Grismal indeed

Careful readers of this blog have commented on my use of the term grismal to describe the weather which has been gray and dismal (and so it is that gray + dismal = grismal). [In preparing this brief post I did a Google search for the term. Although I have only ever heard the word pass Joanna’s lips I wanted to be certain that it was, as I had believed, a nonsense word of hers alone. To my surprise the word appeared at Urban Dictionary. I was even more surprised when I looked to discover that ‘JMKS’ had proferred its definition in September of 2006. The real surprise is that Joanna uses these very same initials. I’m sure this is coincidence but what are the odds?] Grody is also a word she would use to good effect to describe our current weather. [I did a Google search for this as well and found that it is generally accepted and more widely used than grismal.] I took the truck into town early yesterday afternoon. The frigid waters of Pine Creek continue to generate great plumes of mist. Although the tides moved with no predictable rhythm I could discern their ebb and flood even up the mountain, here at the farm. I glanced to the east and this image appeared from out of the gloom. I had left the D600 home but had the trusty HX9V with me. It did a commendable job I think.


14 thoughts on “Grismal indeed

    • Hey there Jenny. Thanks so much for the positive response to both the photo and the word! Reactions to my photos are especially appreciated. Please check in again to let me know how I’m doing! D

  1. Pingback: A Realization on a Grismal Day | Duck? Starfish? But...23

  2. Our weather today is a bit like that. After a whole month of bitter cold and much snow, a wickedly mild week has turned the clock back. No snow and relatively mind conditions. I love your picture. It just so happens that I went out do do some errands a few hours ago and thought of taking the Canon along just to see if I could get a nice fog picture. Of course I was unable to. But you did. It is very nice and, coming from a place where fog is commonplace, speaks to me. As for grismal, it is an excellent word to describe weather conditions that frequent this place and I believe I shall start using it ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Your photograph does a good job of capturing the spirit of winter.

    The American Heritage Dictionary says that grody is probably an alteration of the British term grotty, meaning ‘very unpleasant, miserable.’ It also says that grotty arose as an alteration of grotesque. I’d always assumed grody came from gross, but perhaps the use of grody in the United States was influenced by gross.

  4. The image does not look grismal at all – rather like a magic Lord-of-the-Rings-type country! Regarding the invention of “grismal,” I think it happens often that you invent something from scratch and others have figured it out in the same way. Maybe just probabilities? Many millions of people speak English – what are the chances that somebody comes up with the same way of combining two words? It is just so stunning that the internet allows for spotting these independent inventions.

      • Thanks – I had to google that (Convergent Evolution) ๐Ÿ˜‰ I only remember one example (if it is appropriate) as Feynman mentions it when explaining the “physics of the human eye” – the octopus’ eye seems to be similar but was a parallel “development”. Correct?

        • Right again! There are many fine of examples of convergent evolution in the biological literature … and each is simply wonderful. The wings of birds and those of butterflies. Swimming behaviors of whales and salmon, for example. The many morphological and behavioral parallels between marsupials and placentals are textbook classics. When the environment imposes constraints or challenges … animal form can respond in just so many ways. There are a limited number of ways to fly … swim … extract oxygen from water … burrow … and run … the parallel solutions to these problems in the animal and plant worlds are all examples of convergence. And, you know, people are always astounded to learn of this phenomenon … when it is entirely expected. D PS: We’ll make a biologist out of you yet!

  5. That is WAY too much of a coincidence for grismal to have been coined by another JMKS! That being said, this photo is interesting in that it evokes many different textures. The soft mist, the crisp,angular trees, the movement in the water. All in various tones of gray. Makes dismal kind of beautiful!

  6. Beautiful photo! Maybe Joanna has been contributing to the Urban Dictionary in her spare time? What a coincidence!

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