The Sound of One Man Clapping

A good way of testing a round-trip live internet media stream is to clap with yourself. If you can get the beat you’re clapping to match with the beat that you’re hearing, then you’ve found how long the latency is (that is, unless you’re clapping way too fast, and are on a frequency double or triple–find out this by stopping clapping, you should only hear one more than you clap).

Primogeniture

Something that has bugged me for some time is the concept of Primogeniture. I don’t have a problem with the idea that the first son gets the inheritance (which is what the word means), but rather that I’ve never been able to find the word for the opposite concept. I mean, if you’re going to come up with a $3 word like Primogeniture, you should at least have the decency to make a word for the idea of splitting the inheritance among all of the sons (and even daughters?).

I was pondering this thought (which has been troubling me for 15 years), and I thought to myself: “I wonder if google knows.” Google does know.

Partible Inheritance is the runner up, since it’s two words, not one, but it does express the idea without being itself the definition. Even better is Gavelkind, which was the term used in Ireland for partible inheritance. Best of all is Stirpital, defined as “of or relating to per stirpes distribution.” This word, also spelled stirpical is used in English common law and wills to describe a sharing of portions of the inheritance among the children of the deceased.