Monday, July 19, 2010


According to Save the Words, 90% of everything we write is communicated by just 7,000 words. When you think about it that’s not really a whole lot of verbiage. Apparently every day there are scads of words left abandoned and unwanted. The solution? Adoption, of course! I am well on my way to becoming the Angelina Jolie of the vocabulary world having already adopted some seventeen words. I am doing my best to rescarciate my past linguistic laziness. Besides words are neater, eat less, and will never blurt out your real age at public gatherings.

There are quite a few advantages to taking on rarely used terms. If you knew that cheesy reality make-over show was really about the fine art of venustation, wouldn’t you feel better about watching? Next door neighbor keeping you up all night while he rehearses his Post Hard-Core band? Four letter obscenities are so passé, far better to call him a senticious foppotee and watch his head explode. That uncle of yours that dominates every family gathering with his tall tales and answers to all the world’s ills? He’s not a crazy liar he’s a phlyarologist. (Not to be confused with your greedy brother who is a philargyrist.) A warning, most of your new adoptees will render your computer’s spell check tristifical.

It doesn’t seem fair that I should have all the fun. Try it yourself. Go to Save the Words adopt a word, and then use it in a sentence, a lyric or a poem in our comment section by August 2nd. The one we like best will win a copy of Ammon Shea’s book Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages.

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