: a reflex that expels wind noisily from the stomach through the mouth
: ...The latter frankly sounds to me like a burp or a belch.
: So - is there another meaning? Because your comment that "You can wrest the attention of your fellow diners, say, away from someone else by the simple act of eructation." doesn't quite work with either of those definitions.
Eructation is, indeed, burping, and in my opinion will usually, if loud enough, wrest attention from whomever was speaking at the time, if only for a few moments. I don't have the standing to contest the dictionary about the use of force, but I still believe you can sometimes twist something away from its present holder with only a token show of force, and that one nation frequently does it to another. SS