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Cel, cell or sell

A cel is a transparent sheet painted with artwork, used in animation. The word cel is an abbreviation of the word celluloid, a transparent plastic that was invented in the latter half of the nineteenth century. A common word used in the animation business, the word cel came into the public vocabulary in the 1990s when cels began to be bought and sold in earnest by collectors.

A cell is 1.) a small room used to incarcerate a prisoner 2.) a small room in which a nun or monk sleeps 3.) a hollow area in an enclosed place such as a honeycomb or  4.) the smallest functional unit of a living organism 5.) a nucleus of political activity, usually subversive 6.) a compartment in a battery 7.) in America, cell is used as an abbreviation for cell phone. Cell comes from the  Latin word cella meaning small room, store room, and from the Latin word celare, which means to hide, to conceal. Cell is one of the top one thousand most frequently used words in the English language according to the Oxford English dictionary.


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Sell means to exchange goods or services for money, to maintain inventory for the purpose of exchanging it for money. Sell is a verb, related words are sells, sold, selling. Sell comes from the Old English word sellan, meaning to give, supply, surrender, from the Old High German sellen which means to give, hand over. According to the Oxford English dictionary, sell is one of the one thousand most frequently used words in the English language.

Examples

Fast forward twenty years — Smith is retired (and trying to plan for his “estate”) and The Simpsons are barely relevant, but check this out: Lot number 188 is described as follows, “Ozzie Smith’s ‘The Simpsons’ Cartoon Cel Inscribed by Matt Groening.” (The Riverfront Times)

Christopher Fasano, 35, published findings of trials at the Neuro Stem Cell Research Institute, which is backed by tens of millions of dollars from private investors and public grants. (The New York Post)

Arrested for sedition, Kanahaiya lands in Afzal Guru’s old jail cell (The Siasat Daily)

A person close to the company said that for regulatory reasons, there were few time windows that senior executives could sell shares. (The Financial Times)

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