Photo Quiz #1: The Defenestration Situation

Last week, I posted a picture without a caption and challenged you to identify the location and the historical significance of the place.

Here’s the answer, in a picture taken just a few minutes later:

the window of the defenestration

The previous picture was taken in Prague Castle, looking out the very window where the Defenestration of Prague occurred. Anytime you think our politics have become unhinged, just look at this place, where grown men on two separate occasions settled their political differences by throwing their opponents out a window.

Regardless of how one feels about the violence, one must stand in awe of the word defenestration. I am even more pleased that the spell checker in Windows Live Writer recognizes it as a word.

Dave Nicholls gets bonus points for nailing it in the comments:

It’s Prague Castle and it has a special place in the history of Windows (not TM :-)) because, in 1618, some government officials were thrown out of windows on the third floor.

Following this the word defenestration was coined, it literally means to throw from a window.

I have a feeling it may have been taken through the actual window that the folk are reputed to have been thrown from.

Dave, I’ll be contacting you with details on where to send your copy of Office 2010 Inside Out

3 thoughts on “Photo Quiz #1: The Defenestration Situation

  1. This is the best thing I’ve read all week. I’ve defenestrated several pieces of faulty computer hardware without ever knowing the proper terminology. In fact, once I got so mad at AT&T that I defenestrated a couple of AT&T-branded phones right into the street.

  2. “Defenestration” is an intriguing word. My very favorite use of it was by Bill Watterson, the author of the incomparable Calvin and Hobbes comics, in the collection The Essential Calvin and Hobbes. Online copy (copyright violation, obviously) here:

    “The monster, in his consternation,
    demonstrates defenestration,
    and runs and runs and runs and runs away.”

    Time to haul out The Complete Calvin and Hobbes again!

    Worth every penny!

    — Tim

  3. Defenestration is appears to be formed from the Latin de- (“out”), + fenestra (“window”). The French use the word “fenêtre” even today for a glass window.

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