Opaque

Today’s Daily Post Writing Prompt: Opaque

To be opaque is to not easily be seen through, or not transparent.  Misty, haze, fog, cloudy, filmy, and blurry are also opaque in nature, but can be overcome by driving or moving through the opaqueness.  Have you ever been in a thick fog, but could still see something directly (and I mean directly AND really close to you?) in front of you?  You always know you’ll get through knowing you can see something ahead of you.

When I see these prompts, I always try to think of words that I know match up with the one-word prompt.  Most of the time, I know the word and can easily do word association, but rare is the time I don’t know a word (Ruminate comes to mind).  While today’s prompt technically isn’t one of those posts, it was while looking up “opaque” to find other uses for the word (aside from what I already knew, of course) that I came across a second definition:

(especially of language) hard or impossible to understand; unfathomable

I’ve never heard “opaque” used in this manner, but I like how it sounds!  On a technical level, it really does make sense.  Computer code when you don’t know computer code, a language you don’t speak, or even a dead language that hasn’t been spoken for thousands of years.  My boyfriend is a software developer, and as a hobby, builds computers.  He tells me about something he is working on, or parts of the computer he recently built, and it is opaque to me.  I think what makes it interesting to me is that it interests him – he speaks of these things passionately, much like I do when I have a great writing idea.  I’m not always easy to understand, since I talk fast, and sometimes in my own special form of geek speak.

I also found a few other synonyms connected with this second definition:

obscure, mysterious, puzzling, perplexing, baffling, mystifying, confusing, unfathomable, incomprehensible, unintelligible, ambiguous, impenetrable, oblique, enigmatic, and cryptic.

I also saw this word as a synomyn: Delphic.  This word in itself is interesting – “of or relating to ancient Delphi or its oracle.”  Delphi, according to Merriam-Webster, is “an ancient town of central Greece in Phocis on the southern slope of Mount Parnassus near the present village of Dhelfoí.”

I didn’t intend to spend as much time on “opaque” as I did (I’ve been at this since 8:20 am, and it is 8:55 am as I wrap this up), but this turned out to be as interesting as “ruminate” was.  I not only learned an alternate definition for “opaque,” but I also learned what Delphic means.

Language, when not opaque (ha!  See what I did there?!) is quite fascinating!

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