I first came across the word “defenestration” when reading “The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch” in Arthur C. Clarke’s “Tales from the White Hart”. I spent most of the story trying to figure out what defenestration was. I didn’t figure it out until Ermintrude was thrown out of the window. The only reason that I did figure it out was I knew that fenetre was French for window.

I was surprised that someone figured that we needed this word. How often do you throw something out the window?

Yet I keep finding the word in my reading. When reading about French history, a book mentioned that a few guards were killed during the storming of the Bastille, one by defenestration.

Over the weekend, I was discussing this with Morgan. When I got to that part about Ermintrude getting thrown out the window, he started laughing. He also hadn’t known what defenestration meant but he had studied French.

Either that or he didn’t like Ermintrude.

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