Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Philter, as word of the Day?

Saw on the Net that “Philter” was the word of the day for August 17th 2008. Now I had never heard of the word before and unlike what I would have thought it could be, no it wasn’t another way of saying “Filter”. Nothing like it at all.

As I had little better to do at the time, I looked it up and even when I found out what it meant, I wondered what it could have possibly done to become the word of the day in this day and age? Have you ever used the word before or even heard it used in common usage? I have heard its common meaning used many, many times before. In fact there was even a very popular song by the Coasters (I think) about it many years ago and even a Movie of the same name 9also long ago now) starring Sandra Bullock. No not “Speed” but, “Philter No. 9.” Sorry, I meant, “Love potion Number Nine.”

Yes that is what philter actually means! Don’t believe me? Then take the dictionary’s word for it then! “Philter \FIL-tur\, noun: means: 1. A potion or charm supposed to cause the person taking it to fall in love.

So now you know a new fancy word, but what good does it do you? I mean to say, how on earth are you ever going to slip words like “philter” into ordinary conversation? Sometimes I think some people are just too smart for their own good, and whilst I think it good to have a broad knowledge of words and to use more than just a few basic ones, I really do think that we can also go far, far too far, the other way too. What say you? Should words of the day be relevant to our day? Or just curiosity or novelty words of a long, long, long gone era? Yes, what say you?

On the same topic I saw that word of the day for August 18th was Knell. Now that one I could accept as although ancient and quaint even, it is still used in literature and especially Poetic literature to signify the Church’s death bell ringing out to announce a person’s death in the local community. Yes, according to the self same Dictionary, “ knell \NEL\, verb: means 1. The stroke of a bell tolled at a funeral or at the death of a person; a death signal; a passing bell; hence, figuratively, a warning of, or a sound indicating, the passing away of anything.”

Thus although not used often in everyday conversation is at least used these days and thus is acceptable if not totally worthy as word of the Day but “Philter”? Again ask you?

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