Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you on this hot July day. Hey, we’ve made it halfway through 2020! That’s an accomplishment. But I prefer not to write about the year some people refer to as the twilight zone.
Honestly, I have a couple of topics for future posts, but I haven’t put them together. So, today I thought I’d write a lighthearted post about something near and dear to all authors.
A few weeks ago, the SE authors were chatting about words that aren’t often used these days. Dastardly, meaning wicked and cruel, is one of my favorites. Can’t help but think of Dick Dastardly and Mutley. (I love to hear Mutley laugh.)
The English language is forever changing. Words that once were common are now almost obscure, while others are used regionally.
- Skedaddle – to flee; run away hurriedly
- Rapscallion – a mischievous person
- Gobsmacked – astonished; utterly astounded
- Confuzzled – simultaneously confused and puzzled
- Thunderation – an exclamation of surprise or petulance
- Shenanigans – mischief or prankishness
- Balderdash – senseless or exaggerated talk
- Persnickety – fussy or overparticular
- Lambasted – harsh criticism
- Catty Wampus – askew or awry (actual spelling is catawampus)
Contronyms are single words that have two opposite meanings. They are rare. I’ve used many of them without giving a second thought to the opposite meanings.
- Apology – a statement of contrition for an action or a defense of one
- Bolt – to secure or to flee
- Bound – heading to a destination or restrained from movement
- Cleave – to adhere or to separate
- Dust – to add fine particles or to remove them
- Fast – quick or stuck, made stable
- Left – remained or departed
- Buckle – to fasten/secure or to bend or collapse under pressure
- Overlook – to monitor/inspect or failure to notice
- Sanction – to approve or to boycott
- Weather – to withstand or to wear away
- Screen – to protect/conceal or to show/broadcast
Oxymorons are figures of speech containing words that seem to contradict each other. For example:
- Act naturally (I’m not talking about the song made popular by Buck Owns and Ringo Starr)
- Alone together
- Clearly confused
- Deafening silence
- Jumbo shrimp
- Growing smaller
- Original copy
- Random order
- Small crowd
- True myth
That’s it for today. My next post will be a little more serious and educational, but I figure we can all use a little lightheartedness this year.
Now, to wrap this up, I declare a pox on 2020.