What makes one a star? Florists hinted me I must be one. ASTER (a flower shaped like star) is my birthmonth flower. Yet lately, I learned that “ASTER” doesn’t always do one any good, like dis-ASTER.
“Dis” means “against” and “ASTER” is a Greek word for “star”. People in the ancient times believed that their destiny is ruled by the stars. (Wait, so trusting Zodiac signs is so primeval a practice?)
Staying on topic, when what happens to us is against what we hoped for, then the stars are said to be against us. When the asters (stars) leave the sky (and most likely, the moon disappears along) we see nothing but darkness – we apprehend disaster.
Should we pray we bump with PROASTER instead? Well, there isn’t a word as such. Wait till I become an etymologist, semanticist or philologist and I’ll list this word among the most wanted and needed vocabulary item. Speaking of stars, let me introduce you to my noontime word guru – Norman Lewis.
Everyday I’m with him, I keep gushing and hugging myself mentally hoping we had met physically – in another time, perhaps another place. I want to ask him the secret for his zest for “word archaeology” – his tireless digging, endless gathering and flawless sharing of words -unleashing their great wonders and powers.
If you happen to visit the nearest bookstore, pick his creation: Word Power Made Easy. You’d be elated you did. My copy is an old, seemingly grimy one, but I’m a proud keeper (and of course, user!) of this book handed over from three generations, by a professor- workmate, Prof. Salting.
Did you catch my drift? Though I love my antique book, guys, I won’t refuse a new hard copy.