Friday, October 1, 2010

A Philologist's Dream

You can't buy ten-dollar words like these at a ten-cent store. But you can adopt the words ten-cent store at SaveTheWords.org. When you adopt a word on this website, you "promise to use this word, in conversation and correspondence, as frequently as possible to the very best of [your] ability."

Bringing words like
pication (n. - application of warm pitch to the skin as a medical treatment) back into daily use might be difficult -- unpleasant, even. But imagine all the preschool artists and margin doodlers who decorate with stars, or starrify. And unfortunately, the current economic and political climate seems to cry out for the return of words like ptochology (n. - study of beggars and unemployment), and -- I'm not making this up -- vampirarchy (n. - a set of rulers comparable to vampires).

Click on
Spread The Word for ways to keep these endangered words alive: challenge a friend to a game of scrabble, choose a unique name for your pet, or get a tattoo. You can even buy a T-shirt to support the cause.

So if you enjoy language and you sometimes find modern vocabulary to be vappous (adj. - flat or bland), or you are simply an inveteratist (n. - one who resists reform; one who holds on to tradition) seeking to appreciate earlier times, choose a word that suits you and use it. Who knows, it may catch on again.

1 comment:

Gus said...

I learned the word "defenestrate" just a few years ago. It means "to throw something or someone out a window". I love that our language has a word for that. I just wish I could use it more often- is that wrong?

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