Guest post by Eric Watermolen
I think I may have made an error of judgment. I really wanted to offer up a new guest post on WSL, so I sent an email to Josh. That wasn’t the error, that’s actually a good idea; to communicate with the head honcho of the blog. I told Josh that I wanted to guest post, but I was having trouble thinking of a topic.
I asked him to send me the first word that popped into his head and I would form a post around that word. That was the mistake. Josh is a librarian. Librarians deal with a lot of words. The first word that pops into a librarian’s mind is not the first word that pops into any other human being’s mind.
The word he came back with was “Pulchritude” along with the comment that it was the loveliest word he knows.
Great… Pulchritude. That’s one ugly sounding word. First stop – dictionary.com.
pul·chri·tude [puhl-kri-tood, -tyood]
physical beauty; comeliness.
Of course… it’s the loveliest word he knows. That Josh is quite clever. I’m up for the challenge though, I’ll write this darn post on that ugly beautiful word. (I apologize in advance if I mangle the English language during any part of this post.)
If ever I’ve heard an ugly sounding word that defined beauty, that word is pulchritude. Second to that I think, is comeliness. Try telling your date that she is “looking quite comely tonight,” or that her “pulchritude pleases you greatly.” Yeah, that’s not going to go over very well unless she’s a librarian.
Librarian Pick-up Lines
If she is a librarian, you might one-up the noun form and go for the adjective form. “You are the quintessence of the pulchritudinous female form.”
Trust me, that line will win them over every time. She’ll look at you dreamily and say, “you had me at pulchritudinous.”
You might follow that up by telling her, “You have a mellifluous voice such that I imagine it to be the sound of a rainbow against a backdrop of sunsets.”
To close the deal, you will tell her, “I am saddened by the ephemeralness of this brief encounter, and I’d like to take you to dinner, so as thoughts of this interlude evanesce I may look forward to an evening of enchanting conversation and ambrosial company.”
Ok, I have to stop there. I’m using words that are too big for my brain. Having spent your entire cache of big fancy words, the actual date with that librarian may be awkwardly silent and consist of you showing off other skills like flexing your biceps or balancing a spoon on your nose. I really can’t help you beyond a few one liners, so you’re on your own from here.
A Very Important Disclaimer
Please don’t consider me to be any sort of pick-up expert (I’m sure you don’t based on what you’ve seen here,) and I can’t take any responsibility for the results of pickup lines like these. I’ve been married to my pulchritudinous wife for 13 years, so my dating days are, happily, far behind me. Also don’t use these if you are a librarian and trying to pick up a non-librarian, as I’m sure it will have the complete opposite effect, and you’ll likely send that person walking running in the opposite direction.
Words, Words, Words
Dating advice aside, I am constantly amazed by our English language. The number of words in our language is astounding. Many dictionaries list over 600,000 words. The estimates of how many words we use in our typical vocabulary vary considerably. Some say the typical adult vocabulary holds around 5000 words, others 20,000, and a few sources indicate 70,000 words. Most sources I found indicated vocabulary at the lower end of that scale, between 5000 and 20,000 words.
That means of the 600,000 words available, there are of 520,000 words that we may not even be aware of. I’m not even sure all those words are even necessary. I wonder how many words would be left if you removed all the synonyms. Probably about the same number we have in our actual vocabulary.
So what is the reason for all these extra words? I have a suspicion. I suspect they are for poets… and maybe lawyers. I’m not sure who else needs to be so precise with words as to express the exactly specific word to meet a very specific definition. Poets need a lot of ways to say “beautiful,” and lawyers need a lot of ways to profess “innocence or guilt.”
By the way, have you entered the WSL Bad Poetry Contest yet? I’m sure even bad poets need a lot of words that mean the same thing.
I’m going to wrap up this post with a few words I like, and a few that I dislike. I’m hoping you’ll jump in on this action in the comments section.
Words of Floriferous Splendor
Polliwog – such a cute name for a baby frog. Much better than wiggle-head, from which the term is derived.
Onomatopoeia – recalled from my high school English days, I really just like the way it sounds, which oddly enough isn’t anything like its definition.
Delectable and Fantastic – two words that are better than good.
Words of Dyspeptic Stench
Superfluous – it’s just excessive and unnecessary.
Plethora – was cool the first time I heard it, but a plethora of plethoras is just too much.
LOL – not actually a word, but I dislike the misuse of the “laugh out loud,” when it’s typically more of a slight chuckle. Perhaps we should introduce the SC to replace LOL.
Share Your Words
Let’s hear from you. What words do you like or dislike, either for the sound, definition, or for their popularity or lack thereof. Also, if you happen to pick up a librarian using my techniques above, I would really like to hear about it as I’ll be amazed and astounded if it actually works.
About The Author:
Eric Watermolen is a lifestyle blogger and amateur philosopher. He enjoys discussions of our path in life; where the path leads, the adventure along the path, and the unseen forces that guide us as we progress along our own personal path. You can find him at Eden Journal where he posts a wide spectrum of articles from personal development to spiritual and philosophical awakenings.
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