Was reading on a blog site that Wayne State University’s Word Warriors, have released their top ten words to try and revive in 2011. Apparently, since starting in 2009, the Wayne State Word Warriors (what an unnecessary mouth full that is!) have highlighted obscure English words that they believe should be brought back into common usage again. Citing the vast vocabulary available in English – the biggest in the world, in fact — the Word Warriors contend that the depth and elasticity of the language is to often discarded for the quick, easy and accessible word or words. They say: “Too often we limit ourselves to words that are momentarily popular or broadly applicable, and so rob ourselves of English’s inherent beauty and agility.”
Now I say, while there is nothing wrong with using a wide variety of words where appropriate, and I think I do, there are still some words, such as most of the ten they, list that have rightly fallen in to non-regular usage.
That said, 3or 4 of the words they list, are not that uncommon to me so, maybe they all haven’t fallen into complete disuse. (Most of the others are known to me but not used by me usually, if at all!, which adds weight to their argument, I guess!)
Anyhow, the complete list, with a brief Dictionary meaning, is below; so please check out and comment on whichever ones you still use where appropriate. For me, I don’t find Draconian, Hornswoggle, Ossify or Skulduggery that uncommon. Again what about you now?
Concupiscence: A strong desire, especially sexual desire; lust.
Draconian: An adjective meaning great severity, that derives from Draco, an Athenian law scribe under whom small offences had heavy punishments (Draconian laws).
Evanescent: Soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.
Hornswoggle: verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way.
Ossify: 1. To change into bone; become bony. 2. To become set in a rigidly conventional pattern:
Paroxysm: 1. A sudden attack or violent expression of a particular emotion or activity.
2. A sudden recurrence or attack of a disease; a sudden worsening of symptoms.
Penurious: 1. Extremely poor; poverty-stricken.
2. Characterized by poverty or need.
Schadenfreude : Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This German word is used as a loanword in English and some other languages
Sibilance: The Manner of the sound offricative and affricate consonants, made by directing a stream of air with the tongue towards the sharp edge of the teeth, which are held close together. Examples of sibilants are the consonants at the beginning of the English words sip, zip, ship, chip, and Jeep, and the "zh" consonant in the middle of vision.
Skulduggery: verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way