Posted by: Jack Henry | January 9, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Anticlockwise

Dear readers,

Have I told you lately how much I love you? Well, I think you are all just splendid! I’ve received some very smart questions lately, which have led me to some interesting research. I want to thank you for your input and your questions because they keep this blog pertinent and interactive. Today’s items are a perfect example. Both of the following words were sent in by employees who have been reading the British classics (Jane Eyre) and other books from “across the pond.”

The first word is anticlockwise. You might guess that this means the same as counterclockwise (“to move in the opposite direction to the way the hands of an analog clock move”), and you’d be right. What you might not know is that anticlockwise is used chiefly in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

Both words are close to the same age, though anticlockwise is a tad bit older, with its first known use in 1879. Counterclockwise, the preferred term in the United States, was first used in 1888.

According to this graph, it looks like anticlockwise is becoming more popular lately:

The other word today, from our Jane Eyre fan, is unclose. Again, you might guess that this means “open,” and you’d be correct, though it has a little more flair to it than that. Unclose also means to unclench, to disclose, or to reveal. It has been around since the 14thcentury, but it is considered rare. One of the items I read about it describe it as a “poetic” way to say open.

Unlcose has recently seen a rise in use, but it was definitely more popular when Charlotte Brontë published Jane Eyre in 1847.

And a funny from one of our readers:

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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