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Previously Enjoyed Vocabulary: $5 OBO

June 4, 2011

FOR SALE: a bunch of words I used to use all the time and now don’t need anymore. Alphabetized for quick reference.

  • Academia. It turns out this word is extremely pretentious outside of academia.
  • Bibliography. Only graduate students make these or care about them.
  • Contemporaneity. I also liked simultaneity. Something about the extra “e” in the suffix gladdened my essay-writing soul. The wider world did not, and does not, share my enthusiasm. With regret, I have moved on.
  • Dichotomy. I still use this sometimes but it never goes over well. Apparently there are simpler, shorter words with similar meanings.
  • Erotodidaxis. Where sex and education collide?
  • Fellatio. Find me one classicist who doesn’t write and/or read this word at least once a day. And then find me one regular unperverted person who does.
  • Given. The douche usage: not the one where you’re like “I was given a gift yesterday”; the one where you’re like “Given the author’s Hellenic proclivities, one would expect him to have realized that line 468 contained a latent reference to the lost Blind Trojan Orphans of Aeschylus.”
  • Homeric. DID YOU KNOW that zero out of ten people have read more than three lines of the Iliad or the Odyssey? Do not use this word unless you’re trying to impress a superior at a literary conference. There’s really no point.
  • Interplay. My term paper self couldn’t live without this word. But all my other selves can, it turns out.
  • Juxtaposition. Same with this one. I accidentally used it in an ESL class discussion a few months ago and the resulting embarrassment was just as educational as could be.
  • Koine. Kairos. Kosmos. If it starts with K, let it lay, I say.
  • Leitmotif. See also:
  • Motif. I was basically married to this word throughout the composition period of my first thesis. We are now divorced.
  • Noumena. What a beautiful word. Just rolls off the tongue like a poem. I wish I knew what it meant but I’m so much less educated than you. Oh, hey, wait, does it just mean things? Fuck you, asshole!
  • Opine. Anyone writing a paper is on a constant hunt for synonyms for “say” and “think.” Here is one that should never be used aloud.
  • Parthenogenesis. That shit was everywhere in Greek (and Christian) mythology. In real life, it takes two to tango, and then if their date continues they might have sex and conceive a child. That said, though, thanks to modern technology, parthenogenesis is now technically possible, and some day if I figure out how to structure it I’m going to write an extremely disturbing novel on the subject, so stay tuned.
  • Qua. Like, as in “The author qua shameless blowhard has written a 5000-word essay that would have made a great paragraph.”
  • Rudimentary. This is a good word. Fascinating etymology. And yet it’s never achieved mainstream popularity. A real shame.
  • Semiotic. Plus its plurosingular twin, semiotics.
  • Treatise. Nobody writes treatises anymore, do they? Why not? I think a lot of people could make a name for themselves with a good solid treatise. I’m going to write a treatise on the effectiveness of treatises.
  • Undoubtedly. You can’t get through a paper without coming across this word. Scholars use it in two circumstances: (1) as a way of masking extreme self-doubt; (2) as a substitute for actually doing any research.
  • Viz. Viz., namely.
  • Wax. The verb version that comes before an adjective: The author waxes nostalgic/poetic/historical/whatever. Jesus. Put a sock in it, nerd.
  • Xenophon. Xenophanes. Xerxes. Any of those guys. Their 15 minutes are over.
  • Yore. Yesteryear. This is the vocabulary of yesteryear. It was used in times of yore. We have new words now; these ones are not used anymore.
  • Zeitschrift. Here’s a secret: only 2-5% of North American classicists are actually able to read German.

Do you want these? They’re yours! Pick-up only. Vancouver downtown area.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Joaquin permalink
    June 4, 2011 7:40 pm

    I’ll give you $10 for “irregardless” and any other portmanteau words you having kicking about.

  2. Joaquin permalink
    June 4, 2011 7:51 pm

    (and now, with spell check turned off)

    I’ll double that if you include “stichomythia”.

    • Kate permalink*
      June 5, 2011 9:07 am

      I can’t part with “irregardless.” It’s so annoying to everyone I care about! “Stichomythia” I might need again some day, but “synecdoche” and “syllogistic” are all yours.

  3. abumfart permalink
    June 21, 2011 4:24 pm

    problematic and zeitgeist?

    • Kate permalink*
      June 21, 2011 8:35 pm

      I don’t remember ever using “zeitgeist.” Probably should have while I had the chance, ’cause I don’t think ESL students would care for it at all. “Problematic,” yes, I’ll toss that in with the others.

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