Monday, April 27, 2009

75-cent Words

Aren't there some words out there that you've always wanted to use, but just never had the opportunity? Elizabeth reminded me of that recently when she used "nonplussed" in an email - and then congratulated herself! And I joined her. I had never used it either. Which made me think: what other words never get used?

Primordial - I see this written fairly often - we get Smithsonian - but don't believe I've ever used it myself.

Extemporaneous - wow! there's one for the spelling bee.

Amalgam - it would be easier to use if I knew what it means.

Retrograde - another one I hear on TV, as in "he has retrograde amnesia", but not one I have ever used.

Ensconced - I stole this one from Mitchell. He used it after I told him about Elizabeth's word.

Antidisestablishmentarianism - ok, no one has ever used that word. I just wanted to see if I could spell it - and now I don't know how to check to see if I am right.

English is such a rich language and we are so incredibly lazy in our use of it. Do you ever notice how we reuse words all the time rather than using a wide variety; and we use terms that are close to what we mean, but not exact. It's easier to pull out an old familiar word than to find the correct one. I go crazy when someone uses "less" when she means "fewer", or "above" when he means "more than" - and those are easy, everyday words.

So homework for the week is to learn two new words... and use them properly.

1 comment:

  1. So, I'm taking on your homework assignment, but I wanted to let you know that Milton and my mother both like(d) "ensconce". When I called her she often told me she was ensconced before the fire reading or crocheting, or something. You've brought back some happy memories. Thanks. "Elizabeth"