words words words

Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you!
Is that all you blighters can do?

Pavlov’s Cat is feeling tetchy about certain words she’d like to ban, and presented us with an array of abused words and phrases, most of which, as she points out, were once vivid metaphor but now grown dull from overuse.

What a good idea! I present for your consideration the phrases so overused that people have no idea of their origin and fall victim to the homonym conundrum, generating an eggcorn and thus making the misspelled metaphors even more nonsensical:

Tow[sic] the line
Here! [sic]Here![sic]
Two sense[sic] worth

George Orwell listed most of these yonks ago, of course, but not as many as should have read Unca George.

Anyway, Pav then wrote certain words that she likes, in contrast, very much. I wish to add a few of my own to the list of wonderful words:

meretricious
callipygous
stentorian
sisyphean
ostension
antidisestablishmentarianism
(when used in the proper historical sense and not just as a trivia night answer) and of course, as one might guess from this list, my all time favourite is
sesquipedalian.



Categories: Culture

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6 replies

  1. How positively splendid! Thanks for the link to Orwell’s rant. I had come across his 6 rules before, but not read the whole essay.
    It should be required reading for all wee
    bloggers.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, BK. I try and make a point of rereading it every time I post a pointer to it – it’s a great piece.

  3. Said my peace
    All intensive purposes
    Doggy dog world
    Phase, as in “It didn’t phase me a bit.”
    Jive, as is “That doesn’t jive with what I was told.”
    and a new one: “I won’t cow down to her.”

  4. Vicki: All intensive purposes
    Oh God I hate that one.
    As for Viv’s favourites:
    callipygous – Aesthetically I prefer “callipygian” (and “nice arse” is 60% shorter by syllable count and almost 30% shorter by letter count) but that word really, really belongs in a set with steatopygous.
    antidisestablishmentarianism – Has no value as a “longest word” trivia answer once one has discovered floccinaucinihilipilification.

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