Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Paul Spalding-Mulcock
Features Writer
1:02 AM 12th August 2023

Word Of The Week : Syzygy

Syzygy - noun

Avid Scrabble aficionados produce their most otiose words when confronting a board permitting room for nothing but two, or three letter solutions. However, let them loose on a nice chunky six-space run and one witnesses lexicographical legerdemain including the noun, Syzygy.

Strictly speaking, Syzygy is an astronomical term denoting a roughly straight-line configuration of three or more celestial bodies in a gravitational system. Such an event gives rise to the expression planetary alignment. Think such as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar, or lunar eclipse,…or Lee Anderson standing directly in front of two sane people.

The etymological roots of Syzygy can be traced to both Ancient Greek or Latin, each lending the word a different, but related hue. The Greek word syzgos means “yoked together “, being a combination of syn, “together with” and zygon, meaning “yoke”. This notion of being yoked clearly appealed to the astrological fraternity and specifically applies to the planetary positioning mentioned ut supra.

However, if we take the Latin derivation from syzgia, meaning “conjunction”, we have Syzygy connoting a pair of connected, or corresponding things. Confusingly, various venerated dictionaries also tell us this Latin-inspired interpretation denotes “any pair, especially of opposites”. Think of the sun and the moon, or the serving MP for Ashfield ….and any sentient Human Being!