Wednesday, October 01, 2008

In which Boz retreats from the looming financial crisis to play with obscure words and the blogosphere

Here's a thing. Dictionary compilers Collins have launched a campaign to save some of the words fading out of use.

There was a really interesting article in The Times last week about this, with a nifty graphic of some of the words. But neither Google nor its own search engine can find this on their website, only the letters in rspose to it.


(Oh. Here it is. But I had to search for one of the words in question! Fools...)

Here's a piece from the Torygraph instead.

Now I'm no purist. I'm all about language changing and adapting (mostly thanks to studying Brian Friel at A-Level - hurrah for sixth form college). Archaic etymology has just as much of a place in the language as text speak (although you probably need one grammar system to hang the whole thing together, or we'd all get confused)*. But the awesome thing about the English language is we have a huuuuge range of words to choose from, to help make ourselves understood, enlighten the world and express culture. Or at least help us win more games of Scrabble.

So long as 'chillax' isn't in immediate danger, I'm actually not too stressed out.

But, here's a Fun Thing. Times readers are being asked to vote for their favourite from the widely circulated list, but instead, I thought how about if we could get bloggers to adopt a word? After all, even if one person understands a word, and uses it once in six months - that would already go some way to keeping it 'alive'.

So who wants to play ADOPT-A-WORD?

I have taken the diabolical liberty of dishing out some words from the list to various bloggers. Go on!** If you're tagged - use the word once on your blog in the coming months, that would be awesome. And if you link back here, that's be fantastic to.

Right them, here we go (BTW - no offence is meant in any of the dishings out):

Mansuetude (gentleness or mildness) for Betty
Caliginosity (dimness or darkness) for Geoff
Roborant (tending to fortify or increase strength) for James (who should have no excuse being a proper, paid writer and everyfink)
Griseous (streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey) for JulaBerry/LaLa
Vilipend (to treat or regard with contempt) for Doris
Compossible (possible in coexistence with something else) for Zefrog
Caducity (perishableness; senility) for Michael
Malison (a curse) for Dark Looks (who probably knows all these anyway.

I'll take Skirr (a whirring or grating sound, as like the wings of a bird in flight).

Bonus points for the best uses! GO ADOPT-A-WORD BLOGGERS!

Don't they all sound marvellous??

Any takers? If anyone else wants to play - COME JOIN US. And leave a nitid comment in the comment box.

Scrabbling on...

UPDATE: I have corrected some but possibly not all of the awful typos in this post...

* Famously I'm quite confused anyway.
** Please?


Geoff said...

Blimey, I'll have to do a post in the style of Leonard Sachs.

Lizzie Barrett said...

I'll take ignoranus, someone who knows nothing and talks out of their arse.

julaberry said...

Noice, I'm in.

james henry said...

Ooh, I like Roborant. Presumably my d&d games could include Potions of Roborance.

mike said...

My duty is done!

Boz said...

Ach! You are all amazing! Top marks go to Dark Looks and JulaBerry for dispatching their duties in the shortest amount of time.