Sunday, January 18, 2009

A taste of my own medicine...



In my chosen field, I'm usually the one doling out the vocabulary lessons, but this time I'm getting one. "From where?" you may ask, and I would respond, "From the unlikeliest of places -- a fantasy novel!"

You see, I have just begun a series new to me, that of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson (that's him over there). It's a 32-year-old series, from the first volume at least, and rather good so far! Covenant is a leper who finds himself the unlikely messiah in a magical land... that's about all I can tell you, as I've only made it to chapter six. Below is a list of the new words I've had to look up. I discovered as a result of Thomas that I don't think I own a paper dictionary anymore, and I kind of wish I did, so I wouldn't have to keep getting up from my comfy chair to look things up on dictionary.com. Anyway, the list:

1) picar - weapon (Spanish) -- This wasn't even in the damn dictionary. I had to Google it.
2) preterite - past or bygone
3) chiaroscuro - a sketch in light and shade
4) attar - perfume or essential oil
5) anile - foolish, or dottering
6) monody - tragic ode sung by a single voice
7) vertiginous - spinning or dizzy
8) atavism - a throwback

I think I've even missed a few, but I don't have time to go back and find them. I've got to go buy a dictionary.

3 comments:

Wigwam Jones said...

I knew numbers 3 and 4 and 8. I would have guessed at numbers 2 and 7. 1, 5, and 6 I had no idea.

I get that 'Word of the Day' email from dictionary.com, and when I was a kid, I annoyed others by reading "It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power" in Reader's Digest and using the words I found therein as often as possible.

The last word I got from 'Word of the Day' that I did not know was 'yegg' - a safecracker.

My favorite word is 'absquatulate'.

The book looks interesting, too - thanks!

Ari said...

Absquatulate is a smashingly good word. I shall use it today. It's also good for a few giggles when you press the "pronounce" button on dictionary.com a few dozen times...

I annoyed others (and hell, still annoy them) in a similar way, both when I was a kid, and now.

I hope you try Donaldson and like him. I've enjoyed book 1 thoroughly so far. If you do, come back and give a review!

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Dictionary.com is the best site out there, except maybe the Drudge Report.

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