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Nube — Nu­ance

It is ob­vi­ous that nube (span­ish for “cloud”), and its cousin neb­u­loso (“cloudy”),are re­lat­ed to the Eng­lish neb­u­lous: a SAT word mean­ing “un­clear”, just like the sky is when it’s cloudy. This one is easy.

But did you re­al­ize that nube is al­so re­lat­ed to the Eng­lish nu­ance?

Nu­ance comes from the Latin nubes, mean­ing “cloud” — from which we al­so get the al­most-iden­ti­cal Span­ish word.

Al­though this is less ob­vi­ous, we can see the pat­tern here: a nu­ance is a slight shade of mean­ing, just how the cloud adds a slight shade to sky.

Nu­ances, therefore,by de­f­i­n­i­tion, stop the clar­i­ty of sun­shine from shin­ing in, and just cloud our judg­ments!


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