Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Word a Day Project

In my ever burgeoning quest to conquer the lurking demons of retirement (boredom, social isolation, time wasting, getting fat, etc.), I have added improving my vocabulary to the list of other projects and activities I have begun, such as getting the wine-guzzling poodle into rehab, learning how to twerk, not wearing my pajamas all day and early happy hours.

I have always enjoyed using the English language properly and improving my vocabulary.  I also have particular pet peeves about grammar and the use of certain words, for example "lay" and "lie."  You LAY an object down, you LIE yourself down.  For example, you LAY an egg on the counter, but you do NOT go lay down (yourself).  So you would not teach your dog to LAY down, you teach your dog to LIE down.  Anyway, I could rant about that forever, but I won't.

Let's get to the vocabulary issue.

To get myself started, I bought one of those little desk calendars with a word for each day. 



Every day, I go to my desk and rip off the page from the day before to behold my new word.  Once I have beheld it and digested it, I then try to form a sentence using the new word, applying it to my current life, because what is the point of this if I am not actually going to use the word to amaze my friends with my incredible vocabulary? 

What is really cool about this little calendar is the additional information about the origins of the word provided on the back of each sheet e.g. I knew what the word "cobalt" meant, but I didn't know it drew its name from German folklore and denoted a usually helpful household elf, which made me think of Hubby. 

Anyway, later it was applied to a variety of less helpful goblins inhabiting the fields and mountains which in turn was applied by German miners to the ores containing cobalt which they considered worthless thinking the mountain goblins had spoiled the silver ores.  TMI?

I must brag that I knew many of the daily words already, but here are some of the ones I have learned since the beginning of the year with an accompanying sentence I have devised in order to help me use the new word.

Vulnerary
   def: used for or useful in healing wounds.

"Wine is a vulnerary."  (You can have mental wounds!)



Thole
   def: endure
  
"I was tholing the baseball game so as to not spoil Hubby's fun (a little vulnerary wine helped)."



Vituperate
   def: to abuse or censure severely or abusively; to use harsh condemnatory language.

"I had to vituperate the wine-guzzling poodle when he staggered down the stairs and became drunkenly abusive."

 
 


Galley-west
   def: into destruction or confusion

"I was knocked galley-west when my Macy's bill arrived."
(I shouldn't have bought those gold high top platform sneakers).





Habiliment
   def: Clothes; the dress characteristics of an occupation or occasion

"I came dressed to the nines in the habiliment of a rock star, but they still didn't believe I was Paul McCartney's back-up singer when I tried to get backstage.  Why?"

 

 


Hibernaculum
   def: a shelter occupied during the winter by a dormant animal (or an insect or reptile)

"Or a hibernaculum could be a good place for a passed out drunken poodle. He looks dormant to me."






Catchpole
  def: a sheriff's deputy; especially one who makes arrests for failure to pay debt
  
Fun fact:  derives from a word that literally means "chicken chaser," because chasing down someone who owes you money is as difficult as catching a chicken running around a barnyard. Ain't that the truth (pardon my bad grammar)?

"When I took a hard look at our finances upon my retirement, I not only let out a big scream but was seeing a catchpole in my future."



Foozle
   def: to manage or play awkwardly; bungle

"Sometimes I think I am foozling my retirement."




Hendiadys
   def: a figure of speech in which two words connected by a conjunction are used to express a single notion that would normally be expressed by an adjective and a substantive, such as grace and favor instead of gracious favor.

"If I am not careful I will be shopping for clothes in the big and fat section of  the store, which is a hendiadys for big fatty."



Tantara
   def: the blare of a trumpet or horn

"When Hubby lets  the dogs out in the morning,  it sounds like a tantara downstairs when I am trying to sleep (and it's only 9:30am...or later)!"
Having to get up early to be somewhere has become a distant memory.


I have to say that I probably won't use very many of those words, but I will at least know what they mean if I run across them. 

Just one more step in my goal of self-improvement.



Since we are talking about words, in addition to sharing these new words with you, I would also like to share some

Words I hate.

moist

turd

snot

panties

smear

brassiere

dude (especially when applied to a female and especially "old dude," if applied to me)

Those words are not allowed to be spoken in my presence (I have my reasons).

Thank you.



Learned any new words lately? 

If so, share them in a sentence.
 
What words do you hate?


See you Friday for
"Lifetime Movies:  An Assessment"
(I had been warning you I was going to do this)

and The Week in Reviews
 
Thanks for reading!
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2 comments :

  1. Cobalt wasn't just useless. Upon smelting, it would actually release poisonous gas. Nasty little kobolds at work, there.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the additional info. It's good to know my little Fun Facts were actually of interest!

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