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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Words, Words and More Words


I am fascinated by words..mostly those that have passed out of common usage. Words like flummoxed, lackadaisical, flotsam. One of my research investment was a copy of English Through The Ages. This book can tell me when a word first came into use. I also have a copy of the Oxford American Dictionary with the copyright date of 1979.

Take the word 'flummox'. It first came into use in 1840. It's a verb recognized as British slang and means to baffle. 'Lackadaisical' is an adjective that's been around since 1770 and means just what it sounds like: lacking vigor or determination; unenthusiastic.

Some of these old words seem to sing. Can you hear it? Lack - a - dai- si- cal? Of course, writing for the current reader, it's almost impossible to incorporate any of these fun words. However, I did manage to insert one - flotsam - in the first novel I wrote, 'Til Death Do Us Part.

My brother, who recently came to live with me, was reading this book and had to stop to ask me what the word meant. Oh well.

4 comments:

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    1. Oh welk, huh? Did you just make up a new word? It works.

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  3. What I meant to say was I am so proud of my sister's talent and ability to form words into stories for people to enjoy. You amaze me.

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