Thursday, October 02, 2008

Endangered Words

Some of my favourite words are in danger of extinction! The Collins Dictionary people have made a list of some otiose verbage they'll be dropping in future editions as part of a scheme to get some cheap publicity make their publication more relevant. Check out the story.

Periapt is on the list. Clearly these people are not gamers. The periapt is a vital neck slot item which serves as a much needed alternative to the "amulet", "necklace" or "pendant". Based on its historical origins, it is most likely to confer benefits to one's health or vitality. A robust thesaurus of medieval casualwear is the backbone of any good loot table.

The portmanteau terms compossible and embrangle are similarly in the line of fire. These are totally not real words but that's no reason to leave them out of the dictionary. The deliberate obfuscation of our own language is the only thing that separates us from the French. From the French.

Exuviate (to shed, in the manner of skin) is a word that I used in casual conversation just last week. True story. Possibly that says more about me than it does the dictionary.

Apparently muliebrity means "the condition of being a woman", which is absolutely something that needs its own word. I'm pretty sure that this is going straight to the top of "words my friends are immediately sick of me using".

In any case, you should definitely check the list and begin using as many items from it as possible. Levelling up your word-fu and confounding the weak-minded go hand in hand, and both those things are more fun than swimming in sherbert, so you've really got no excuse.

1 comment:

Chris said...

The ebb and flow of language is always a little depressing - I work hard to keep the obscure words in circulation, and I'm glad to hear you do to.

Cheers! :)