this conversation just happened. me, postgrad student, bright, smart with a good vocabulary [let's call me MG]
daughter, grade three student, bright, smart and with it seems a better vocabulary [let's call her PSP for Princess SmartyPants] [note, i am not feeling annoyed, this is just a convenient name]
scene: we are reading my family and other animals together. i am reading to her, in her wee white bed, trying to get my feet onto her hot waterbottle.
we come across the word translucent.
PSP: what's translucent?
MG: um, well it's... like... transparent, you know, you can see through it, like glass... um... [thinking of another example]... um, i think it's when there is a shine, or something is glowing...
PSP: oh, no, it's not the same as transparent, it's like when you can sort of see through something but not exactly... i learnt it in science
MG: oh, ok. [keeps reading]
ten minutes later, the light is turned out and MG goes directly to her macquarie dictionary that virtually has its own chair at her dining table.
transparent: having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen [opposed to opaque and usually distinguished from translucent]
translucent: transmitting light diffusely or imperfectly, as frosted glass.
for fuck's sake