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Word for the Wise December 07, 2006 Broadcast Topic: Pearl Harbor

The 65th anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941 left us with the sinking feeling we had nothing left to say. We have already talked about words that first appeared in print in 1941 (think comic book, smarty pants, and disc jockey) and we have previously discussed the fact that Pearl Harbor developed two other senses, meaning "sneak attack" and "to attack suddenly and without warning, and usually with devastating effect." But until today, we had yet to delve into the prevalance of pearl pairings in the language: we were delighted to discover that, all strung together, we came up with more than two dozen sets of pearls. (来源:EnglishCN.com)

They range from blister pearl (a pearly excrescence on the inside of the shell of a mollusk which commonly encloses a foreign body, such as a parasite) to Venetian pearl (an imitation pearl made of solid glass). There’s the pearl onion (a very small onion resembling a pearl in size) and the bouton pearl (a pearl flat on one side like a button, or bouton in French) and pearl disease (suffered by cattle and featuring small rounded lesions). Finally, there’s cave pearl (a small smooth round concretion of lime found in caves) and our favorite, the cultured pearl (a natural pearl grown under controlled conditions).

 
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