Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pardon My Flosculation!

I really like words.  Seriously, I use them all the time!  Reading, writing, quotidian colloquy. But I have recently heard some disturbing news.  I mean, I guess deep down inside I always knew, but until my worst fears were confirmed by an outside source, I held out hope that it wasn't true. There are words on the brink of expiration. The threshold of existence. Near their demise.  Falling, quickly and abruptly, into obsolescence!  
Words that once served a purpose and held their places proudly and alphabetically in lexicons across the world, are now being tossed aside like relics of a bygone generation.  Deemed antiquated, outdated, useless and ineffective they are being removed from dictionaries to make room for new words like woot, edamame and subprime.  I get it. Really, I do.  I understand the necessity of it.  I mean, the only reason language exists is to serve the community that uses it.  It allows us to freely exchange thoughts, feelings and ideas.  If a word no longer performs this function, it will drop out of our vernacular naturally.  It just seems so harsh, you know, to take them out of the dictionary after all they have done for us.  Toiling away year after year until suddenly, when they are no longer needed, being torn from the very pages where they waited so faithfully for some amateur philologist to find them.  And, as usual, I digress a bit. 
The point is that someone even more passionate about words than I, has taken up the cause. Launched a formal protest even, and issued a call to action!  For those of us so inclined, we can adopt one of these vanishing words and try to resuscitate it.  How fun is that!?  So, please help Savethewords.
I narrowed my choices to thural, coquinate, fallaciloquence, flosculation and ictuate, finally choosing to assimilate flosculation into my vocabulary. As part of my pledge to do so, I publicly take the oath of adoption: "I hereby promise to use this word, in conversation and correspondence, as frequently as possible, to the best of my ability." down!
Quote of the Day: "Language artfully used can make you happy to be alive."
--Ben Yagoda author   (from If You Catch An Adjective, Kill It)