Saturday, June 07, 2008

May I Have a Word?

Words that deserve to exist

*iconoclastic - a nice concatenation of syllables this one. I try to use it in everyday speech such as: "That's a very iconoclastic frock you're wearing today Marjory".

*circumnavigate - as Milo almost said: "why say go round when you can say circumnavigate?"

*desultory - just right this one, with a nice hint of insouciant couldn't care lessness

*ampersand - because its the word for that squiggly jobby that indicates 'and'. Not a lot of people know that.

*ennui - listlessly draped on a chaise longue swigging laudanum and feeling melancholy and bored in a slightly pleasurable kind of way. And it rhymes with pee. Obviously French.


Words that don't

*banquette - most commonly used in conjunction with the phrase 'faux suede'. Deeply contemptible.

*epistemological- beloved of philosophers and sociologists, as in 'epistemological break'. For me this always conjures up an image of groups of bearded sociologists rushing off to the gents urinals.

*actually - oh really? How fascinating.

*chalet - pronounced 'shally' in Britain and used to describe beach huts built from bits of old cardboard.

*gotten - this is an American invention, and utterly unforgivable. They may have Harvard and Yale but while this monstrosity continues to exist they will remain backwoods hicks.

*umbrage - because people are constantly taking it with me for no apparent reason.


MJ said...

Epistemological makes me clench as it reminds me of the word "episiotomy".

garfer said...


Alex M said...

May I add "addicting" - an awful word that is becoming increasingly popular in the US, and, inevitably, is making gains over here. It's addicTIVE you murderers of language!

Piggy and Tazzy said...

May I request the word 'basically' to the list of words that don't?

I fucking hate it.

Just have a listen for the next week, or so. You'll realise how many people start sentences or answers with it - or use it in other completely inappropriate contexts.

Fucking mongs, the lot of 'em.

Piggy and Tazzy said...


I forgot to add the word 'adding'.

It goes between 'request' and 'the'.

*dull thud as head crashes down on keyboard*

Peevish McSnark said...

Pustulent. It's a good word.

My own pet peeve about words is the confusion of lose/loose - and how people can't figure out which one to use. Forget your/you're and their/there/they're. It's loose/lose that separates the wheat from the chaff.

pissoff said...

Unctuous and smegma. Need I say more?

Tim Footman said...

'Bumptious' is good. So's 'phlegmatic'.

'Envision' really isn't.

And in the last week, I've seen two instances in British quality newspapers of 'palette' when they mean 'palate'.

Alex M said...

"Callipygian" is a favourite.

garfer said...

Basically I agree with all of the above.

Sniffy said...

"Brigade" Because of its use by the PC brigade when they constantly deride the views of the Daily Mail brigade. Nobs.

and of course "went" in the football commentator context: "he's gonna went to the byline"


FirstNations said...

'Eldritch' deserves a place on the 'sadly underused' side. it does.

MJ said...

Piggy: Have you forgotten the word "anyway"?

Mopsa said...

Great words: Tunnocks tea cake, cream bun, strawberry tart.

Ghastly words: Eccles cake, lardy cake, Garibaldi biscuit.