What's in a Word | All Blogs


Selecting a stellar word

By Debra Dobbins

 

Four jackpots? Oh, my stars!

“Astronomical” is a stellar word choice in the headline for today’s front-page story of a reclusive woman winning her fourth (yes, you read correctly) Texas Lottery jackpot.

Astronomical is the adjective form of astronomy, a word that is composed of two Greek word parts: astron, meaning star and nomos, meaning law.

Webster’s second definition of astronomical is “extremely large, as the numbers of quantities used in astronomy.”

As the article’s lead paragraph notes, Ginther’s chance of winning four lotteries in the Lone Star State were “as slim as 1 in 18 septillion.” If she had been an astronaut (star sailor) trying to pick just one star out of all the Milky Way, her odds would have been markedly better.

Was this astonishing stroke of luck simply in Ginther’s stars? Inquiring minds may never know, because she reportedly shuns publicity. Surely we can assume, though, that this is one Texan who is thanking her lucky stars ... or maybe just one lucky star.

 



 

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