You know me. I read. A. LOT. And I’m a word nerd. English has an astonishingly rich vocabulary and we typically use so little of it. I think that’s a shame. But the fact is, I don’t believe in sitting down with a dictionary beside me when I’m reading books that are written for broad and large audience. I encounter plenty of situations where I do not know the meaning of the word I’ve read. And when context does not enlighten me, I am irritated. I decided to try a series by a new-to-me author. This author has annoyed me for plots he uses – but that is another whining blog post, this is about descriptions and words. I’m on book six of 34 books and I end at six.
Here’s a few examples of what I speak—
modigliani neck — I tried my usual trick of breaking down the word, trying to determine it’s origin. Not a chance in hell. So I resorted to Google. And learned that Modigliani is a dead painter, known for painting elongated necks. Interpretation: a person with a long neck.
chinoiserie nightstand – Okay, this one was actually easy to break down: from ‘chinois’, French for Chinese. But what the hell did that mean in relation to the nightstand exactly? Google images this time. And learned that it could be many different styles. Interpretation: an oriental-style, lacquered nightstand decorated with floral and animal elements.
lucre – Latin base: lucrum, meaning wealth or rich. Interpretation: lots of money.
antimacassars – Not a chance. Google again. Meaning: small cloth placed over the backs or arms of chairs, or the head or cushions of a sofa, to prevent soiling of the permanent fabric underneath. Interpretation: cloth covering/chair protector.
Why use big words when little ones will do?
Trying to find my inner peace.
Oṃ śānti śānti śānti