Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today's Word: rebus, and a bonus word!

rebus: A riddle consisting of pictures of objects and symbols whose phonetic or alphabetic parts combine into a representation of a word or phrase. For example:

pilcrow: That double-stemmed backward P symbol used (most often in proofreading and editing) to indicate the end of a paragraph and the beginning of a new one. Or, more succinctly, the symbol in the above rebus. Wired magazine sometimes uses the pilcrow character (in a lighter color) to mark the end of a paragraph without actually breaking to a new line. A great space-saver.

One thing I don't understand about the pilcrow: Why doesn't the word appear in either Webster's New World Dictionary or Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary?