Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Save that Word

The Collins English Dictionary has decided to delete some words to make room for 2,000 or so new ones. I know. Desperate times people. It was a choice between this or making the dictionary's typeface so small no one could read it.

However, all is not lost.

If by February 2009 any of these words appear six times in the dictionary's English language database (which is complied from books, newspapers, broadcasts and other media) then the word will be saved.

Various celebrities have chosen their favourite words to champion. Stephen Fry has chosen fusby, and Andrew Motion (UK's poet laureate & avid bird-watcher) has chosen skirr.

Here is a list of 24 popular ones (with the top ten first). Which one will you choose? Which one will you champion?
Apodeictic: Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration
Caducity: Perishableness; senility
Compossible: Possible in coexistence with something else
Embrangle: To confuse or entangle
Fubsy: Short and stout; squat
Malison: A curse
Mansuetude: Gentleness or mildness
Niddering: Cowardly
Olid: Foul-smelling
Oppugnant: Combative, antagonistic or contrary

And then there is...

Abstergent: Cleansing or scouring
Agrestic: Rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth
Apodeictic: Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration
Caliginosity: Dimness; darkness
Exuviate: To shed (a skin or similar outer covering)
Fatidical: Prophetic
Griseous: Streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey
Muliebrity: The condition of being a woman
Nitid: Bright; glistening
Periapt: A charm or amulet
Recrement: Waste matter; refuse; dross
Roborant: Tending to fortify or increase strength
Skirr: A whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight
Vaticinate: To foretell; prophesy
Vilipend: To treat or regard with contempt

Here is the original Times article
And Time Magazine's take on it.

5 people love me:

Jess Dee said...

Is it worrying that I actually knew the meaning of recrement before I read it?

As for the rest of the words, LOLOL, I couldn't even pronounce half of them.

Jess

Christina Phillips said...

OOH I love Embrangle. How have I lived this long without knowing this word? It's perfectly gorgeous!!! And completely describes how I feel about 98% of the time!!!

(It's also one of the few words I can actually pronouce from this list!!)

Rachael Johns said...

Thanks for this Cait... really, really interesting stuff and a useful procrastination tool. Not that I need any help at the moment!

Caitlyn Nicholas said...

Yes Jess, it is a worry that you know the meaning of recrement. Maybe a switch to historical romance in imminent??

I love embrangle too Chris! Its one of them I can see myself using.

Oh Rach. But at least you're procrastinating on MY blog. This makes me feel so loved!

Cait!

Christina Phillips said...

OOH I love Embrangle. How have I lived this long without knowing this word? It's perfectly gorgeous!!! And completely describes how I feel about 98% of the time!!!

(It's also one of the few words I can actually pronouce from this list!!)