Ocular or oscular

12 Nov

Is it the eyes or is it the mouth? I have to admit that this is a bit of a cheeky one, inspired by the ramblings of a group of vision scientists who were discussing vision and kissing … but what’s the point of having even a fairly serious work blog if you can’t be cheeky occasionally. So this one is dedicated to Matt, Arthur, Dicle, Matthew, Aidan and their chums …

Ocular means of or related to the eyes or vision.

Oscular, in its “humorous” sense (according to the Oxford dictionaries, whose sense of humour may be slightly ponderous) refers to kissing. In its zoological sense, it means something related to the osculum. And the osculum, dear readers, is a large aperture in a sponge from which water is expelled (from Latin os, mouth: diminutive, osculum, little mouth). Now, if that hasn’t killed the romance, I don’t know what will …

You can find more troublesome pairs here and the index to them all so far is here.


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