October 03, 2008

the war on words

Writing about web page http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article4799560.ece

The following words are due to be removed from the Collins dictionary, according to a an article in the Times:

Abstergent Cleansing or scouring

Agrestic Rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth

Apodeictic Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration

Caducity Perishableness; senility

Caliginosity Dimness; darkness

Compossible Possible in coexistence with something else

Embrangle To confuse or entangle

Exuviate To shed (a skin or similar outer covering)

Fatidical Prophetic

Fubsy Short and stout; squat

Griseous Streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey

Malison A curse

Mansuetude Gentleness or mildness

Muliebrity The condition of being a woman

Niddering Cowardly

Nitid Bright; glistening

Olid Foul-smelling

Oppugnant Combative, antagonistic or contrary

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

Vaticinate To foretell; prophesy

Vilipend To treat or regard with contempt

"Endangered words must appear at least six times in Collins’s corpus, a database that records word usage in printed, broadcast and online media," says Mr. Malvern, but "compilers will discount any references to words if they appear in articles about the campaign to save them."

Is it worth trying to save this words? Give an artificial boost to unpopular obscurities in thislanguage? I have to say, as a would-be writer, that I think that it is. I also think writers should actively try to make up their own words withou explaining what they mean. They should go so far as to criticise their readers for mispronouncing them; fans HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu will surely back me up on this.

I henceforth vow to villipend all those writers who do not actively seek out obscure, ugly, and embrangling words and render them apodeictic in their works.

Who will join me? I do understand that this is pretty much almost definitely a publicity stunt, but as publicity stunts go, only this one beats it.

Respect to qwantz dinosaur comics for getting there first.


- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I’m going to try and use as many of these words as possible in my life, more specifically in my creative writing this week!

    17 Oct 2008, 16:11

  2. Ryan

    You are so coingluant.

    14 Jan 2009, 18:27

  3. Kenicky

    This is like well cool, Ben. I found this blog by googling Sleeping Passengers, by the way, and I am now going to write a story that uses every single one of those words, as well as my own made up words ‘lawnmowerer’, ‘chemistrate’, ‘nevastation’ and ‘beresford’.

    28 Mar 2009, 00:29

  4. Kenicky

    Also, some of these words are beautiful – i want to call my children Exuviate and Agrestic.

    28 Mar 2009, 00:32


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