Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Word of the Day

UPDATE: what is it with the word 'P'??? Completely unintentional but my 4th word of the day (they're not daily, though but anyway) begins with 'P' too! Pulchritude... it's a fantastic word but honestly the rest of my vocabulary is being compromised here.

Some people say that using long words in sentences just makes you should pretentious. I agree with Roald Dahl, who said in his fabulous short story The Great Automatic Grammatizator that:

' "there's a trick that nearly every writer uses of inserting at least one long, obscure word into each story. This makes the reader think that the man is very wise and clever. So I have the machine do the same thing. There'll be a whole stack of long words stored away just for this purpose."


"In the 'word-memory' section," he said, epexegetically'

However there is always the problem of acquiring these wonderful worlds. Words such as 'epexegetic' (meaning explanatory) have a nasty habit of slipping out of one's mind. So I have instated a habit of, whenever I come across a new word, adding it to a little onscreen notepad so I can glance at it daily. Eventually I can remember the word without looking at my computer and I hope that one day I will be able to recall the meaning and spelling too, until sometime in the distant future the word will actually be used, in speech or writing. Currently, I have three words on my list and oddly they all begin with the letter P.

Today's Word of the Day is 'pleonastic'. I can't remember where I discovered it, but describes the use of more words than necessary to express an idea clearly.

I.E. this post is pleonastic because all it is basically saying is Roald Dahl is superbly awesome as are words.


  1. lol! two years ago, I started to write words down in an *actual* book, with definitions. But when I moved back to the UK I accidentally left it behind so my vocab is on the downturn again, sigh.

  2. Wow nin, like... a dictionary!
    Seriously, though that is a great idea.

  3. This is a good trick. I used to subscribe to the "Word a Day" e-mails, but I couldn't keep up. I don't know what that says about me.