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Dusk
Posted by: Veronika (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 11, 2006 06:31AM

The recent thread on R. P. Warren's "What voice at moth hour" got me thinking about the word dusk. Merriam Webster says it is the darkest part of twilight or of dawn. But it is often used interchangeably with twilight, even in non poetic uses such as civil dusk/twilight. Leaving the dictionaries aside, do you sense the difference? How would you describe it.

TIA,
V.


Re: Dusk
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 11, 2006 08:59AM

I have never known the word dusk to be used in relation to dawn.

To me the subtle difference between twilight and dusk is that the latter word has more a sense of change, of getting darker. I also think of it as being a darker stage of the evening than mere twilight. In midsummer in Finland I have seen people playing tennis by twilight. It's an enjoyable time of day, seemingly lasting unchanged for hours. But when dusk comes, they have to stop playing, because the ball can't be seen any more.

The Scots have the word 'gloaming' (looks like a variant of English 'glooming') which I sense can describe both twilight and dusk, but you probably need a native of Scotland to tell you whether it's more synonymous with one than the other.

Ian


Re: Dusk
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 11, 2006 09:39AM

As Ian said, there's still light at twilight, as in the "twilight's last gleaming"

There is no gleaming when it's dusk


Re: Dusk
Posted by: Talia (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 11, 2006 09:57AM

So, what exactly is twilight, then? I always thought "dusk" was when it changes to dark from day. for example, every 4th of July my little town does a fireworks show and the time is "dusk". So we all come when its still light out and when it gets dark they start the fireworks. Well, that's what I think of when someone says "dusk".


Re: Dusk
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: May 11, 2006 10:22AM

In my mind without the aid of the dictionary, my connotation of "dusk" is that it is synonomous with sunset, the time when darkness falls. "Twilight" has a similar connotation, but in common parlance has a wider span, and technically refers to the time just before sunset.

Les


Re: Dusk
Posted by: Linda (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 11, 2006 12:32PM

Back to COD.

dusk // n., adj., & v.
n.
1 the darker stage of twilight.
2 shade; gloom.
adj. poet. shadowy; dim; dark-coloured.
v.tr. & intr. poet. make or become shadowy or dim.
[Old English dox ‘dark, swarthy’, doxian ‘darken in colour’]

twilight // n.
1 the soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, esp. in the evening.
2 the period of this.
3 a faint light.
4 a state of imperfect knowledge or understanding.
5 a period of decline or destruction.
[Middle English, from Old English twi- ‘two’ (in uncertain sense) + light1]

Those seem to agree with my feelings. Light levels are falling during twilight, but by dusk it's getting dark.


Re: Dusk
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 11, 2006 12:36PM

To further obfuscate such a crepuscular, tenebrous and umbrageous issue, howcum there is a gloaming but no present verb to gloam? Well, mebbe it existed previously, but several dictionaries I looked at claimed it to be a 'back-formation' from gloaming.

Which Webster's edition says dusk is synonymous with dawn? That is a new one for me.

[www.onelook.com] />
And, back to poetry, how many poems can you think of that use the word gloaming?

I got Dorothy Parker's Song in a Minor Key, Swinburne's Nephelidia, Lowell's First Snowfall, and at least two by Frost (Flower Gathering and Asking for Roses).


Re: Dusk
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 11, 2006 02:06PM

I thought a gloaming was an illuminated dynasty


Re: Dusk
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: May 11, 2006 02:13PM

Which Webster's edition says dusk is synonymous with dawn? That is a new one for me.

Sounds like somebody read a note such as: "compare dawn" next to the definition of dusk and assumed they meant the same, when in fact they are opposites.

Note that OneLook defines dusk as "that time immediately following sunset. Which would coincide with the idea that it is the time moths begin to fly toward artificial light; hence: "moth hour".

[www.onelook.com] />
[www.onelook.com] />

Les


Re: Dusk
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 12, 2006 05:51AM

"Twilight" ... technically refers to the time just before sunset.

I think the dictionaries show that technically twilight is after sunset. But in common parlance it can include a period of reduced light shortly before sunset, for instance if the sun goes behind trees or low clouds.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2006 05:51AM by IanB.


Re: Dusk
Posted by: Veronika (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 12, 2006 06:18AM

2000, electronic edition - but it says "the darker part of twilight OR of dawn.

Gloaming is a new word for me. Thank you, Ian.

Thanks to all, for shedding some light on it :-)
V.






Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2006 06:23AM by Veronika.


Re: Dusk
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: May 12, 2006 11:57AM

Hugh, gloam is listed in several dictionaries: [www.onelook.com] />
Les


Re: Dusk
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 12, 2006 12:48PM

between the dusk and twilight
a line is drawn that's fine
But it's so hard to see it
It's where the sun don't shine


Re: Dusk
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: May 12, 2006 01:27PM

It's where the sun don't shine

It's in England?


Les


Re: Dusk
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 12, 2006 01:41PM

I'ts twilight time
at Meridian Prime


Re: Dusk
Posted by: ns (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 13, 2006 12:52AM

In India, we have a very beautiful word in Hindi (origin sanskrit) for twilight, which is godhuli. "Go" is the sanskrit word for cows and "dhul" means dust. The twilight is that time of the day when the cowherds bring home the cows, and the herds kick up the dust on the dry village roads, obscuring and making gentler the harsh Indian sun.


Re: Dusk
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 13, 2006 05:54AM

I asked a Scotsman today what he understood by the gloaming, and he said it's when the sun is down but it's still light enough to see to avoid the potholes and the ditches when walking to or from the village pub !

gloam is listed in several dictionaries: [www.onelook.com]

And in the SOED.

howcum there is a gloaming but no present verb to gloam? Well, mebbe it existed previously, but several dictionaries I looked at claimed it to be a 'back-formation' from gloaming.

Maybe the same way we have 'morning' without a present verb 'to morn'.


Re: Dusk
Posted by: Linda (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 13, 2006 05:45PM

And the song "Roaming in the gloaming"
[sniff.numachi.com]


Re: Dusk
Posted by: frosty (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 13, 2006 02:57PM

this whole exchange makes me smile. Whatever one likes to call it...it's my favorite time of the 24 hr. day.


Re: Dusk
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 13, 2006 02:59PM

Oh see can you say....

by the tweelights last gloaming?




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