Tuesday, November 6, 2012

25 Cent Words - Guest Post by Benjamin Kane Ethridge

Some great “25 cent” words
By Benjamin Kane Ethridge

It’s difficult sometimes to consider the use of a large, unknown word in your writing. Most writers, I suspect, love words, just as mechanics must love tools. Especially the right tools. The problem, inevitably boils down to what readers desire, or what a publisher may believe they do. To say you have to “dumb down” your writing is offensive. Not everybody has large vocabularies, after all, and yet, wouldn’t it just be nice to use some of these words, no tells, no gimmes, no indicators, just throw them into your prose and see what happens? I’m of the opinion that if it’s not explicitly necessary for a reader to know the meaning of a word, you should be able to use a little archaic flare now and then.
So many wonderful words are never said or written, it’s hard to choose which to showcase. Here’s a list of some I’ve always liked (for varying reasons).

noun [a-nag-nȯr-ə-səs] : the point in the plot especially of a tragedy at which the protagonist recognizes his or her or some other character's true identity or discovers the true nature of his or her own situation.
Suffering from an anagnorisis, somebody’s mouth dropped and they uttered, “Bruce Wayne is Batman???”

adjective [kal-uh-pij-ee-uhn] : having well-shaped buttocks.
Check out those callipygian baboons up in the trees! Blue moons all around! Wowser!

adjective [pahr-suh-moh-nee-uhs] : frugal or stingy.
The parsimonious king had no clue why the starving commoners incited a revolt.

verb [nid-uh-fi-keyt] : to build a nest.
In all those cartoons I never saw the Road Runner nidificate. Not even once.

adjective [ab-sawr-buh-fey-shuhnt, -zawr-] :  causing absorption.
Like a vengeful, lingering ghost, the absorbefacient carpet locked in all the years of Rex’s bladder failings.

adjective [krip-toh-kris-tl-in, -ahyn] : having a microscopic crystalline structure.
My diamond is more cryptocrystalline than your diamond.

adverb  [nü-klē-ə-fi-lik, nyü] :  having an affinity for atomic nuclei
The nucleophilically inclined physicist was an absolute smashing success at the dance club.

adverb [sfig-mə-man-ə-me-trik-le] obtained with a sphygmomanometer, which is a an instrument for measuring arterial blood pressure
“Doctor! That nurse is trying to sphygmomanometrically murder me!”

noun [soo-per- ak-nol-ij-muhnt]
Note: I cannot find a definition for this word, and yet I’ve heard it before and found many websites that use the word as though it exists. The jury’s out on this one, but that won’t stop me.
She didn’t want him to fix her problem, but she did telepathically request a superacknowledgement to address her feelings.

adjective [EEL-loh-goh-FOO-shee-oh-hip-PAH-poh-kuh-NU-ree-us] : dubious  good, perhaps very good.
The original Star Wars script had Han Solo saying, “I’ve got an eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious feeling about this.”
It came off as too wishy-washy, so George Lucas revised the line. Not for the better, if you ask me.

About the Author: Benjamin Kane Ethridge is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novel BLACK & ORANGE (Bad Moon Books, 2010). For his master's thesis he wrote, "Causes of Unease: The Rhetoric of Horror Fiction and Film." Available in an ivory tower near you. Benjamin lives in Southern California with his wife and two creatures who possess stunning resemblances to human children. When he isn't writing, reading, videogaming, Benjamin's defending California's waterways and sewers from pollution.


Midnyte Reader said...

This cracked me up. Especially the last one.

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

These are some awesome words! I like words too, but my vocabulary is not as impressive as I like to think it is. I need to study this post!

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