Wednesday, March 30, 2011

aleatory

aleatory [ˈeɪliəˌtɔri, -ˌtoʊri, ˈæli-] a.

1.) Dependent on the throw of a die; hence, dependent on uncertain contingencies (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Edition).

Etymology: Latin aleatorius, from aleator, gambler, from alea, game of chance, die.

"Danger, enterprise, hope, the novel, the aleatory, are dearer to man than regular meals" (Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Day After Tomorrow", 1887).
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Edit: In response to a few comments about the Stevenson quote not being helpful, I found another one. It was actually fairly difficult to find a quote using "aleatory" from an author 1) who is well-known and 2) who writes in English: the two restrictions I've set with respect to the quotes. I chose "aleatory" for MA because it is widely used by Continental philosophers and literary theorists. But (out of context, at least) their quotes were usually just gibberish.

"The 'hard' Darwinians are thus fully aware of how evolutionary adaptation only uses (chooses from) multiple variations which emerge in a contingent aleatory way, with no purpose" (The Parallax View, Slavoj Zizek, 2006).

10 comments:

consuela bananahammoc said...

I have no idea how to pronounce this one :D

-E- said...

@consuela bananahammoc yeah the IPA is weird on this one for some reason. in US english i think the pronunciation is like "ail-ee-uh-tory" with the emphasis on "ail".

http://dasmeistro.blogspot.com said...

That's one of those words I use on a daily basis, noooot ;D thanks for sharing tho :D

~Fabi said...

New favorite word.

John A.S. said...

and again a word I did not know :D "ail-eeh-uh-tory"..my parents are laughing at me when they saw me pronouncing it out loud

Rondariel said...

In British english I think the emphasis is on the "ee". ;)

Justin testing said...

Now we just have to find some way to put that in a sentence :o

Lemmiwinks said...

great post. following you

Patti D. said...

The example sentence does not help much, great word.

Every Day said...

example sentence not being too helpful.

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