Saturday, March 08, 2008

Apt vocabulary pupil

(This is one of those lazy, linky posts without original content. But if it's new to you...)

Nancy Friedman (who has a cool blog about words and product/company names) writes about John McGrath's interview of Ammon Shea, whose upcoming book is about reading the entire damned Oxford English Dictionary, all 21,000 or so pages.

Shea enjoyed discovering unfamiliar words that are just so perfect, that so aptly describe a concept in a single word. My favorites of Nancy's favorites of Shea's favorites:

apricity: the warmth of the sun in winter (mmm, yes, I love that sensation)

onomatomania: vexation with being unable to find the right word (grr, that's so frustrating!)

peracme: the point at which one’s prime has passed (heh—I want to find an opportunity to hurl this word at someone who's leapfrogging their peracme)

psithurism: The sound of leaves moved by the wind (see also susurration)

sialoquent: someone who spits when they speak is this (sounds like a compliment along the lines of "eloquent," only "ptui!")

velleity: a mere wish or desire for something, unaccompanied by any action of effort ("Man, I wish I had some chocolate right now." "Somebody should do something about that.")


Mona Buonanotte said...

Ooh I'm gonna love using these!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating! I would love to use these words... but they're even difficult to pronounce! LOL! Great blog!