A BROBDINGNAGIAN Kind of Start…

 

One might as well begin a blog with something about words, eh? In this brief exhortation, I will assume everyone reading does NOT know what the above title really means. So let me explain.

 

Brobdingnagian: Relating to a giant person or thing. Created by

Jonathan Swift in ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’ ‘Brobdingnag’ was the name

given to the land of giants, and so anything from that land was

naturally ‘brobdingnagian.’

 

Of course, it’s not everyone who may create words at their pleasure. Aside from Jonathan Swift, Lewis Carroll, writer of ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ etc., created quite a few as well, including my own personal favorite, ‘chortle.’ But this right to generate vocabulary is generally withheld to the famous and literary population.

So don’t try it, in other words. It’s bound not to catch, and then people will just look at you strangely. However, people will be more apt to respond with awe if you choose to use such words as ‘xanthic,’ or ‘efficacious.’ Of course, the likelihood of people knowing what you’re talking about is slim at best, but hey, should that stand in the way of better conversation? I didn’t think so.

So here’s my advice. My tuppence. My grain of salt. Whatever. Expand your vocabulary. Please. Yes, by all means keep the ten-cent texting and chat words and phrases which constitute most of our society’s daily exchanges. But add some spice. Some flavor. Sprinkle in some big one-dollar words every now and then and amaze your friends, your family, and perhaps more importantly, your teachers or bosses. If they don’t know what you’re saying, it automatically elevates you to a position of some kind of superiority. Not really, but they might think so, and that’s all that matters.

If you do experience something along the lines of what I just mentioned, let me know, because it’s never happened to me. All I get usually is a few blank stares and a plea for clarity. As if. Brevity is the soul of writing perhaps, but who said anything about speech?

So, how to expand the vocabulary. Of course, one may take the long route and become intimate friends with a large dictionary or thesaurus, but that’s a tedious business and may damage eyesight and social status, so be careful with that one. Then there’s the internet. Yes, how surprising. Use online dictionaries with such handy features as ‘Word of the Day!’ And people don’t have to know you use that either.

Or, novelty of novel ideas, you could read. (Novel, get it?) That’s what I did, and it has seemed to work fairly decently. Not that I could cite on command which books have given me the most words, but I do know they have. Beyond a doubt, books will get you used to words and familiarize you with the proper contexts and nuances of each word.

Am I too didactic? Perhaps. But this society is truly worrying when people do not know the meaning of ‘elevate.’ What do elevators do, hm? (And therein lies the impetus behind my post.)

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: You may experience a slight stinging sensation on the tongue and uvula when attempting a new word for the first time. This sensation should desist after a few tries. If it does not, stop using the word immediately and seek linguistic help. You’re probably pronouncing it wrong.

 

 

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