Do you yearn to express yourself in more specific terms? Do you find yourself in need of an expansive vocabulary to impress people at all those cocktail parties you attend? Are you looking for a word that will help you score over 100 points on the triple word score in Scrabble? If so, then I am keleusmatically asking for you attention. Since it’s a moderately slow morning, I currently have some succisive moments at my desk, and I want to focus briefly on the world of sesquipedalians. Now I must confess, I don’t articulate myself in this way on a hemerine basis, but I do consider myself a lover of words.*
When you come across a word in a book or article you don’t know, what do you do? Try to figure it out through context clues and etymology? Just skip over it? Personally, I do a mix of both. Sometimes it’s a joy to page through the Concise Oxford English Dictionary to hunt down the definition of a word, but sometimes I get too caught up in a story to care. I resolve to care from now on. Otherwise, I might never again meet such lovely, melodic words that are on par with graviloquence, embolimaeal, teterrimous, or scaevity.
- Any of the many volumes put out by the Oxford English Dictionary
- The Professor and the Madman: a Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
- 1000 Most Challenging Words by Norman W. Schur
- And finally, if you’re looking to add a little pizzaz to your conversations, try I Love It When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochi, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime, and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech by Ralph Keyes. It doesn’t exactly cover eloquent material, but it’s still pretty fun.
*Words learned courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary‘s excellent Save the Words site, where even the FAQ is thoroughly entertaining.