carpo-, carp- (cerp-) +
(Latin: to pluck, to pick out, to gather, to select)
The change of Latin "a" to "e" is due to the Latin phonetic law according to which in the unaccented and closed radical syllable of the second element of compounds, original "a" becomes "e".
The word carpet, for example, ultimately derives from the Latin carpo, which meant to "pluck" or to "card" wool, and it is believed that the first carpets were of wooly cloth made of unravelled threads.
Then there is the term scarce, which English inherited from the French escars, "scanty", originally from the Latin ex, "out", and carpo, "pluck". It's like "plucking" from the cookie jar until the cookies become "scanty" and scarce.
Another related word is excerpt, from Latin excerptus (ex, "out" and carpo, "pluck") which refers to something that has been "plucked out" of its context.
The result is that the idea of "plucking" streams through the three widely divergent words just as a scarce thread of color can be woven through the carpet with which this excerpt started.
These basic words and their related forms can be seen in this carpo-, carp- (cerp-) unit of "to pluck, to pick out, to gather, to select" words.
A mania for finding fault or an uncontrollable urge to nitpick (trivial, unnecessary, detailed, and often unjustified faultfinding).
This phrase is from cacoëthes carpendi which is derived from kakoethes, a Greek word that combines kakos, "bad", with ethos, "habit"; and which describes any compulsion or uncontrollable urge.
Cacoëthes can be used alone to mean "mania" or "passion", even "disease". With carpendi, a form of carpere, meaning "to pluck", as fruit from a tree, the phrase becomes highly useful in describing the uncontrollable urge to be a nitpicker.
2. Etymology: derived from kakoethes, a Greek word that combines kakos, "bad" with ethos, "habit" and describes "any compulsion" or "uncontrollable urge".
"Enjoy the present moment and don't depend on there being a tomorrow." -Horace
A continuing traditional theme in lyric poetry, dating back at least to Koheleth's "Eat, drink, and be merry" (based on Ecclesiastes 8:15). The phrase carpe diem exemplifies the spirit of hedonism and Epicureanism, i.e., the enjoyment of the moment and recognition of the transient nature of life.
So, carpe diem came from ancient times until the present with the advice often and variously expressed as: "Enjoy yourself while you have the chance"; "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die"; "Make hay while the sun shines"; "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think."
William Safire had a different attitude regarding carpe diem when he wrote: "Seize the day has come to mean ‘strike while the iron is hot.' No longer is carpe diem the what-the-hell attitude of the dwellers in the present; it has become the battle cry of the gutsy opportunist with an eye on the future."
Many famous poems develop this "live it up now" theme; such as , the following by Robert Herrick (1591-1674):
Old Time is still a-flying,
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
Take advantage of the night and place no trust in tomorrow.
"Plan for the future" or Virgil is telling us that hard work and careful management of our existing resources will extend to generations long after we are gone.
2. A covering made of this material.
3. Any relatively soft surface or covering like a carpet: "That evening we walked on a carpet of new mowed grass."
4. Any of a number of airborne electronic devices for jamming radar.
5. To cover or furnish with or as with a carpet.
6. On the carpet, before an authority or superior for an accounting of one's actions or a reprimand: "We were called on the carpet by our boss for our carelessness in processing the credit cards."
7. Chiefly British: under consideration or discussion.
Mrs. Song played an excerpt from a concerto on her violin to demonstrate that it is an important musical instrument of an orchestra.2. Etymology: from Latin ex-, "out" + carpere, "to pluck, to pick"; so the Roman word for an extract or a passage from a book or writing was excerptum, "excerpt".
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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2. To take a part from a longer work or to select a section or passage from a longer work; to abridge by choosing representative sections.
2. An obtainable extract.
3. Having material which can be excerpted or selected.
4. Suitable for making excerpts, extracts, or selections from.
2. Characterized by excerptions.
2. Hard to find; absent or rare: "Silver coins are scarce now except in coin shops."
3. Available in small supply; opposite of abundant.
Usually meaningful only in relative terms, compared to demand and/or to supply at another place or time.4. Etymology: from about 1297, "restricted in quantity" from Old Norse Frenchk scars (Old French eschars) from Vulgar Latin escarpsus, from excarpere, "to pluck out"; from Latin excerpere, "to pluck out" (see excerpt in this unit).
2. Almost never or by a small margin.
Because scarcely has the force of a negative, its use with another negative, as in "I couldn't scarcely believe it", is regarded as grammatically incorrect.
A clause following scarcely is correctly introduced by when or before; the use of than, though common, is still unacceptable to some grammarians: "The meeting had scarcely begun when it was interrupted." "The class had scarcely started before the 'fire-drill' bell rang"; however, the following is NOT considered acceptable: "The class had scarcely started than the "fire-drill" bell rang."