Monday, August 14, 2006

Word porn

I think that there are words in our vast and muddled language that are, by their very pronounciation, being misunderstood and therefore little-used, when in fact they should be part of our normal vocabulary because they express an idea, appearance, or state of being so well.

As an example I offer "schadenfreude," or the state of being happy at someone else's misfortune. It's perfect, it sounds right, and yet if you didn't know what it meant you'd very likely have some totally incorrect idea about it.

And you would be the poorer for it, in my humble estimation.

A while back, I had a sidebar on this blog that listed my favorite words. When I changed my blog template, of course that big list disappeared, because I was not wise in the ways of the template-changing and blithely assumed that the change would only affect the appearance of the blog, and not the content. I was young and foolish, what can I say?

I now know better, and, though hesitant to be similarly crushed if somehow I should lose my redoubled efforts, I am going to build the list again, starting with a word that I think is NOT used terribly frequently because it sounds a little dirty when it rolls from the pink moist tongue of the supple word pornsters of this yearning world. Why not try to say it yourself and see?

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clinquant (KLING-kuhnt)

adjective- Glittering, especially with gold or tinsel.

noun- Tinsel; glitter.

[From French, present participle of obsolete clinquer (to clink), from Dutch klinken (to clink).]

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus: http://visualthesaurus.com/?w1=clinquant

"And she looked like a queen as she stood at the altar in her glittering
tiara, her ivory jacket clinquant with sequins."


Gerald M. Carbone; To Honor And Cherish; Providence Journal (Rhode Island);
Nov 20, 2005.


Hear it spoken (not by me).

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Words will be brought to the list from different sources, but likely they will come from "A Word A Day," a daily mailing of unusual or interesting words. Anu Garg has been mailing out vocabulary words on a daily basis to an ever-expanding list of people around the world, adding commentary, or themes, or sometimes games, always has an insightful quote of the day. He's sure to use words that have appeared in publications so as not to fill our head with Victoriana (or, worse yet, Renaissance-eeyana), a lagniappe for which I am grateful indeed.

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And yes, the sidebar title will likely be "Word Porn," because I'm a whore for the hits I hope it will bring.

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Tales of a weekend of rabbits, plantations, and french-fried croissants are in the offing, y'all, so stay tuned.

9 comments:

Hyperion said...

I'm going to try to get away with calling a girl clinquant, and when they object, I'll tell them "it means glittery!" and direct them here.

trinamick said...

Hey, I get the Word a Day email too! My boss put me on to it, and I've learned a lot. But by the end of the day, I've forgotten what it was!

tiff said...

Hyperion - if it's in the name of education, then I'm all for it.

Trina - mostly, I do too. Which is why this blog is bringing back da list.

Wordnerd said...

Yay for the list! And yay for french-fried croissants.

oldfriend said...

dictionary.com also will give you a word of the day, but I gotta check out your friend Anu.

Tiffers, bring on the Word Porn.

yummm, those croissants. Please write a gustatory ode to the heavenly taste.

tiff said...

WN - you have no idea how good those things were.

Oldfriend - you'll like AWAD - if only for the quotes. :> Yep, I'm compiling luscious adjectives right NOW to describe our weekend experience.

Tracy Lynn said...

Dude, I LOVE vocabulary. It was the only thing in school that I NEVER failed, not once, not ever, in all the years from K through 12. I got 100% all the way through. Bring it on!

Deb R said...

The word "horrents" is like that to me. I love how it sounds, but I can never remember what it means without looking it up, because whatever it means isn't what I think it sounds like it should mean.

tiff said...

deb - R I have never HEARD of that word, and so am off to look it up!

TL - we are very like in this way. I love me some BIG words.