Once, when I was a sharp suited corporate person, I had instructions from the office to drop the word “sausages” into a business related conversation at a client meeting in the City. Nobody blinked when I compared a certain process to a string of the afore-mentioned meaty treats and another square was completed on the “bull**** bingo” card back at HQ. Fun with words, what larks.
Personally, I find the English language extremely expressive and fluid; words come in and out of use and most of us (OK not you, Stephen Fry) simply don’t use our language as well as we should, in my humble opinion. Do you have favourite words? I bet you do. These are mine:
10. Engage, as in taking an interest in and acting upon. A dynamic and somehow reassuring word.
9. Robust. Love this – it rolls around the top of the mouth like one of those cherry drops from one’s childhood.
8. Tintinnabulation. Wow, someone actually thought “Ah, the sound of ringing bells, there’s no word for that yet, is there?”
7. Petrichor, the smell of rain on dry earth. Lovely.
6. Defenestrate, it means “to throw someone or something out of a window”. Yep, that’s right.
5. Chatoyancy. Mainly used in gemology, this fabulous word is from the French “chat” (cat) and “oeil” (eye), in other words, cat’s eye. You’ll see chatoyancy in tiger’s eye when you move the stone backwards and forwards – it sort of shimmers and it’s very pretty indeed.
4. Moral Turpitude, as in the “have you ever been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude” question, to which you presumably have to answer “no” on your way over to the States on a plane or you get defenestrated. OK, it’s two words, but they sure sound great together.
3. Onomatopoeia. Wow, what a word – something that suggests the sound of what it describes, for example “oink” or “meow”. Also, and I bet you didn’t know this, it’s also sung as a refrain by Kid Creole’s backing band, The Coconuts on “Annie, I’m not your Daddy”. Fact.
2. Mellifluous is probably an onomatopoeia. It means “sweet sounding” and I think I need to use it more often.
And finally, could there be a better word than…
1.Discombobulated, I mean, really – could there? It took me quite a while to grasp the fact that this is a real word and not some made-up jobby, it means “a state of being confused or shocked”.
So…there you are. Let me know if you’d like me to sneak any of these words into your web content, although it may create a robust discombobulation.
Susan Beckingham provides copywriting services for websites – engage with her and hear her mellifluous voice on 01273 721 306.