Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wordy Wednesday

Here's a gear-switch for ya; today it's all about new words! Yay words!!!

As many of you know, I get a daily vocabulary word e-mailed to me from A Word A Day. (interesting article on its founder is here) From time to time there are words on there that are not only unusual, but useful too. I do love me those days, and try to work the new bit of language into normal conversation. Highly entertaining, at least to me.

Feel free to snicker at what passes for amusement in my world.

That being said, and the snickering being over, the words for today are NOT from AWAD, but rather were forwarded to me by "Oldfriend," who is also a lover of large, unusual, and useful words. See the things you can find out about people if you stay friends with them long enough? I would never have known about this particular fetish of hers (if one can call it that, and I just did, so there) way back during college days, because 1) I was drunk a lot and wasn't really creating a stable long-term memory base, 2) I was all about the boys and therefore wasn't really paying all that close attention to my girlfriends (thank heaven they stuck with me - thanks y'all!), and 3) I was so self-centered that unless something impacted me personally I probably didn't give it a whole lot of thought.

Ain't it nice how time changes a person? I think so.

So, in a tip o' the hat to her, I present to you 2 lovely, unusual, AND useful bits of our vocabulary she shared with me from the daily wordfeed.

Vocabulary tidbit 1:

vade mecum \vay-dee-MEE-kuhm; vah-dee-MAY-kuhm

noun:1. A book for ready reference; a manual; a handbook.2. A useful thing that one regularly carries about.

Published use: Roget's Thesaurus, which had come into being as a linguistic example of the Platonic ideal, became instead a vade mecum for the crossword cheat.-- Simon Winchester, "Word Imperfect",
The Atlantic, May 2001

My contribution to the use of this term: My vade mecum is purple and sometimes gets infected.

Vocabulary tidbit #2:

pervicacious \puhr-vih-KAY-shuhs\

adjective:Refusing to change one's ideas, behavior, etc.; stubborn; obstinate.

Published use (and oh, how I love this one!): The language of the bureaucrats and administrators must needs be recognized as an outgrowth of legal parlance. There is no other way to explain its pervading, pervicacious and pernicious meanderings.--
New York Law Journal, May 27, 1909

My contribution to the use of this term: Allison was a sweet young thing once, until her pervicacious nature caused her to catch the syphillis.

See? Easy-peasy to use them in regular conversation! Like falling off a log, but using big/arcane/easily misunderstood words. What could be more fun than that, I ask you?

Now, your assignment is to use them too. Perhaps even correctly, if you feel so inspired.

Leave your offerings in the comments or work them into a future post and tell me you did. Together, we can wedge these words back into common parlance, and will have done a very good thing indeed.


Here's a little thing you should never, ever, ever try to do. Because as we all know, an elephant NEVER forgets, and this chick's days at the zoo are officially oh-vah.

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