Friday, May 8, 2009

Eating Our Words

There are some lovely words in the English language that are falling by the wayside. I find myself making a concerted effort to use some of these words so they don't disappear forever. These are not particularly highbrow or weird words, just those that seem to have been neglected.
Perplexed: a wonderful word. It sounds very much like what it is, we all know what it means, but you rarely hear someone say "I'm completely perplexed."
Vexed is another one. To say you're vexed sounds slightly more elegant than saying "I'm pissed off."
Murmur: I grant you this is not a word that we have a lot of opportunity to use on a regular basis, but it's a good one and we should try using it from time to time.
Irksome is a great word. To find something irksome seems slightly less than irritating and a bit more than annoying. I find cell phones is movie theaters irritating. I find misplacing a shoe irksome.
Dull: seems far more descriptive to me than merely boring. Boring can still be informative, dull is kind of a netherwolrd...there's simply nothing there.
Garrulous: this is a fantastic word! This is another one that pretty much is what it sounds like. Garrulous is kind of rowdy, goofy, loud...just like it looks!
Lavatory: I remember "going to the lav" in grade school. Now it's the bathroom, I contend it's not really a bathroom unless you can take a bath in it.
Twerp: this used to be a rather stinging insult, now I doubt the intended target of this particular barb would have any cluse what you're saying to them.
Mortified: I absolutely LOVE this word. It's so much better than plain old 'embarassed', I like saying it and I love the sound. This is possbily my favorite word that hardly ever gets used.
I am noticing that alot of these words are onomatopoeias, probably why I like them. I like words that sound like exactly what they are, it makes life so much simpler.
Ruckus: this is a word that elderly teachers always seemed to use, but few other people really ever did. I'm bringing this one back.
Lollygag: the last time I heard this one used was in the locker room scene in "Bull Durham"...check it out if you haven't seen it in a while.
Snicker: and I don't mean the candy bar, I'm talking that wonderful, nearly supressed and usually inappropriate laugh that comes at the completely wrong moment. (see my post about funerals)
We all have words that we love, words that we rarely get a chance to use and I think we should. Not pretentiously (there's a good one, pretentious), just often enough to ensure they don't go away from our little corners of the world, anyway.