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December 9, 2017 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"Streamlined"
Definition--- Streamlined adj. 1. constructed or shaped so as to provide the least amount of resistance to air or water. 2. brought up to date, modernized.

Discussion--Streamlined has long been one of my favorite words. Probably because it has something to do with one of my greatest passions- sports cars. Sports cars are streamlined to provide the least amount of wind resistance possible. The less resistance, the greater the possibility for speed. Of course, speed is not the only reason to streamline a car. Less wind resistance will also provide for better gas mileage and improved handling of the vehicle. For these same reasons, boats, airplanes, and every other mode of transportation can benefit from streamlining.

Humans can streamline their bodies as well. If you have ever watched the sport of speed skating you have seen examples of this. Speed skaters skate in a lowered position, with their back as flat as possible and one arm put as close to the side and as far back as possible. This streamlined posture allows the skater to cut through air resistance more efficiently and more quickly. Speed skaters also wear a form-fitting Spandex outfit. Believe it or not, this actually contributes to speed because there is no loose, flapping clothing adding resistance. It is actually faster to skate in the suit than it is to skate naked, because even your body hairs can add to resistance. And it would probably get a little cold! For this same reason, competititive swimmers shave off all body hair and either shave their heads or wear a streamlined swimming cap.

Streamlining also refers to the modernizing of something. For instance, a building that needed renovation could benefit from a streamlining. Other things that can be streamlined include ideas and systems.

Etymology--Streamlined- A stream is formed when running water cuts into the ground and eventually forms a canyon. This evidence left behind by the running water is the streamline. The cutting into the ground by the running water occurs through friction. You can see the links here. When we streamline something, we allow it to cut through air or water with the least possible resistance, similar to the way a stream will form a canyon.

   Foreign Translations
Dutch:  gestroomlijnd
French:  aérodynamique
German:  stromlinienförmig
Italian:  aerodinamico
Spanish:  aerodinámico

Jane Ellis      Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook

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