The author of one of my textbooks must be a friend of the magniloquent (see below) Conrad Black, or maybe a contributor to the harder levels of FreeRice.com. I say that because the text is sprinkled with so many obscure, unusual, “look how smart I am” kinds of words.
Here, for your amusement or perhaps horror, are some of the ones that drove me to the dictionary:
- Anomie: A lack of the usual social or ethical standards.
- Encephalated: (Wasn’t in the dictionary, but “encephalic” means of or relating to the brain).
- Glossolalia: The gift of tongues.
- Magniloquent: Grand or grandiose in speech (somewhat like the word itself, wouldn’t you say?).
- Neurasthenia: An ill-defined medical condition characterized by lassitude, fatigue, headache, and irritability, somewhat how I feel reading words like this. (Lassitude: weariness or disinclination to exert oneself.)
- Phenomenology: Science of phenomena.
- Sacrality: Not in dictionary but “sacralize” is to endow with sacred significance.
- Tautological: Saying the same thing twice in different words.
My point is that not many people read with a dictionary close at hand, nor do they want to. (Lots of people don’t even read these days, but that’s another issue!) I don’t usually look up a word right away but keep a running list to check later only because I am such a word nerd. But really, it’s kinder to your reader to pick a word that’s more familiar and more easily understood without a dictionary.
(While checking the link to FreeRice.com, I had to stop and play; made it to level 48 and 1,500 grains of rice donated before forcing myself to stop!)
Photo by libellule789 and Pixabay.
Good grief. This list reminds me of the old Readers’ Digest feature on building your word power. However, reading the list a second time is bringing on neurasthenia.
Donna, I always used to read those columns at the doctor’s office! I’m feeling the lassitude myself.