Today’s entry is about the Vocabulary-Defiler – names have been changed to protect the innocent! Now, I’ve said before – I have a pretty decent vocabulary. I rarely use it when I’m speaking, however. I can spell all kinds of big, pretty words, and I can use them correctly in a sentence, but I’m not always sure how to pronounce them. So, to avoid looking like an idiot, I won’t say them aloud. Not everyone has similar restraint. Many years ago, the Vocabulary-Defiler and I worked together. Here are a few of hand-picked favourites.
Fractually. This one isn’t even a real word. But it was used more than once, so it couldn’t be excused by the simple brain fart of slamming two words together because you weren’t sure which one you wanted to say. In this case, though, it was used as some variation of fractured.
Obtusive. Also a made up word. Even if one meant to say obtrusive, it would have made NO sense in the context it was used.
Ravished. How might the word “ravished” come up at work, you may ask? Well, if you mean to say famished, or ravenous, or in this case, both, you’d come up with ravished. Sounds like a more interesting lunch hour than I ever had, though. 🙂
My ultimate favourite, though, was the use of Gordian. As a compliment (not directed towards me, thankfully). I had to call this one out, though, because I’d never heard or seen the term “Gordian” without “knot”, and unless you’re referring to a person who can easily cut Gordian knots… well, let’s say I couldn’t see the complimentary aspect. The definition he threw out was that complexity was a good thing. Yes, I suppose Gordian can be used to describe complexity, but really – the Gordian knot was a intricacy worthy of one of the twelve labours of Hercules. That level of intricacy sounds more like “unbearably complicated” to me. Still, he managed to come down somewhere between the dictionary.com definition and the M-W.com definition – nice save, Vocabulary-Defiler! (I think he just got lucky with this one…)
This isn’t to say that I make fun of everyone who uses a word incorrectly. So not true. This is just a little warning that you never know when a wanna-be writer is sitting next to you. If it’s not blog-fodder, it might be the plot of the next book!