Editor Note: I wrote the follow for the monthly writers group at the church. Each month we’re given a prompt to write about. This month the prompt is, “hybrid,” which caused me to write the following note to the group:

I’ve spent most of my writing time this month just trying to figure out what to write about the prompt, “Hybrid.”

If you over think it, there are a million or so interesting ways to go here.  There are hybrid flowers, that is flowers cross pollinated from two different varieties to produce a new variety The process is called hybridization.  Interestingly you can spell hybridization with either a “z” or an “s”.  For you in the commonwealth that would be either a “zed” or an “s”. 

Interestingly, the word hybrid can be used as either noun or adjective. For example in the noun form you would say, “a hybrid of two roses,” while in the adjective form you could say, “a hybrid rose.” Yes, they’re the same thing, but some people are into nouns and some adjectives.  It’s all part of being a free country and creating as much confusion as possible.

You can use hybrid to describe people, but when you look at the synonyms and antonyms for this usage you find yourself on dangerous politically incorrect ground.  I’m not planning on engaging in a scholarly work on Postcolonial Literary or Critical Theory, so I’ll just give that a skip.

When I was working in electronics we did have hybrid electrical circuits and systems.  Perhaps the most common modern example would be the hybrid car.  In this case hybrid refers to two different parts doing about the same thing.  A hybrid car can be powered by either an electric generator or a battery.  Both generator and battery provide power and using both makes it a hybrid. Electronic circuits can also be hybrid – in fact most electronics can be describe as a hybrid of both individual devices such as resistors and diodes and integrated circuits such as the 555 timer chip. Doesn’t seem like the thing that would have a wide audience appeal.

I did think that hybrid could be applied to arts and crafts.  There is a book out titled, “Hybrid Woodworking” by Marc Spagnuolo in which he describes how to use both power and hand tools in woodworking.  If you’ve ever met woodworkers you’ll find two camps – hand tool users and power tool users.  Rarely do the two camps meet, much less agree on the “correct” way of doing things.  And I’m not talking about woodturners here – they have a completely different view of the world that involves shoving sharp steel tools into rapidly spinning wood.

In terms of art the closest I’ve seen to a hybrid artist is what is called a multimedia artist, that is a person who uses many different things – say paint, fabric and wire to create art objects.  My problem here is that in general hybrid refers to combining two things to make one.  I did a lot of googling here (okay, three searches), and could not find a reference to a hybrid being composed of more than two things.  Sudden it seems like such a limited word.

Which naturally started me thinking about bipeds.  You know those things that walk on two legs.  Of course there are quadrupeds, like horse, dogs, cats and lizards, which are more common in nature.  That does bring up the case of primates – perhaps they could be called hybrid-peds as some primates can walk on two legs or four depending on what they’re doing. 

At one point I did mistype “biped” as “bipod” and ended up on a gun store’s website.  It’s amazing the number of firearms that have a bipod.  Tripods are generally used for cameras and quadrupod is a method for holding a pencil.  Speaking of cameras, a monopod is another stick that can be use with a camera, but when I found an ad for a monopod that had three little legs at the bottom (a mono-mini-tripod?) I gave up on the whole research thing.

So, I’m sad to report that I’ve failed to come up with anything to write about this month. 

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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17 Responses to Hybrid

  1. Thanks for reminding me that I have a monopod in the back of the wardrobe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave says:

    Your segue to bipeds made me think of the mythological centaur: head/torso of a human on the body of a horse. A hybrid quadruped?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. But your brain is always working, Andrew. I bet you’re never boring to be around.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OK. You made me do some of my own searchings on Google, Andrew. As an artist (and one who works in a variety of mediums) when I began reading, I immediately thought the term ‘hybrid’ would refer to art. Then I read that it was limited to two elements. It made me wonder if that was ALWAYS the case.

    As an adjective, Merriam-Webster’s second definition of the word is as follows: “: having or produced by a combination of two or more distinct elements: marked by heterogeneity in origin, composition, or appearance”

    The “or more” part gave me hope that there was a broader application to the term. After all – a flower or plant defined as a hybrid would only be so if the contributing elements were each pure in themselves and not derived from another species if the ‘only two elements’ rule were strictly applied. Keeping that in mind, would the color “orange” only be a hybrid of yellow and red if pure pigments were used to create it? Most ‘colors’ we see and buy are a mixture of two or more pure pigments.

    I am just throwing this out here for conversation purposes. Apparently, it is Monday morning and it doesn’t take long to distract me from starting this weeks’ work. 😉 But your post was thought-provoking and interesting in any case. (At least to me)

    If being defined as ‘hybrid’ means that we are limited to two elements, it is, indeed, very restrictive. If we go by the ‘looser’ definition, then the sky can be the limit. It depends on how you look at things.

    Have a great week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I, too, thought if ‘hybrid’ is limited to two elements, it’s rather limited. So I’m going with the ‘looser’ definition where the sky can be the limit!
      Thank-you, Andrew and Sheila, for the discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I like to do thought provoking and it just makes me feel good when I can distract someone from real work. Hybrid is such an interesting word. I’ve often wondered why there isn’t a word like tribrid or quadbrid. Why didn’t didn’t hybrid expand like “ped” or “pod.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jfwknifton says:

    Quite a few birdwatchers use a monopod for their telescope. They are a lot lighter to carry, apparently. I’ve never seen one with little “leglets” on it, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. davidprosser says:

    Maybe next month will give you the opportunity for a learned treatise instead Andrew.

    Liked by 2 people

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