Saturday, May 30, 2009

A word in your shell like

I've just purchased a book called 'Chambers address to impress: 200 words you should use'. I was gratified to note that many of the words were among those I already use on a regular basis including: visceral, atavistic, epitomise,circumspect and alacrity.

However, there are some other words which, while I know their meaning, I've never been able to use until now, either due to lack of opportunity or a vague feeling that I am using them incorrectly. Welcome to abstruse, tendentious, sententious, prescient, obloquy and opprobrium.

Quite how I shall introduce these words into my conversation I am still unsure. It's not as if you can go into Sainbury's and use them at the checkouts; although I used to work on the checkouts at Sainsbury's and would have been delighted if someone had said: 'The service in here is the most egregious I have come across for some time, there is a paucity of understanding of customer requirements. I must say my dear though, that you are the exception, offering an exemplary service. You are without doubt the paradigm of how a checkout assistant should be, nay an exemplar.'

I am now spending time practising using these words as you never know when you might meet someone who appreciates your use of elevated vocabulary. As a child I used to chose words at random from the big dictionary and write stories around them (when I wasn't listening to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf; I was an odd child) and am now embarking upon the adult equivalent.

I feel it would be disingenuous of me to say that I was not making it my study to impress. However, I despise dilatory behaviour and believe incontrovertibly in inculcating habitsof self-improvement and eschewing any tendency towards laziness, which is deleterious to the mind, the corollary of which is a decline in ones innate perspicacity. Innit?


uncle phil said...

One of my favourites is'execrable', especially when used wrong - as in - say - a restaurant situation. The waiter sidles up to enquire "How is s your meal Sir" or some such - and thee reply is "Absolutely execrable, my good man". Which unfailingly generates a forelock-tugging smarminess and gushing thanks.

Purple Passages said...

Hee hee. I like it. What really makes my toes curl is when people ask if they are 'illegible' for something.