6/09/2013

Important American Vocabulary for Foreign Peoples (3)

Okay, it’s time for the third installment of this important vocabulary series. Today, I’ll cover words that are significant in that they are the next five on my list.

detritus: This word’s alliterative qualities make it perfect for describing trash in a manner that also depicts the aspersions (another fine word) cast upon the items by the speaker. Just the fact that the speaker used three syllables to mean “trash” should be enough to convince any listeners that the speaker can’t possibly be lumped in with the target of his denigration (yet another fine word).

ludicrous: This word is especially effective in its spoken form when the initial lu syllable is stressed and lengthened (“luuuu”), mimicking the ridiculousness of the subject with the luuuudicrousness of the speaker’s enunciation.

nostrum: I just like this word because it sounds like “nostril” (an inherently funny word and orifice), but actually has naught (another good word, especially if you want to sound snotty and over-educated, or English (a synonym)) to do with it.

sewage: I like sound of this word, mimicking as it does the sound you might hear if you mistakenly walked through a pile of it. I also like its relationship to the legal term “sue”, as in the phrase, “Greedy lawyers are creating entirely too much sewage in our courts.”

meek: This word has a fantastic sound, verbally defining its meaning through the final eek sound. I can picture a mouse uttering this syllable, right before getting squished, or before running out onto the kitchen floor and causing the cook to shout a similar word prior to jumping onto a stool, which makes the same sound just before it teeters and falls, sending the stool and the chef onto the poor, meek mouse, who dies with a final, quiet “meek!”
Sure, they’ll inherit the Earth. (The meek, I mean. Not the mice - they'll just continue living in the walls of The Meek's inheritance.) But that’s just in compensation for suffering for the rest of all history getting needlessly squished by everyone and everything else.
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