November 23, 2013
museum (noun)
\myoo-ZEE-um\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a building or part of a building in which objects of interest in one or more of the arts or sciences are displayed
How do you use it?
"Likewise, I have heard that in the museum of Manchester, in New Hampshire, they have what the proprietors call the only perfect specimen of a Greenland or River Whale in the United States." (Herman Melville, _Moby Dick_)
Are you a word wiz?

The origin of the word "museum" traces back to a mythological name. Which of the following do you think had the name that played a part in the formation of the word "museum"?

Answer D is the only authentic specimen in the collection. "Museum" traces to the Latin word "Museum," meaning "place for learned occupation." Speakers of Latin created "Museum" from the Greek word "Mouseion," which means "seat of the Muses" and which was itself created from "Mousa," the Greek word for any of the nine sister goddesses of song and poetry and the arts and sciences. (In English they are called "the Muses.") Because of their association with the arts and sciences, the goddesses' name was used to refer to ancient centers of learning, in particular the Museum of Alexandria in Egypt.
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