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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OFF TOPIC, somewhat.

I had a friend email me about the "clave" thing expressing his misgivings about such a gathering. Why I thought? Sounds kinda exclusionary was the answer. That depends on the word form you are seeing. Maybe it is those poor choices in words that has others looking upon us as elitists.

Take the word, "conclave". By modern definition a conclave is a secret meeting for the purpose of choosing a pope. An etymologist would say that the modern english form of the word is: private meeting. The Latin form would be: com-, together + clavis, key; or "locked together". Sounds exclusionary to me.

Now take the word, "enclave". The modern definition of an enclave is a country or part of a country lying totally within another's boundaries. Here, an etymologist would say the words origin is Old French: enclaver, to enclose. The Latin form would be: in-, in + clavis, key; therefore, "locked within". Sounds kinda close, huh? Well not really if you look closely.

In any case, the choice says a lot about who you are and what your motives may be. I would argue that enclave is a better fit.


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If that was the only definition for a the word, he would have a point. However, there's more than one definition. The second definition seems quite appropriate:

Main Entry: con·clave
Pronunciation: 'kän-"klAv
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, room that can be locked up, from com- + clavis key -- more at CLAVICLE
Date: 1524
1 : a private meeting or secret assembly; especially : a meeting of Roman Catholic cardinals secluded continuously while choosing a pope
2 : a gathering of a group or association

If your friend were to only focus on the first definition given to the exclusion of any other definitions included for a word, then fishing a nymph would pose a real problem for him, wouldn't it?

Main Entry: nymph
Pronunciation: 'nim(p)f
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English nimphe, from Middle French, from Latin nympha bride, nymph, from Greek nymphE -- more at NUPTIAL
Date: 14th century
1 : any of the minor divinities of nature in classical mythology represented as beautiful maidens dwelling in the mountains, forests, trees, and waters
2 : GIRL
3 : any of various immature insects; especially : a larva of an insect (as a grasshopper, true bug, or mayfly) with incomplete metamorphosis that differs from the imago especially in size and in its incompletely developed wings and genitalia -- compare NAIAD 2

Both citations from the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.

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