Friday, May 30, 2008

English – Oh, How I Love Thee!

Via ManyBooks.Net, I am reading “Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases”, a 1919 book which promoted better speech and vocabulary. The phrases are remarkably modern sounding. Only occasionally am I truly baffled. However with 15,000 phrases occasionally can be pretty often. Here’s some tidbits of linguistic delight:

Bucolic Cudgeling = To Beat the Sheep (not a euphemism)

Possible New Titles for My Weblog If I Ever Get Over the Introverted Thing:
“Phraseological quagmire”
“A dire monotony of bookish idiom”
“Surfeit of Verbiage”
“Some flash of witty irrelevance”

Which one of these words or phrases if employed by your child in a playground setting will result in said child getting beat up?
a. lettered coxcomb
b. arrant trifling
c. effulgent
d. All of the above

“Black necromancy”, “Necromatic power” and “Wizard Influence” are all considered “Must-Know Phrases” in 1919? For whom? Dr. Van Helsing?

“Obsolete Phraseology” – Unintentionally Funny Inclusion.

Modern Interpretations of 1919 Classics:
“Quondam Foe” – An Early Supervillian in the "Gundam" universe best known for his redemptive storyline
“Disposed to Cavil” – Being held prisoner by Cylon Human Model #1.
“Eccentric Casuists” – Followers of the “Luna Lovegood” School of Thought (no really)
“Hooligan Wind” – Another alter-ego for the X-Men’s “Storm”, used during her brief pickpocketing career.
“Lurid Picturesqueness” – aka a “Thomas Kinkaid” painting
“Culinary Myrmidons” – Edible Minions for Cannibalistic Super-Villains OR Just People Who Eat Their Vegetables? You Decide.

“Sacrosanct Fetish” – This can’t possibly mean what I’m thinking.

“Waxwork Sex” – WHAT?!

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