"...it's like Will Rogers, Jean Shepherd and some grumpy Jewish man all rolled into one."

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Defining Moment

As deluded as I may be in considering myself a "writer", I've certainly enjoyed the challenge of putting pen to paper (or, in my case, brainwaves to Interocitor) and coming up with brief essays that others may also derive pleasure from. Or, since my grammar should be exemplary in this instance - "'... that from which others derive also may pleasure." Of course, in addition to deciding upon subject matter there's also the creative challenge of being vocabulent. Notice how I devised an adjective at the end of that last sentence to describe a hither-to undocumented state of being -- "fanciful in one's use of verbiage". I'm sure "vocabulent" will be included in a future edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, or else my next tweet.

All seriousness aside: I do occasionally come across a word I haven't encountered before or whose proper use I've misunderstood. As an example, I recently learned that "oubliette" is the French word for "omelette". Also that "toastmaster" and "sous chef" are not interchangeable. And while the best-known maxim for writers is to "write what you know", I certainly enjoy flexing my mental muscles and looking for discrete opportunities to introduce a word or phrase that, while perhaps less frequently encountered, serves to encapsulate a certain je ne sais quoi (more French, and I'm honestly not sure what it means) where everyday-wordiness simply isn't up to the task. While I realize I run the risk of leaving some of my more pedantic followers behind (because they are, literally, "walking" followers), I get a thrill when sprinkling such bon mots (yet more French! It's like I'm bi-inguinal) into my posts and knowing that at least several of my literally dozen of followers enjoy being stimulated by such intellectual crap.

I recently came across the following list of rarely encountered words, a few of which may be familiar to some of you. But for the benefit of the other somes of yous to whomse they are not yet known, I have included definitions so you won't have to scramble for a dictionary (which I, as well, did not):
  • captious: obsessed with hats
  • bibulous: involved in an activity which requires wearing an apron
  • tricorn: the offspring of a unicorn and a bull
  • tenebrous: a group of slightly less than a dozen people
  • braggadocio: an especially pretentious Starbucks order
  • bruit: the act of manufacturing ale or lager
  • valetudinarian: being exceptional at parking cars
  • cenacle: ten times as frightening as a tentacle
  • hypermnesia: a condition where one frequently forgets how to spell words beginning with the letter "a"
  • estivation: a guess regarding the height of a mountain
  • myrmidon: the leader of a group of undersea nymphs involved in a criminal enterprise
  • regnant: an apartment-dweller who breaks a lease 
  • clerisy: a priest considering conversion to Judaism
  • deracinate: to cool down after running a marathon
  • oneiromancy: kissing one's own reflection in a mirror
  • tatterdemalion: what remains after running over weeds with a lawn mower
  • hypnopompic: the state of being entranced by extravagant spectacle
  • pule: the antonym of "pyush"
  • funambulist: an EMT relating a humorous anecdote
Honestly, I'm not even sure my keyboard came with all the letters necessary to spell some of these. I plan to work on introducing them into my lexicon (when I can afford one -- I'm still tooling around in an aging toyoticon). BTW: wordplay involving an automobile is known as "carpaccio". And if you don't care for puns -- well, please take your beef elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. I've been LOLing the whole length of this post. Have you ever played Balderdash? You would be the world champion, I'm pretty sure.