The word element can mean several things, in the plural it can mean several other things as well. The actual word, as you can imagine comes originally from Latin, elementem  which meant, as you would also imagine,  a rudiment or first principle,  and then in turn matter in its most basic form. The actual idea of ‘matter in its most basic form came from the Greeks, and their word was στοιχείο – stoikheion – and where that came from, no-one knows.

Back in ancient time, everything was thought to be made up from four things, earth, air, fire, and or water; this still had its first meaning of the simplest component of something more complex and this same idea carried on into the late Middle Ages.  in its modern chemistry sense, it has been used for the last two hundred years; there are  94 naturally occurring elements, from actinium, aluminium and americium to Yttrium, Zinc and Zirconium.

You may wonder why I’m thinking about elements… you may wonder if I’m going to mention “Elementary, my dear Watson” – which of course Sherlock Holmes never actually said… the reason I’m thinking about elements, or Elements, is that I have just bought a CD by the Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi called Elements. it came from a recommendation by another WordPresser…

2 thoughts on “Elements

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