When I discover something I often want to experience it in all its forms. For example: my studies of wine and whisky resulted in a desire to ‘try as many as possible’. When I go to a restaurant I look for dishes new and adventuresome rather than get the old favorites**. Live life to the fullest is my motto.
My panache for new words parallels this philosophy. There are over a million words in the English language, thanks to centuries of borrowing, incorporation or downright theft from other languages. Why use the same banal words over and over when there are so many others to use?
Thanks to Dictionary.com I receive a new word each day. I am vigilant and on the lookout for words I don’t know. I write them down and practice them until they get into my ‘muscle memory’.
As a consequence I have a chockablock of words most people don’t recognize or care to hear.
If you define the purpose of language as merely the means to communicate, then my ever expanding lexicon is backfiring. But I see fancy words like owning really good shoes. Why wear oh so practical loafers when you can stomp around in last years Pradas?
Adjectives are my favorites. I recently described a dessert as melliferous, rather than sweet as honey. I don’t get anxious nowadays as much as I go into a swivet. Last week I ate something bad and nearly chundered. Jolly good fun!
Here’s a list of some of my latest <
capricious vs. mercurial
parody vs. satire
reprobate vs. recalcitrant
temerity (not to be confused with tenacity)
You would surmise my use of exotic and uncommon words in everyday conversation would drive Someone to distraction, but it doesn’t. He seldom doesn’t already know their definitions. This is both admirable and it makes me a bit peevish. I suffer a lot from malapropism and he points out my mistakes.
A subset of these new words is using ‘extinct’ words rather than the atypicals. There are so many lavish words no longer being used which I think should be resurrected. Rumbullion is one – an old English term for an out of doors debacle. In the 1600s people were drinking alcohol made from sugar cane. The intoxicating liquor was named ‘rumbullion’ after the fracas created from its consumption. In time the drink’s name was shortened from ‘rumbullion’ to ‘rum’.
I may be a fopdoodle, but I will continue this pursuit, even when others think it merely snuffbumble.
** This is in contrast to Someone, who orders the same drinks, the same meals etc. In my world of novelty he is my constant.