Lichtotropism – Neologism of the Day

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My father is a very learned man. And there are many things about the example of his life that have inspired me in the past. Even now at the age of 89, he continues to inspire me in ways small and large. One thing about him is how he can surprise you – just when I think he has settled into a routine of “old age” or those “golden years” that he and I laugh about, he will come up with something novel and unique.

Recently I arrived at his house to pick him up for one of our routine father-son lunches out, and he announced he had created a useful neologism.


He smiled wanting to make sure that I remembered that word from our many previous meals together when I was a boy and he would endeavor to teach me oddball words, like neologism. I told him, “ok, spit it out… what word have you coined now?” He answered with, “Lichtotropism” and watched my face intently as I tried to work it out in my head.

“Isn’t that a bit redundant?” I asked, “because most plants that demonstrate tropisms do so inherently towards the light?” And he beamed with a sparkle of pride in his eye. “But,” he said, “with ‘lichtotropism’ I am speaking of the spiritual side of it – specifically one’s moving towards the light, spiritually.” He went on to give examples of using his new word as regards man’s quest for enlightenment or wisdom, and I found myself enjoying his neologism – oddly enough it also made the think of the Star Wars movies and character plays; the light and dark side of the force, and I found myself moving towards latin derivatives a bit: luxotropism versus tenebritropism – oh mercy my Dad has infected me.

Papa Ed Pride Wall

Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies are delivered from baby boomer singer songwriter Ed Verner. Weaving together lyrics from personal experiences and tales from a life of people watching, these Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies present contemporary younger songs from a salty renaissance man.

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