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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Collecting odd or seldom used words seems to be a hobby within a hobby. A related sub-hobby would be to try to bring some of these lonely, mostly forgotten words back to everyday usage. The hobby overall is etymology, and since one can claim any hobby without a necessary seriousness to the devotion thereof – or expertise in said hobby – such is my claim.

In everyday reading, I'm always alert for words outside of my normal usages. Once while reading a Pittsburgh newspaper, I tripped over the word "detritus", and upon discovering it meant any accumulation of disintegrated material or debris, I felt this could be in one way a bit descriptive of my hobby within the hobby. Also sounds like the condition of my shop down in the basement.

On another occasion, while tripping the light verbalistic, I stumbled upon "nescience" - lack of knowledge or awareness, ignorance - and felt this might also describe some of my grappling with the language. Then there is ignoratio elenchi, which is a fallacy in logic of offering proof irrelevant to the proposition in question and that sounded vaguely similar to some of my writings.

A word that is seldom used in our permissive society any more is ignominy, meaning personal disgrace, dishonor and/or shameful or dishonorable quality or conduct. The word may not be used a lot but it still seems to be the claim to fame of many in the entertainment industries – nuff said.

The word sclaff had never come before my eyes before it was accidentally discovered, as per usual, while on my way to another word and there it was in all its meaningful glory. Every golfer has sclaffed, at least a few times, since it means to scrape the ground with the head of the club during the swing and just before impact with the ball. This had always just been hitting the ground just before hitting the ball, now I’ll try to remember what to call it, if I ever play golf again.

Then, another day and another time, the word "cruciverbalist" came into my areas of cognition. Of course the meaning is - a crossword designer or enthusiast – to the latter of these I lay somewhat of a claim. But looking closer at the root words, one could construe – or misconstrue, in my case – this word to mean a person who spoke often and a lot about the cross, which seems to slightly fit me as well. But even more than the formation on which death took place, I speak often of the Christ who loved me - and humankind - enough to die on that killing instrument. God is good – all the time! ec


Blogger Jayleigh said...

Eddie- A HUGE reason I like to read your blog is because of the interesting topics of conversation. An equally big reason I like coming here is because EVERY SINGLE TOPIC you are able to relate to the Lord, and your relationship with Him.

My heart is glad. :-)

God is so good.

1/26/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger bubba said...

Wow. Great thing there is people like you who learn those kinds of words.I learn everytime I come here. Cudos

1/26/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I enjoy unususal words too, and write them down in a little book. The author Jonathan Raban was the one who opened up the world of words for me. Just pick up any of his books, and you will see how he savors the language. I started with "Arabia - a journey through the Labrinth". I've never read a richer book, in words and image.

1/26/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Detritus is a good word that's in my lexicon but doesn't get used much. Ignominy is good too, but my brain wouldn't hang onto the other ones.

1/26/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger adannells said...

I really enjoy how you always add something about the Lord at the end of your posts! You always bring our attention back to where it matters the most! :)

1/26/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

jayleigh - He will almost always be in the writing somewhere, He is that important to me.

bubba - You might just say that I am a word appreciator.

bonita - It is a sad thing how our language has been so "dumbed down" in recent years.

AC - If I don't use them regularly they slip out of my usage as well.

adannells - Without the Lord, I have no hope, future or joy.

1/26/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

detritus reminds me of my blog.

Thanks for your kind wishes. Today seems to be a little better and maybe by tomorrow when I go to Modesto I'll know more.

God bless


1/27/2006 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Mr Eddie ~~ Thanks for your comment on Herons Nest about my self depreciating jokes about
Australia. Glad we don't have a monopoly of leaders who color in.
Some of these words are TOO hard, and I doubt if I will ever use them in conversation. Always wonder what is next on your site!
Never dull.

1/27/2006 02:34:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

granny - Heres hoping for a good day and good news.

merle - The wife and I have an ongoing tease about using big words in conversation with each other. :) ec

1/27/2006 08:22:00 AM  

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