Greetings Word of the Week fans and welcome to the April 1 edition of Clarion County's favorite word game.
It was on this date in 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.
People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to Jan. 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called "April fools."
These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as "poisson d'avril" (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.
So with that in mind, this week's word is epexegesis.
Ready? OK, here goes --
Does epexegesis mean:
A: It means nothing, the word is a Word of the Week April Fool joke.
B: Double-cross. -- Answer A is an epexegesis to mis-lead Word of the Week players.
C: The addition of words to clarify meaning. No, the answer is not B, and this is an epexegesis to explain that.
D: Confusion. -- Answers A, B and C are meant to cause epexegesis and the right answer is D.
April Fools' Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with "hunting the gowk," in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people's derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or "kick me" signs on them.
In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees. In 1985, Sports Illustrated writer George Plimpton tricked many readers when he ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour.
So there you have it. Happy April Fool's Day.
The correct answer to the Word of the Week challenge is "C."