Post by Kerrie
A couple of weeks ago, I was reading the paper and came across the headline, "University Selects Most Useful Yet Underused Words This Year." It definitely caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First I was curious what words were chosen. Then I thought, if I use these words more consistently in my writing will it make me sound smarter and more sophisticated? Finally, I wondered who in the world had time to sort through the dictionary every year to come up with this kind of list--then I realized, it was probably a writer finding ways to avoid writing.
It turns out Each year Wayne State University creates their list for the top ten most useful and underused words in the English Language. Jerry Herron, a dean at the university and three of his colleagues came up with the idea for this list 5 years ago when they created the Wayne State Word Warriors program. Their goal was and still is, to encourage people to experience the joys of the English language.
Here are this year's words:
• Buncombe – Rubbish; nonsense; empty or misleading talk.
• Cerulean – The blue of the sky.
• Chelonian – Like a turtle.
• Dragoon – To compel by coercion; to force someone to do something they’d rather not.
• Fantods – Extreme anxiety, distress, nervousness or irritability.
• Mawkish – Excessively sentimental; sappy; hopelessly trite.
• Natter – To talk aimlessly, often at great length; rarely, it means simply to converse.
• Persiflage – Banter; frivolous talk.
• Troglodyte – Literally, a cave-dweller. More frequently a backward, mentally sluggish person.
• Winkle – To pry out or extract something; from the process of removing the snail from an edible periwinkle.
Which word on the list do you like the best? Can you use it in a sentence?