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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Thursday, February 02, 2006

... words are all I have ....

Since listing the decidely mellifluous names of a variety of semi-precious stones, Lady Bracknell has been reflecting, during her rare idle moments, on the great pleasure which she derives from words.

She deplores the modern fashion for denigrating scholasticism, and the reverse snobbery under the rules of which relishing the full and joyous potential of one’s mother tongue is deemed to constitute “showing off”. Lady Bracknell will be d*mned if she will succumb, in the pages of her private blog - which, after all, she writes chiefly for her own amusement - to the current fad for “dumbing down”. The impoverishment of language which must inevitably result from this deplorable trend grieves her ladyship greatly.

Many words are beautiful in and of themselves, regardless of their meaning. They roll upon the tongue. They demand a precision of diction which is all too rare in an age when one is bombarded by noise pollutants on all sides.

Lady Bracknell’s esteemed father is somewhat hard of hearing, as was her beloved paternal grandmother before him. Both demanded that the young Lady Bracknell enunciate clearly. This seemed arduous at the time, but the habit, once learned, is not easily cast off. And there is nothing inherently wrong in speaking clearly.

Be that as it may, there follows a random list of a very few of the words which give Lady Bracknell pleasure:

nebulous

fiduciary

insouciance

sonorous

crepuscular

meretricious

sphygmomanometer

bathysphere

interregnum

unguents

eidetic

somnambulant

idiosyncratic

adumbrate

eft

inveterate

heliotrope

antediluvian

capricious

synthesis

lyricism

auricular

furore

loquacity

5 Comments:

Blogger pete said...

Some fantastic words in your list. Except for the word sphygmomanometer which I shortened to 'sphyg'. By the time I had said sphygmomanometer I found I did not have the oxygen to squueze the bulb!

Comely is my favourite word at the moment.

10:20 pm  
Anonymous Chris Mac said...

I recently discovered a new word on the political debate forum known universally as Today-BBC Home News. Whilst fighting off the far right bnp lunatics and Islamic fundamentalists, someone posted the following "The bananrepublicanisation of the UK is most worrying..." I await to see bananarepublicinisation eventually make it into my Collins Concise.

11:29 pm  
Blogger The Gorse Fox said...

Gorse Fox, too, loves words.

He wrote the software for the first computer-compiled English Dictionary "The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English" back in the late '70s. It was revolutionary at the time, and featured on "Tomorrow's World".

Nostalgia, eh? It takes some beating.

8:22 am  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

I like "serendipity". Nice word, nice concept.

12:08 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

The Gorse Fox's professional history impresses Lady Bracknell greatly. (The editor makes frequent use of dictionary.com on those occasions when low blood sugars have rendered her temporarily dyslexic.)

8:09 pm  

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