Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday Five: Current Favourite Words

Once as an undergaduate when I was writing an essay about eighteenth-century drama, a friend challenged me to get in the words paradiddle, iconoclastic and whirligig - which I managed. I actually got an A for the essay so either the lecturer wasn't reading it very closely, or he appreciated the linguistic contortions necessary to fit in seemingly irrelevant words.

Ever since then, I have loved the appearance of slightly out-of-the-ordinary words popping up in unusual places, whether it be football commentary or furniture assemblage leaflets. Perhaps it is not so, but I always imagine that the author/ speaker has had a bet with someone that they will somehow insert this word into their particular piece of prose. My favourites change often, but here are the current crop.

5 Words to Slip into Sentences:
  1. Scatological - often applied to humour
  2. Discombobulated - a state I find myself in a lot
  3. Anthropomorphise - mum used it just the other day and it reminded me what a great word it is to use (and say!)
  4. Kerfuffle - a close cousin of the equally appealing shemozzle
  5. Peripatetic - indeed, I used it to descibe myself very recently
There's a whole load of other words like that I like because of their plosive qualities (pepperpot; bumpkin; bombastic), onomatopeic merits (effervescent; gargle; clatter) or because of their associations (champagne; sleep; laughter), but these are the words I favour presently. What are yours?


Anonymous said...

Ah ha...
Every year Tim plays a game with Aidan and Niamh when they come and stay in the summer. He gives them a 'word of the day' which they have to use. Last year we had:
- Rumbustious and Fractious

Great when Tim says to his 7 year old niece, stop being so rumbustious and she retaliates with, Uncle Tim - stop being so fractious!

Love Scarey x

Kate Blackhurst said...

I can imagine those two words being particularly apt in that situation!

Kate x