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Revetment

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Revetment

Postby Slava » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:46 pm

I had always thought of this word as being military in usage. Turns out I was wrong. Though it can have military applications, it is really just a nice word for "retaining wall". It can also be merely ornamental facing in stone or masonry.

My apartment building has a small revetment of bricks bordering the sidewalk, to keep the sloped landscaping from spreading.

As with sardith's idea of using macadam to refer to people, I would say we could use this one that way, too. Especially as a revetment keeps things both in and out.

"After being hurt so many times in a row, I put a revetment about my heart." ("I" here being a generic, not me.)
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Revetment

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:42 pm

I first think of military revetments. Tristram Shandy's Uncle Toby's obsessive hobby was building almost life sized battle scenes with battlements, revetments and a host of other defensive and offensive structures. Has anyone ever read "Tristram Shandy"? I have tried several times but never got to the end. Nothing ever happens. It was a very popular novel in its day. It was written in the mid 1700s and is termed Laurence Sterne's comic meta-novel. Meta? What is a meta-novel?
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Re: Revetment

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:15 pm

It might mean a novel about a novel. "This sentence was written by me" is a meta-sentence, being both a sentence and about a sentence.

Meta is Greek for after. Thus Metaphysics in Aristotle's works was the book after Physics.

In some discussions it refers to a more abstract plane from which to view the topic in question. "Let's back up and take a look at the big picture."
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Re: Revetment

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:09 am

My father defined meta-professions. If the work was not where the rubber meets the road then it was meta. Farmers, bakers, medical doctors, teachers, preachers, engineers, linguists - they all make the mark of not being meta. Insurance salesmen and bankers were meta-professionals. He would not support any of his sons if they majored in a meta-profession.

Ortho, meta and para are also the names of positions on a benzene ring.
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