Copyright © 2015 Jason Romanenko


Before I tell you some of my deep seated opinions on this word, we will give you some of the standard definitions and etymology, and give you a broad understanding of what we mean when we say “transparent”.

Firstly, the main criteria of something that is transparent is that light can travel through it ( i.e. clear ). It is something that can be seen through easily. Transparent is the adjective and transparency is the noun. Additionally a picture which can be seen by using semi-transparent materials is also known as a transparency. The most notable of transparent materials are glass and some plastics, thus giving rise to eye-glasses, binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, windows, monocles, magnifying glasses, cellophane wrapping, CD cases, light bulbs, lamination, sellotape, blueprints, microfiche, colour filters, tracing paper etc.

Other words with very similar meaning are as follows: see-through, translucent, pellucid, crystal clear, crystalline, limpid, glassy, transpicuous. Yet another meaning for this word ‘transparent’ is the term ‘obvious’ which has a separate and distinct root etymologically speaking. Quite simply this word is formed from two Latin words, namely ‘trans’ , in this context meaning ‘through’ and ‘parere’ meaning to appear.

Now what are the most useful ways to dispense of this word ? Well first and foremost, remembering democracy as set up by Cromwell, if the government is transparent, this would be an ideal solution and a more widely accepted authority acting on behalf of the people ( subjects ) for that nation / country.

There are many other institutions and establishments that also employ transparency so that their work is not only more efficient, but unprejudiced, unbiased and impartial. Perhaps you will agree that since its inception, the Internet has become a wholly transparent medium.

Oh, I nearly forgot. Obviously water, particularly pure water and some other liquids also have transparent quality. It may interest you to know there is also a CD audio album by the artist, Chasson Rouel available online with the title ‘Transparency’.

Some of the other tools such as rulers, protractors and set squares are useful for many students, particularly when they are transparent.

photographic example of transparency