Tag Archives: words

Benignant

benignant (adj) /bəˈnɪɡnənt/ (now rare) Kind; gracious; favorable.   One fun thing about reading old books is learning cool words that have fallen into disuse. I like “benignant.”  I’m going to use it.

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“Language dreams in metaphors.” ~William Matthews

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*#%^!

Excerpt from Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut, ©1990: There are no dirty words in this book, except for “hell” and “God,” in case someone is fearing that an innocent child might see 1. The expression I will use here and there for the end of the Vietnam War, for example, will be: “when the excrement …

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Humble

“I’m humbled, honored, proud.”  ~Michelle Obama, at the unveiling of her official portrait (source) I don’t think she knows what the word “humbled” means. Of course, the word “literally” now literally means “figuratively,” so maybe the definition of “humbled” changed, too, while I was distracted with other things.  Maybe I’m the one using it wrong. …

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SM

This is a pretty esoteric list:  words that end with “sm,” excluding ones that end with the suffix “ism.”  If you include the ones with that suffix– ageism, sexism, dadaism– the list becomes too unmanageable. So, with that caveat, I could only come up with three: chasm prism spasm

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Vocabulary

(source)

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Tightening the Heartstrings

“What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. …

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Lest

The only time people use the word “lest” anymore is on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, when they like to say, “Lest we forget.” It’s a pompous, pretentious word, and I don’t care for it.

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Language

From the introduction to Eyewitness to History edited by John Carey,  © 1987: To achieve this effect the good reporter’s report must be individual. It must restore to his experience the uniqueness it rightly possesses– and which worn-out language tries to rob it of. Nietzsche argued that language was originally developed to shield mankind from …

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Words

(via The Daily Don)

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