Visit to 1) park; 2) dictionary


Piedmont Park’s refurbished natatorium, main outdoor pool.

While we were walking, we tentatively decided that a natatorium was most likely an indoor pool—the thinking went that the suffix “-ium” referred to a place of…whatever—think auditorium, aquarium (terrarium, not so much).

Turns out that the dictionary says that a natatorium is a swimming pool, especially one that’s indoors—but that’s not a requirement.

This kind of misunderstanding is a result of learning vocabulary from listening and from written usage, and not from study of the reference materials.

One comment

  1. jcb says:

    But then Wikipedia says: “…A natatorium is, strictly speaking, a structurally separate building containing a swimming pool. In Latin, a cella natatoria was a swimming pool in its own building; thus, the sense was much as now, although it is sometimes also used to refer to any indoor pool even if not housed in a dedicated building (e.g. a pool in a school or a fitness club)…”

    So i get from that that it’s very much about the indoorness. But that’s just Wiki-p, right? I could have edited it to say that. But…I didn’t…