Saturday, December 6, 2008

An Apology and Words

Well, it seems that the economy recovery program I supported in my previous blog was based on poor arithmetic and wishful thinking. Several people e-mailed to point out that however many trillion it was divided by however many million results in $425 per person, not $425,000. Well, it was fun to fantasize about.

Words. The Times of London reports that Collins Dictionary has announced that it is going to drop some words because they are no longer used. Well, how can we use a word if we don't know it exists? Here are the words, some of which I can definitely use.

Abstergent: Cleansing or scouring

The word itself sounds cleansing.

Agrestic: Rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth

I can now tell someone they're being uncouth, and they'll think it's a compliment.

Apodeictic: Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration

I have no idea what this means. Collins can take it out.

Caducity: Perishableness; senility

If I can remember this word, it'll prove I'm not senile.

Caliginosity: Dimness; darkness

Compossible: Possible in coexistence with something else

Embrangle: To confuse or entangle

I need this word. I get embrangled a lot.

Exuviate: To shed (a skin or similar outer covering)

Fatidical: Prophetic

Fubsy: Short and stout; squat

Has something of the onomatopoetic about it.

Griseous: Streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey

Malison: A curse

Mansuetude: Gentleness or mildness

Muliebrity: The condition of being a woman

I had to look this one up. It comes from the Latin muliebris and means, "the female genitalia." In the Merriam Webster Unabridged muliebrity is defined as "the state of being a woman, or of possessing full womanly powers."

Niddering: Cowardly

Nitid: Bright; glistening

Olid: Foul-smelling

Oppugnant: Combative, antagonistic or contrary

One of my favorites. Makes me think of the kind of person who, no matter what you say, takes the opposite side because they like playing "devil's advocate". Instead of telling him or her to stop being an asshole, I can say "Don't be oppugnant."

Periapt: A charm or amulet

Recrement: Waste matter; refuse; dross

Roborant: Tending to fortify or increase strength

Skirr: A whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight

I love this word. A true onomatopoeia. It reminds me of one of my favorite words - drizzle. I just love the sound of that word whether it's drizzle rain or if a recipe says "drizzle butter...." Which reminds me of my favorite onomatopoeia, ronron which is French for a cat's purr. Say it with that French "r" rolling from the throat and it sounds exactly like a cat.

Vaticinate: To foretell; prophesy

Vilipend: To treat or regard with contempt

I hope there's a word here that you can adopt. I hate to think of a word dying.

Julius Lester

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