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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


                Kinetic is a word existing both as an adjective and noun, commonly defining relationships pertaining to motion or kinesis. As an adjective, kinetic describes the actual production of motion and other dynamic interactions whereas the noun only exists as the developed term kinetics, which refers to the study of a particular branch of dynamics focusing on ‘the relations between motions of bodies and the forces acting upon them’.[1]
               The origins of kinetic can be traced back to the Ancient Greek
κινητικός (kinētikos), meaning ‘one who puts in motion’ and the verb κινέω (kineō), ‘I move, put in motion’.[2] However, κινέω (kineō) does not strictly ascribe to matters of motion, but rather feelings of anger and related actions as well. The latter of the two Greek-originated forms has roots in the Proto-Indo-European prefix *ey- (kei) which gives offspring to similar terms such as κίω (kiō), ‘I go’, κίνυμαι (kinumai), ‘I go, move’, and the Latin cieo meaning ‘move’.[3]
               Due to its inherent connection with motion, kinetic often finds widespread use in the realm of science as an energy related entity. In physics, kinetic energy was formally introduced with its present day meaning in the mid-19th century and had since produced terms like kinetic heating, ‘heat generated by the compression and acceleration of air by a fast moving body’, and the kinetic theory of gases; pertaining to the theory that ‘heat, or the gaseous state, is due to motion of the particles of matter’. [1] Kinetic energy comes as a result of the energy gained by an object, from a state of stillness to one of motion. Likewise, kinetic is a common term available in the field of chemistry and life science; more specifically, cytology where it is attributed with the nucleus involved in mitotic division.[1]  Among the other uses of kinetic contain phonetics, where it implies a change in quality in tone during utterance, thus denoting the lack of a monotonic voice through the emphasis of kinetic vowels and consonants. Many words associated with kinetic find themselves defining dynamic movements, in the case of kinetic art where the act of motion is what gives it its effect; and as the supplying motor force behind an action or organization.

[1] "Home : Oxford English Dictionary." Home : Oxford English Dictionary. http://oed.com/view/Entry/103503#eid40192104 (accessed November 20, 2012).

[2] "kinetic." Wiktionary, the free dictionary. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kinetic
(accessed November 20, 2012).

[3] "κινέω." Wiktionary, the free dictionary. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/κινέω#Ancient_Greek (accessed November 20, 2012).

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