I recognize that I am unnecessarily verbose. Some might say I’m quite the anomaly, living in this 140-character world of short and sweet. (Some need to mind their own damn business.)
Still, I enjoy good words. The 35+ Scrabble points that are as irrefutable as they are irksome to the opposition. Good words are the accessories to a well crafted sentence. Like a finely tailored suit in need of an appropriate pocket square, they are the personality of the paragraph and the part of the sentence worth remembering, even if it isn’t the point.
Good words get compliments. “Adjudicate? Nice word, dude.”
Good words are certainly not the opposite of “bad” words, which merit a sudsy mouth.
Though my vernacular has grown significantly over the years, it’s not uncommon to come across a stranger to my page.
It takes certain skill, but certainly nothing otherworldly, to determine a vexing verb’s meaning using the context clues of the sentence. With their serifs pointing, hinting at the vaguest definition, just enough to make sense of it.
Certainly a dictionary could be useful, but if I’m already reading one book I shouldn’t have to open a second just to continue reading the first, right?
So, as I peruse (which actually means to look at in great detail, not the commonly believed “glance over”) Â Nicholas Carr’s book,Â The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains, I ran across an unfamiliar word resistant to contextual identification.
My Latin is about what it used to be: non-existent. This was going to be tough.
I figured I would skip it and make a mental note to look it up someday. But then, just a few lines more. Another one.
This was trouble. Certainly, other people aside from Carr and his Editor knew these words. How had I gone so long without understanding?
Hark! Wonder of wonders! Miracle of miracles!
In my desperate attempt at irony, I purchased the book to read on my iPad through the iBooks application. In this application there is a built in dictionary. By simply double-tapping the word in question with one’s index finger, he or she my view a definition, common synonyms and antonyms and the phonetic pronunciation of the word.
So, take that *to impregnate or fertilize! I **shunned or hated your mystery but now posses the tools to bring your true meaning to light!
Some words are just plain good.
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