Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Word Wednesday: olfactory

Main Entry: ol·fac·to·ry
Pronunciation: \äl-ˈfak-t(ə-)rē, ōl-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin olfactorius, from olfacere to smell, from olēre to smell + facere to do — more at odor, do
Date: circa 1658

: of or relating to the sense of smell

I use every opportunity to teach Amilia vocabulary words. We go over many new ones each day, it seems. I do not talk down to her as if she is ONLY a child who cannot understand "big" words. I use my everyday speech, and when she does not know a word, she points it out and asks for clarification. It is a good system.

So, Mr. Nature got some Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap over the weekend. It is supposed to be "wonder" soap, so we thought we'd give it a scrub. I don't know yet if it is really "wonder" soap, but it is certainly smelly soap! It turned our bathroom into a campfire, I think. I distinctly smelled the out of doors and hot sticks on a rock bed of cinders. After Mr. Nature used it, HE smelled like a campfire also.

Amilia wrinkled up her nose when we went into the campfire bathroom to brush her teeth. But, after we had been there brushing teeth, combing hair, clipping fingernails, and washing hands, she said, "Hey, I think my nose got used to that smell. I can't smell it anymore."

So, I told here that our olfactory system works in just that way. Our nose gets tired of sending that signal to our brain after a while, and so we "get used to" strong or objectionable smells over time. Thus, the question about what the heck olfactory means, and my explanation that it is our sense of smell.

When she then stubbed her toe on the part where the wood floor meets the linoleum upon exiting the bathroom, we had a discussion of the word "transition." The doorway is where one type of floor transitions to the next...

What are some of your words?

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