Saturday, December 27, 2014

Netiquette IQ Blog Of The Day - Seldom Heard, But Amusing, English Words

Good Netiquette requires proper grammar and generally less wordiness. It can be a challenge to get one's point across without the complication of large and obscure words. However, when I came across this article, I enjoyed it enough to republish in this blog. Have fun and see if you can use one or two of these words in an email!

David Grambs and Ellen S. Levine
Co-authors, 'The Describer’s Dictionary: A Treasury of Terms & Literary Quotations'
 English Is Seldom at a Loss for Words Posted: 12/26/2014 9:22 am EST Updated: 12/26/2014 11:59 am EST

In vocabulary, English is the richest modern language. It is constantly surprising even to those word gatherers among us who spend much time exploring dictionaries, especially the larger and older lexicons that harbor thousands of neglected words -- words that may be a bit dusty but are none the worse for disuse.
"Shaped like a stirrup" -- could there possibly be a word for that?
There is: stapediform. Or for having the sides reversed, as in a mirror image? (Haven't many of us wondered about this left-right reversal while applying makeup or shaving?) The answer is heterochiral. (Specular is the adjective for pertaining to a mirror or mirrors.) Then there are words for various shapes, like ovoid for egg-shaped, which is fairly common in usage. But what if the object is egg-shaped with the wider end up? Then it's obovoid. Similarly, obconic means conical with the pointed end down and pear-shaped upside down is obpyriform.

There is actually a word, griffinage, that is defined as the state of being a white person newly arrived in the Far East! (Griffonage -- one letter different in spelling -- means a scribble or illegible handwriting.) There's even a word, amphoric, meaning like the sound made when blowing across the lip of an empty bottle; and a term, spanipelagic, describing creatures dwelling in deep water but coming at times to the surface.
Other improbable but actual, dictionary-certified words worthy of mention are adoxography, good writing on a minor subject; bardocucullated, wearing a cowled cloak; perfuncturate, to do halfheartedly; scaff, to beg for food in a contemptible way; tacenda, matters or things that shouldn't be mentioned; ventifact, a stone rounded off by the wind; agathism, the belief that things tend to work out for the better; assentation, rote or insincere agreement; quomodocunquize, to make money in any conceivable way; naufrageous, in danger of shipwreck (naufragous is causing shipwreck); macarism or confelicity, joy or pleasure in another's happiness; borborygm, a growling in the stomach; laquearian, armed with a noose; filipendulous, hanging by a thread; eumoirous, lucky in being happily innocent and good; tarassis, male hysteria; and charientism, an insult that is artfully veiled.
In politics, couldn't we use the rarely heard or seen words empleomania, a craving for holding public office; and emptitious, corruptible or capable of being bought?
Do you ever feel a bit put off at attending an event or going to a museum where there is a "suggested contribution"? There is the term dation, which means giving that is not voluntary.
If you had to guess what lateritious, infuscate, and murrey mean, you'd probably be wrong. They're all particular colors: brick red, having a brownish tinge, and purplish black or mulberry, respectively. 
In addition to this blog, I maintain a radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ and  PSG of Mercer County, NJ.

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