Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today's Word: seel

Night Time
Image by Kieran Gillard via Flickr
When you seel someone's eyes shut, you also seal their eyes shut — though normally for only a short time.

And it isn't normally done to people. I hope.

Medieval falconers went to great trouble to train their falcons and hawks well, and it was even worse for the birds themselves. One of the first things a falconer would do to train a new bird was to seel its eyes — that is, sew its eyes shut. The trainer would then carry the calmed bird around on his arm, getting it used to being around humans while also preparing it for the hood that would later be the falconer's greatest tool for controlling his raptor.

The eyes would gradually be reopened during the process of training — blind falcons not being the best hunters — and would eventually be opened fully.

It sounds like a horrible ordeal for the bird to me. If only PETA had been around 1,500 years ago.

Seeling is believing
Cenobites aside, people get their eyes sewn shut only in extreme cases, and I see no evidence that physicians refer to this type of surgery as seeling.

Still, after learning about seel, if I find a Seel Ophthalmology or Seel Optometry, I think I'll look elsewhere for my vision correction needs.
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