17 October 2005

Word nerd

I am a word nerd. With some words I just adore the sound and the look and the mouth-feel, and I can't completely explain it. One word I keep thinking about lately is "ample". It just sounds so right. Some words are so closely linked in sound and root to their meaning that I cannot vizualize them meaning something else ... words like "abhorrent" and "lubricious" and "pizzazz" and "moxie".

It's great to discover foreign words that also hit the spot; I recently found out that in German "Morgenmuffel" is a person who can't wake up in the morning.

Another wordy thing I was reminded of recently is that Shakespeare invented tons of words in his plays. What a bad-ass. I know he was popular and influential and everything, but still -- 2000 words and phrases that survive to this day are credited to him. I'm so jealous. "Madcap". "Moonbeam". "Bloodstained". "Besmirch". "Hint". "Hobnob". "Scuffle". "Savagery". "Salad days". "Vanish into thin air". "Tongue-tied". "Short shrift". What a bad motherfucker.

And at the moment I'm also reading a history of the Oxford English Dictionary (did you know it took over 70 years to create the first edition?) The history is just okay so far. At least it's a lot easier to carry than the actual OED.

4 Comments:

At 20 October, 2005 12:04, Anonymous Nighthunter said...

i love words too. just can't remember all the ones i like in particular right now. i should make a list.

i like the word 'transient'. it's such a euphemism.

 
At 25 October, 2005 10:45, Anonymous M said...

Dunno if you've ever seen this site, but I came across it the other day: http://www.worldwidewords.org. You might find it of interest.

 
At 27 October, 2005 10:38, Blogger contrarybear said...

Nope, never seen that word site -- thanks!

 
At 05 November, 2005 01:42, Anonymous nighthunter said...

delectable is a good one too

 

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