The letter quoted below conveys an exuberant love and mastery of words, as well as being a world class job application.  Savour some of the words that sparkle, appeal, intrigue or otherwise grab me, including those in other languages.  And adoring alliteration, new words are added on Wednesdays.  Wednesday, word day.

Dear Sir,

I like words.  I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as strait-laced, cantankerous, pectinous, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp. 

I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around. 

I have just returned and I still like words. May I have a few with you? 

Robert Pirosh

 

Source: Letter No. 009 in ‘Letters of Note’, comp. Shaun Usher (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2013), p. 36

Orographic

I learned some fine landscape words from reading Barry Lopez’s Arctic Dreams.  Orographic means ‘relating to mountains, especially as regards...

Chatteration

'Again there was a sudden chatteration of gulls.'   A fine description of the confabulations of sea-gulls when they get...

Glede

A live coal, an ember; any of several birds of prey, especially a kite.  Most dictionaries only give the bird...

Threap

'They were so agreeable with each other—never fell out nor ‘threaped’.

This delightful word is now limited to Scottish and...

Gartless

This doesn't seem common - the internet tries to force me to accept 'heartless'. But it's in a children's classic...

Of farsang places

A measure of distance which has an echo of 'farflung', though no direct connection.  It means one day's walk or...

Pightle

An unusually spelled word with that g-h-t-l and a fine glottal stop.  Of obscure Middle English origin meaning a small...

An army of caterpillars

'Army' makes sense when you hear of trains of spiny, poisonous caterpillars marching like a locomotive across the southern landscapes...

Ravening

This ravenous word is used to describe a wild animal, extremely hungry and hunting for prey: They turned on each...

Empery

A word I have only seen once or twice in my life. Archaic: dominion or power; empire; absolute dominion, sovereignty;...

Hobbledehoy

An old fashioned word that deserves a chance at revival. It means awkward or clumsy, or a youth unfortunate enough...

Catspaw

Seems to be a type of wind, quite distinct from the more common term of ‘cat’s paw’ which refers to...

A goring of butchers

Marvelous.  Can't better that one.  But let's come up with another cut: a side of butchers?  Or seeing the collective...

Eldritch

An unusual word, I can't remember when I last saw it used: weird and sinister, or ghostly, rhymes with 'witch'....

Fretted

This use of 'fretted' seems to mean worn or damaged by weather, and 'teazed' is an old spelling of 'teased',...

Helve

The handle of a weapon or tool.  Such a simple word, how come I never came across it before?  Did...

A bask of crocodiles

Delightful collective noun this, suggesting a harmless creature soaking up the sun on a warm mud bank.  Just don't tread...

The surface of the word should be vast.

Nezami – Azeri poet

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Love writingredux.com?  Enjoy our sister sites:

www.foolsareeverywhere.com    I    www.nuannaarpoq.com    I    www.spyderceleste.com    

© Beatrice Otto 2022 - design & content unless otherwise stated - all rights reserved

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest